It’s here. The countdown has begun and those party invitations will soon be dropping through letterbox or pinging into your inbox! So, are you ready? What’s more – is your skin ready? Read on for tips on getting your complexion in show-off condition for the fun times ahead…
Skin and stress
For many women, the 1st of December heralds the start of rushing around organising presents for the family and friends, hosting parties, chaperoning children to events, enjoying those delightful school recitals, blinging up the home décor and working non-stop. It’s wonderful but exhausting at the same time and if we’re not careful, the stress hormone cortisol can go into overdrive and leave its mark on the skin in the form of inflammation, red rashes, spots and blemishes.
Be mindful. When you feel yourself getting panicky, recognise the feeling and nip it in the bud. Take a minute to slow down and put things into perspective and you may realise that you are putting unrealistic pressure on yourself.
Plan ahead. Make lists of essential things to buy and things to do and at the end of the day, update it for the next day and tick off accomplished tasks.
- Take five minutes. Whether it is in the morning, afternoon or evening, use this time to completely switch off. Go somewhere quiet by yourself and close your eyes. Breathe in through the nose to the count of five seconds, hold the breath for five and then exhale for five. It’s a great, quick trick for clearing your mind and bringing calmness back to mind and body.
Good time overload
Late nights, party cocktails and one too many vol au vents are hard to resist and it’s ‘that time of year’ so don’t beat yourself up over it. It’s fun to have a blow-out now and then. Just try not to do go overboard every day of the holidays! Remember, lifeless, dehydrated skin from alcohol and a puffy, tired face from too much stodgy food and lack of sleep can’t always be covered up with makeup!
Cut back on the caffeine. If you’re surviving on coffee to keep you going, it’s time to limit it. Instead, soothe your digestive system with calming herbal teas that will ease anxiety and promote a sense of wellbeing. Lavender, Ashwaganda and Camomile are all good choices. Good old water is ideal as well to flush out toxins and keep hydration levels up. At parties, alternate an alcoholic drink with a glass of water and lemon and your skin (and fuzzy-free head) will thank you the next day!
Pre party peel. Now is the ideal time to invest in a course of professional skin peel treatments with pure Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acid. A course will give optimum results, but even a one off treatment a few days before a special event, is also great for stimulating new cells to encourage healthy exfoliation, helping skin achieve an even tone and texture.
Mask it. If you can’t find the time to have a professional treatment, I’d recommend giving skin a helping hand with a fabulous mask such as Medik8 Clay Mask, £27, which will draw out impurities and leave skin feeling and looking fresh and soft. You can find out more about it here. It’s a fabulous skincare choice before or after the excesses of the season! The Cosmedix Rescue Balm is a lovely beauty boost that gives a concentrated shot of skin brightening and hydrating ingredients. Simply wash, apply the balm and go to sleep! It’s £60 and you can read about it here.
- Fuel your body with healthy, vitamin rich foods in preparation for the possibility of overindulging in snacks and treats that might not have the greatest nutritional content! A power-packed breakfast of good fats and protein such as avocado and poached eggs on wholegrain toast will keep energy levels going. A delicious smoothie with antioxidant rich berries and organic, natural yogurt is another filling but super-healthy option to keep you lively during busy days – and nights. To help aid digestive health, I’d also suggest taking a course of probiotics such as Biokult during the party season and ensure you top up your immune system with a quality high dose Vitamin C and/or green powder, both available from good health food stores.
When the party is over
Once the festivities are out of the way, you’ll be gearing up for the New Year. Getting back to your usual routine means that you’ll need your time off to have had some positive benefits - you don’t want to feel as if you need another holiday to recover!
Get your zeds. Make it a priority to catch up on any sleep you’ve missed. Seven or eight hours of restful sleep is the best way of allowing your body to recuperate and recover from a busy time and your skin cells can regenerate and repair. A 20 minute power nap during the day is also a wonderful way to feel refreshed and invigorated.
Get Active. Getting physical with a daily brisk walk, at the gym or a yoga session will help you sleep well at night. Expending energy will also keep stress levels down and burn off those excess calories you’ve consumed. Not to mention, a good workout gets the blood pumping and delivers nutrients to the skin, making it glow and flush with health.
- Prepare Your Skin. Looking forward to the New Year is the perfect time to review your skincare regime and decide whether it’s working for you. If you have any concerns or you need expert advice to ensure 2017 is going to be your best skin year yet, then please do sign up here on my homepage so that I can deliver you the latest expert skincare news, tips and offers.
Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!