How To Avoid "Holiday Skin"

It’s the most wonderful time of the year in pretty much every regard: Sipping on spiked eggnog is officially our favourite pastime, we get to wear all the sparkly glitter makeup our hearts desire without a side-eye glance, and all the holiday parties are a solid excuse to pretend we fancy now. The only downside? Every bit of winter — from chilling fireside to indulging in the usual festivities — can wreak havoc on our skin in the form of inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and dryness.

But before you say goodbye to your precious bubbly and holiday glam, hear us out: According to experts, there is a way to have your cake and eat it too — literally. Some of their sound advice? If you find your skin is super parched from your busy holiday schedule, remember to pack a skin-care kit like Clinique’s Great Skin Home and Away Set when you travel; and if you’re planning on staying out way past your bedtime, don’t even dream of skipping your cleansing ritual. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to eat, drink, be merry, and have glowing skin. Cheers to that!

Holiday Habit: Stressing Over Your Gift Budget

Stress is enemy number one when it comes to your skin. “It can cause inflammation and the production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can lead to acne breakouts,” explains Eric Schweiger, MD, dermatologist and founder of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC. And if you have a history of rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis, stress can also cause an ugh-inducing flare-up. The solution? Dr. Schweiger suggests using a calming serum or moisturizer containing colloidal oatmeal (an OG among gentle ingredients) or ceramides. “Ceramides help keep your skin's natural moisture and hydration from evaporating quickly, thereby helping to soothe inflamed skin,” he explains.
Holiday Habit: Cozying Up By The Fire With Your S.O.

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but no matter how much you love the Danish trend hygge, too much chilling by the fireplace could be damaging to your skin. (Is nothing sacred? Apparently not.) “Excessive exposure to heat, be it in front of your oven or even sitting in front of the fireplace, is associated with the development of hyperpigmentation in the skin,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at NYC's Mount Sinai Hospital. If you don’t want to unplug your space heater — because who would dream of such a thing! — try instead using a serum with vitamin C. The antioxidant has been shown to brighten dark spots and calm inflammation.
Holiday Habit: Racking Up Airline Miles To Visit The Fam

Sure, you might be able to zonk out the second you're airborne, but that doesn’t mean you’re exempt from the effects of the dry air on your flight. (Did you know that airplanes are almost as dry as the Sahara desert? It’s true, unfortunately.) “So just make sure to apply a moisturizer before getting on the plane to prime and hydrate the skin for your ride,” says Dr. Zeichner. “Reapply when you get off, or during the trip on longer flights.” Moral of the story? Leave room for a hydrating skin-care set like Clinique’s Great Skin Home and Away Set for Drier Skin in your carry-on. You’re welcome.
Holiday Habit: Going All-Out With Your Makeup

We’ll be the first to say that festive parties call for equally festive makeup. But your contouring work that took almost an hour to perfect can actually harm your skin — potentially causing breakouts and irritation. “I always recommend taking off your makeup as soon as you can to allow your skin to breathe,” explains Dr. Zeichner, who’s a fan of double-cleansing for removing heavy makeup. It’s easy: First, cleanse with an oil-based formula to dissolve makeup (even your waterproof mascara). Then, wash with a foaming cleanser to get rid of any residual oil and sebum once and for all.
Holiday Habit: Indulging In A Little Too Much Champagne

Maybe there's been a lot to celebrate this year. Or, maybe you’re just ready to see 2017 go. Either way, there’s a good chance you’re indulging in a drink — or three. And while we all know that alcohol dehydrates you, as it turns out, it can also dry out your skin (who knew?). “When skin becomes dehydrated, fine lines and wrinkles become more pronounced and your complexion can start to look sallow,” says Dr. Schweiger. To make up for the lack of moisture, slather on a rich moisturizer with ingredients like hyaluronic acid that attract and retain hydration. Your skin will look brighter and smoother — even if you’re still stuck with a headache.
Holiday Habit: Staying Out Super Late At Your Friend’s Holiday Soirée

As with stress, lack of sleep leads to the release of cortisol. “Extra cortisol can break down collagen in the skin and also lead to breakouts,” says Dr. Schweiger. But preemptive measures can go a long way, so before you hit the sheets, don't forget to wash your face (no matter how tired you are) and follow it up with a cream containing peptides. Think of it as a shot of espresso for your skin cells. “Peptides help energize your skin and signal the collagen in your skin to start renewing,” he explains. “This helps give the skin a brighter appearance, even when you’re running on empty.”
Holiday Habit: Trying To Get Your Glow On Before That NYE Party

You’ve been looking forward to this party all season, and to prepare, you decide it would be a good idea to go all-out with your beauty routine in the days leading up. Sorry to break it to you, but piling on everything from antioxidants and retinol to alpha and beta hydroxy acids can do more harm than good. “Applying too many products at the same time may cause burning, stinging, and peeling of the skin,” explains Dr. Zeichner. If you want radiant skin ASAP, scale back your regimen and use one (seriously, just one) chemical exfoliant, like a salicylic acid wash or glycolic acid peel pads. “These will help shed the outer skin layers and improve skin radiance,” he says.
Show More Comments...