We all love Christmas, but it’s not exactly a friend to our skin. And by the time January comes around, we could all do with a skin detox post-Christmas. With festive parties galore, plenty of indulgence (alcohol and M&S biscuit tins, we’re looking at you), and often a change in environment, it’s completely normal for skin to freak out a little during this time. In our opinion? It’s well worth it for the parties, late nights, and over-indulgence.
Luckily, we have some top product recommendations and expert tips on hand to help rescue your complexion.
Why can the festive season be tough on skin?
There are a number of things which can impact skin throughout December, experts explain, including sleep, alcohol, diet, routine and lifestyle changes. Here’s how it impacts each area:
Sleep: First and foremost, Megan Felton, co-founder of skincare consultancy Lion/ne, says that “sleep will take a hit,” during the festive period and massively affect the health of skin. Nina Prisk, aesthetics nurse and independent prescriber at Update Aesthetics, echoes this, adding: “sleep is the time when your body repairs itself and this is also true for the epidermis. When you sleep the blood flow to your skin increases, as a result collagen is rebuilt and damage from factors such as age and lifestyle are repaired.” For this reason, Prisk explains that not getting enough sleep over this party period can impact our skin, making it appear more dull than usual, and even emphasising fine lines and wrinkles. It’s not called beauty sleep for nothing.
Alcohol: For a lot of people, one of the best parts of Christmas is getting together with friends and having a couple more glasses of wine than usual thanks to extended time off. Sadly, your skin doesn’t love the extra booze intake. “Alcohol is a diuretic and so it has a dehydrating effect, which means that your skin loses fluid and nutrients that are vital for keeping it looking and feeling healthy. Dehydrated skin can appear dull, bloated or more wrinkled,” says Prisk.
Diet: We’re the first people to tell you to: eat whatever the hell you want over Christmas (and any time of the year, honestly) — overdo it on the chocolates, mince pies and cheese! These changes in diet can cause your skin to freak out a little, though, which is totally normal by the way. “Sugar breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin. These are proteins that help to give your skin shape and structure and so when they are broken down the skin may begin to appear wrinkled and saggy,” says Prisk. “Too much sugar can also increase the risk of breakouts,” she adds.
Different routines: Christmas periods for a lot of people throw off routines. Many people are in new environments with extra heating (although, perhaps not so much this year). “Central heating dries out the air which causes the skin to lose moisture. This can also lead it to becoming dry, red, flaky and more prone to conditions such as eczema or psoriasis,” explains Prisk. On top of that you’re maybe not removing your makeup entirely as you normally would, which your skin doesn’t love.