How to save partied-out skin
Detox your skin to get through party season unscathed
It may be the most wonderful time of the year for our social calendars, but spare a thought for your poor complexion this holiday season. While we might rejoice in good food, good wine and good friends, our skin can be somewhat of a party pooper. Because as sod's law dictates, all those things that make us love yuletide festivities also happen to be the exact same things that can spell disaster for our skin and the perfect maelstrom of stress, spirits and sleepless nights all take their toll.
So how can we inject some Christmas cheer back into our skin? We enlist skincare expert, founder of the D Thomas Clinic and A-List favourite Debbie Thomas to get things back on track. ‘During the winter, the weather is colder but there’s central heating to contend with and the combination of these two extremes can suck essential moisture from our skin,’ says Debbie. ‘Bring on party season and you’re adding in late nights, one too many cocktails, Christmas buffets or set menus and “desk-to-dancefloor” make-up looks into the mix. This makes it a particularly hectic time for your skin, promoting dehydration, clogged pores and inflammation.’ So far, so bad. Luckily there’s plenty we can do in order to employ a little damage limitation.
Sleep on it
‘Your body regenerates when you are in a state of deep sleep and if you aren’t getting enough, your skin is unable to heal and repair itself fully,’ says Debbie. ‘During party season, if you’re experiencing night after night of not getting enough sleep, you will start to notice that the skin can look dull, a little blotchy and dehydrated, so on the evenings that you aren’t heading out, make sure you get a good night’s rest.’
If shut-eye is taking a back seat, make sure that what little sleep you are getting is good quality. After the excitement of a night out, drift off with This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray. Support your skin’s overnight regeneration with Elemis’ Peptide4 Plumping Pillow Facial Hydrating Sleep Mask, and help to pep up a lacklustre complexion with a brightening exfoliator such as Philosophy The Microdelivery Triple Acid Brightening Peel Pads. Finally, to disguise tell-tale bags the next day, opt for Lancôme’s Energie De Vie Eye The Illuminating & Anti-Fatigue Cooling Eye Gel.
Food for thought
‘Buffets, mince pies and set menus can make it difficult to avoid rich foods during party season, but a habit of unhealthy, processed food can cause inflammation in the body and therefore your skin,’ warns Debbie. ‘I always try to make sure I’m eating really well before and after events during this period. Reach for fresh fruits, a rainbow of vegetables and opt for healthy, homemade meals where you can so that you’re still getting your nutrients and arming your body for the rich foods you may consume at other times.’
For this reason, party season is the perfect time to pop a supplement. Perricone’s MD Superberry With Acai Dietry Supplement Powder, will provide a powerful dose of much-needed antioxidants whilst Sarah Chapman’s Omega+ Booster Supplement x 90 Capsules, will help to sooth inflammation. If spots are an issue, try a calming, clarifying serum such as Balance Me’s Congested Skin Serum, and fire fight with a targeted on-the-spot treatment such as REN’s ClearCalm Non-Drying Spot Treatment.
‘The best thing you can do to help offset the increase in alcohol consumption over the Christmas period is to stay as hydrated as possible,’ advises Debbie. ‘When you’re dehydrated, your body doesn’t circulate water to the skin properly and it retains it in the wrong areas. As a result, your face can look dull, blotchy and puffy, especially around the eyes. I always drink water in between each alcoholic drink, but another tip that I started practising a few years ago is taking rehydration salts. These are usually mixed with a glass of water and they contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and salts that will help to rebalance your electrolytes and get your body working optimally again.’
Moisture is also key for your skincare, so load up on hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. We love Evolve Organic Beauty’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum, followed by Murad’s Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture. Sheet masks were made for this time of year and La Mer’s The Treatment Lotion Hydrating Sheet Mask is pure post-party indulgence without the guilt. Meanwhile, for puffy, ‘why-did-I-have-that-last-espresso-martini’ eyes, try Rodial’s Dragon Blood Eye Masks x 8.
Keep calm and carry on
‘Stress during the party season can have a knock-on effect on your complexion leading to skin fatigue which shows up as dullness, enlarged pores and dryness,’ says Debbie. ‘Help your skin by switching up your skincare routine to protect, nourish and counteract any adrenal fatigue it may be facing. Try incorporating a product containing ceramides, to repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier while helping to keep out irritants and lock in moisture.’
We love Aveda’s Stress-Fix Concentrate Rollerball, to induce a sense of calm, even on the go. Darphin’s Vetiver Aromatic Care Stress Relieve Detox Oil-Mask, is perfect for soothing an overwrought epidermis and can be combined with Estée Lauder’s perfectly portable Stress Relief Eye Masks. Finally, help to bolster that all-important barrier with a ceramide-packed serum such as Elizabeth Arden’s Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum.
‘If you find that your skin is still looking a little dull and puffy and needs a quick pick-me-up, reach for an ice cube,‘ says Debbie. ‘Rubbing one over your face can improve microcirculation as blood flows to the area which can in turn help with detoxification. Place the ice cube in a Liz Earle Pure Muslin Cloth and keep it moving swiftly across the face for 1-2 minutes to instantly plump, brighten and depuff, or sit back and let Lancôme’s Rose Sorbet Cryo-Mask, do the work for you. Then revive tired eyes with a cooling eye mask such as Clarins’ Hydra-Essentiel Cooling Eye Mask.
‘I also recommend using a good-for-your-skin foundation that can occasionally be slept in, or lets your skin go from day-to-night without causing any damage,’ says Debbie. We love bareMinerals’ Original SPF15 Foundation.