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5 tips from the skin experts for the festive season

Keep these skin saviour tips in mind throughout December and well into January…

While the festive season is joyous for so many reasons, it can also be hard on our skin. With more indulgent foods, a little more alcohol than usual and spending increased time inside centrally heated environments, this is a time when breakouts, dryness and rosacea can thrive.

Luckily, our experts are on hand to share some top tips on how to maintain skin, both through the festive period and afterwards.

Try to limit inflammatory foods

It may sound like a cliche, but glowing skin really does come from the inside-out, first. Your hydration levels and food choices can make a huge impact on the health and appearance of your complexion, so they are particularly important over the festive period and afterwards.

It goes without saying that December is a time we often allow ourselves to indulge a little more than usual, and while this should never be discouraged, you can make a few small changes that can make a big impact, while still enjoying some of your favourites.

EV Expert, GP and award-winning Aesthetician Dr Ahmed El Muntasar, says you should focus on limiting anything inflammatory too often. “Try not to eat a lot of red meat,” he recommends. “This could be things like pigs in blankets or any processed meats, as this is very pro-inflammatory to your body and your system, which can actually cause a lot of skin damage.”

Emma Wedgwood, Aesthetic Nurse and Founder, Emma Wedgwood Aesthetics, echoes these suggestions: “While dietary habits may vary during festive times and healthy eating might take a back seat, it's important to integrate key foods that promote optimal skin appearance. A skewed diet can result in skin dehydration, leading to sensitivity, redness, a lacklustre complexion, and an increased risk of premature ageing and breakouts. Incorporate foods like walnuts, tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, avocados, and fatty fish.”

Protect your pH

While inner health is key, you can of course take topical steps to maintain a glowing complexion, largely focusing on boosting your skin’s barrier and pH levels.

“Focus on products that balance your skin’s pH levels,” says Dimitra Davidson, Founder of Indeed Labs. “Protecting your skin’s barrier will always make your skin look healthier by brightening and evening out your skin tone.”

Practically, ways to do this include not over-doing it with the exfoliants or retinol (or any other active ingredients), and reaching instead for lots of hydrating, nourishing ingredients. These include hyaluronic acid, squalane, glycerin and ceramides. This is particularly important in the cold weather, which can mess with your skin barrier and result in dry, flaky skin.

Double up on masking

If you have a few days off over Christmas and get the opportunity to take some self-care time, don’t hold back with face masks. “Take your skincare routine to new heights by incorporating an exfoliating mask before applying your hydrating favourite,” says EV Expert Dr. Raquel Amado, Medical Aesthetics and Skin Specialist.

She continues: “Before you immerse your skin in the replenishing goodness of your hydrating mask, consider shedding away old skin cells for an even more remarkable outcome.

“Opt for exfoliants with AHA's (alpha hydroxy acids) or BHA's (beta hydroxy acids) to skilfully slough off dullness and make way for radiant skin. This dynamic duo ensures that your hydrating mask penetrates deeply, maximising its impact.”

Opt for light therapy

As well as your regular at-home masks, Dr. Amado also recommends enhancing your masking even further by trying some light therapy following the festivities.

While you can experience light therapy during professional facials, you can also invest in at-home devices for continued use; these are especially useful during Christmas when skin needs a little extra boost.

“LED light therapy is renowned for its potent anti-aging effects and ability to soothe inflammation. By investing in this technology, you invite a boost in collagen production, effectively diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and signs of ageing,” explains Dr. Amado.

“The versatility of LED light therapy extends beyond anti-ageing; it serves as a holistic solution for various skin concerns. From tackling acne and dermatitis to addressing issues like eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and even combating the aftermath of sun damage, LED light therapy emerges as a versatile ally in your skincare arsenal.”

If all else fails, use eye drops (conservatively)

It may not specifically relate to skin, but one quick and easy way to brighten up your face after one too many heavy nights is to reach for the eye drops, says Ruby Hammer, Founder, Ruby Hammer Beauty.

“The fastest way to boost a tired face is to use eye brightening eye drops,” Hammer notes. “Add one to two drops per eye and they take away any redness, making you instantly look more awake and refreshed.”

Be careful not to overuse your drops however, as this can actually result in the natural moisture in your eyes being 'washed away' and thus be counter-productive. There have also been reports of eye drops having a rebound effect–occasional use is all that's needed for brighter, healthier eyes.

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