The holidays are here! During this busy, stressful and indulgent time of year, it's always a good reminder to take some time to take care of yourself. I have several suggestions on my blog on how to take care of your skin now that the weather has gotten cooler. And, I could remind you that you are what you eat and that it'll show on your skin. However, I also know that it's hard to cut back this time of year because most of us celebrate by indulging in the season's scrumptious treats followed by wine, eggnog lattes and other delicious beverages. So here are 5 ways to give your skin a break this holiday season without cutting back on the indulgences you love ;)
1) Take some time to relax
Relax in any way that suits you. Go for a massage. Get some acupuncture. Soak in your tub with some bubble bath and salts. This is one of my favourites. I get to chill by soaking my sore muscles and I don't have to leave the comfort of my home. These simple luxuries are fantastic for your body, your skin and your overall psyche. According to Web MD, stress increases oil production which clogs pores leading to breakouts and acne. Other skin conditions like eczema to rosacea are exacerbated by stress and other emotional factors. Taking some time to chill out whenever you can is one of the best ways to give your skin a break.
2) Let your skin breathe
Another way to give your skin a break is by cutting back on the foundation, powder and sunscreen. Unless you're planning on being outdoors for longer than 10 minutes, you really don't need sunscreen. Cover up with a toque and some sunglasses and you're good to go. Let your skin be bare from heavy creams and makeup. Preservatives and heavy oils can clog pores and lead to the breakouts you’re trying to cover up. If you need to use something to protect your sensitive dry skin when outdoors, use a light oil that's easily absorbed. In the evening, wash your face and ensure your cleanser is not leaving any residue on your skin. Wash with a light cleanser (or an oil cleanser) and remove with a warm face cloth. Follow with a hydrosol (flower water) on a cotton pad to ensure you’ve removed any makeup and residue the cleanser left behind. Do not follow with a cream; just let your skin be bare for one night.
3) Drink lots of water
I know that there might be some festive drinking in your agenda for the next two weeks, but try to squeeze in your allotment of water. Take your weight and divide it by two and that's how much you should be drinking in ounces. For example, if you're 120lbs ÷ 2 = 60 which means you should be drinking about 60 oz of water per day or as close to that as you can. Water intake is the best way to hydrate your skin. Drinking water allows your skin to breathe, too! The water you consume aids in the amount of oxygen you gain in your body. Place a water bottle in every room of your house, so you're always reminded to take a drink. Water at room temperature or slightly warm is more easily absorbed by your body. A cup of warm water with a slice of lemon is a wonderful way to start your day. Not only will you get your am water intake, but give your skin a boost of Vitamin C too!
4) Get some fresh air
Take advantage of your time off during the holidays and go for a walk with a friend or your family since our busy lives usually don’t leave much time for getting outdoors during the busy work week. I walk to my kids' school for drop off and pick up and it seems that's all the outdoor time I can fit into my schedule. Find a green space if you're lucky to have that close to you and get out there. We hear a lot of negative information about the sun and its damaging effects on our skin. However, according to an article published by Harvard Medical School, short doses of sunlight on your skin can be very therapeutic. The dose and timing matters, so choose a sunny morning and give yourself 15 minutes where you let your skin take in some of that vitamin D. It’s also perfect for curing those winter time blues.
5) Do a facial
On average, I get two facials done a year. However, considering the restrictions placed by the pandemic I will have to take matters in my own hands. Doing a facial doesn't have to be a daunting task. Start in the shower. Give your skin some steam to open up your pores and then follow with your favourite mask. If your skin is visibly congested and your pores clogged, using a mud mask a few times a week will help. If you're brave enough to attempt some extractions, ensure you use tissue between your face and your fingers. Never use your nails! The shower and mask should help soften up your pores and make this procedure easier. Next, follow with a cotton pad soaked in a facial toner with witch hazel - an astringent - to help close pores and soothe the skin. Finally, a light moisturizer or oil serum lightly massaged into the skin should be your final step.
There you have it. A few little tips to help give your skin a break this holiday season. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or need any additional tips on how to take care of your skin at home. I’m not a dermatologist or an esthetician. My advice comes from almost two decades spent in and out of the beauty world – spa, retail and film. My latest passion is researching the green world of makeup and cosmetics and learning from this and also the talented Canadian product-makers I chose to affiliate myself with. I’m always here for your questions, no matter what they may be!
Happy Holidays, everyone!