It’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is here. While the holidays are meant to be cheerful and merry, this time of year can also be one of the most stressful. Packing our schedules with events, travel and family time while getting work wrapped up for the year can increase stress and disrupt our healthy diets, fitness, and skincare routines.
When we stress, our bodies produce more cortisol, which is a hormone responsible for regulating metabolism. During short periods of stress, cortisol production can spike and affect your skin in many ways from inflammation to dryness, acne, rosacea and eczema flare-ups. If stress is prolonged, your skin may experience loss of radiance, elasticity and other rapid signs of aging like uneven tone and texture. Here are five steps you can take to beat holiday skin stress and stay on track.
If you have an established Skin Fitness routine, you know how great your skin feels after a thorough wash, polish and tone. During periods of increased stress, give yourself and your skin care routine a little extra time. Massage your face and neck while cleansing, take your time with your polish, and take a few deep breaths while toning. Not only will your skin thank you, so will your body and brain. Taking just a few extra minutes to be kind to yourself and breathe can do a lot for stress reduction.
There is nothing better than homemade holiday treats and indulging in a classic cocktail at the work soiree, but what you eat and drink can show up on your face and affect your skin quickly. In addition to sticking with your Skin Fitness routine, make sure to drink plenty of water during the holiday season. Dehydrated skin looks older and can lead to blocked pores and blemishes.
Travel can be especially harsh on the skin. The combination of sleep deprivation combined with dehydration and the high sodium snacks commonly available on planes can set off a host of skin issues. Treat yourself to a medical-grade facial like Hydrafacial before your trip to give your skin a deep cleanse and high dose of hydration before you go.
Speaking of travel, don’t use the holidays as an excuse to skimp on sunscreen! From the mountains to the sea, to grandma’s house in the woods, protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays is the single-most important thing you can do to keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. Sunscreen also makes a great gift for anyone with skin! Pick up our patient favorite MMMD Protect and give the gift of good health and great skin to your family and friends.
It’s not easy to get great sleep during the busy holiday season, but practicing good sleep habits can help. Set your alarm for the same time every morning, even while traveling and try to stick to it. Put screens away and limit exposure to blue light at least an hour before bedtime. Make sure to regularly wash your pillowcases and bedding to keep bacteria build up from causing breakouts. If all else fails, take an eye cream and use products high in antioxidants. We love skinbetter science®. Existing patients can reorder products online.