The holiday season is usually one that we all look forward to. However, the happiest time of year may leave you looking not so pleasant! It’s completely normal that all of Christmas’s festivities can take a toll on your beauty routine, but you can take some precautions to keep your sparkling glow all the way to New Year’s Eve and beyond.
Here’s a guide to mitigate some of the holidays’ more unwelcome gifts.
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Get Your Zzzzs
The most important thing you can do during the holidays is get enough sleep! Sleep is crucial for many things, including a beautiful complexion and overall health.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends 7-8 hours of sleep nightly for adults. This doesn’t change during the holidays, but we often get much less sleep during this time of year due to such factors as traveling, jet lag, increased activities, and seasonal affective disorder–shorter days affect mood, which can harm sleep patterns.
Believe it or not, you can make sleep a priority this season. Save the bags for shopping, not under your eyes by following a few easy tips: Reserve your bedroom for sleep, not holiday chores; try to go to bed and wake up around the same time most days, even if you’ve been out late at a party; take a walk outdoors for sunlight; and try a short nap in the afternoon.
Weatherproof Your Body
Cold winter air, as well as heated indoor air, contains less moisture, which can wreak havoc on your hair and skin. You can reduce the bad effects by following a simple routine during the chillier months.
Start off by washing your hair less often: Every 2-3 days is okay. Are you an every-day-shampooer? Ease into the routine by using dry shampoo on days you feel you need a “freshening up.”
While you’re in the shower, put the timer on your phone. You don’t want to go over 10 minutes, and keep the water warm instead of hot. Both actions will preserve skin oils,
Switch to a heavier, creamier moisturizer—and use it twice a day, once in the morning, and then before bed. Wear socks and gloves to bed to maximize absorption.
Watch Your Treats
Holiday goodies can – obviously – pack on the pounds. Don’t worry, it’s perhaps not as much as you think, but many adults put on—and don’t take off!–at least 1-2 extra, which can add up over the years. In addition, all those rich treats can additionally play games with your complexion, causing breakouts.
You can keep the damage in gear with a carefully considered plate. Don’t deprive yourself of a treat, but decide what you really love and what you can live without.
Not sure where to start? Try cutting some of the extras that don’t have a huge impact on your overall meal. Don’t fill up mindlessly on empty calories. Gravy and sauces, appetizers, etc. can have a huge cumulative effect. You can also try balancing “bad” foods with “good” ones – make sure to have healthy fruits, veggies, lean meats – and eat lighter, earlier, on days you know a big feast is ahead.
Watch Your Booze
Food isn’t the only indulgence at parties, of course. Many of us use the holidays as an excuse to have a few more drinks than normal, resulting in a not-so-pretty morning after. So, before you grab the spiked eggnog, draw up your plan of counterattack ahead of time.
Nobody is saying you need to abstain totally, but many holiday cocktails are packed with calories. You can stick with lower-calorie drinks and still feel the holly jolly–try a vodka martini, or a glass of wine.
Don’t forget to hydrate the morning after to avoid a dull, sallow complexion. Drink water, water, water…and more water.!
And finally, when you’re tipsy, you may forget to take off your makeup. Make a note to not pass out before cleaning your face. You’ll thank yourself in the morning!
Watch Your Stress
Food and drinks can take their toll, but stress is probably the biggest beauty zapper of the holidays. When a person becomes stressed, the level of the body’s stress hormone (cortisol) rises. This can show up in your skin (breakouts), hair (fallout) and nails (ridges and bumps). The easiest and best way to avoid this is simple: You must slow down.
If you’re wondering how it is possible to do this during the busiest time of year, there are many simple strategies to turn the volume of life down. Try pacing yourself so you don’t get too exhausted. Don’t try to do it all yourself–delegate chores to friends and family who can help. Take time to relax: Read holiday cards, watch a special on TV, or maybe just listen to some music.
The best thing you can do is give yourself a gift: Pause for a minute, and enjoy your holiday season.