Holiday Skincare Tips | Combating Extra Sugar, Salt and Alcohol (and Lack of Sleep!)
Skincare for the Holidays: The season is filled with good cheer (that’s not always so good for the skin). Here’s our Holiday Skincare Guide to make sure your skin survives all the extra merry making:
Holiday Skin Problem: Sugar
Sugary treats are are all around us at the holidays. From hot chocolate to gingerbread men, your skin can pay the price of overindulging. Refined sugar produces inflammation, which breaks down collagen and elastin in the skin. It can even bind to substances in the blood to create what are called sugar-protein complexes, which can lead to glycation. When this process happens, skin can sag and wrinkle. Additionally, for people with acne and rosacea, sugar can exacerbate their symptoms and cause skin to flare.
Skincare Solution: Too Much Sugar
The key is to minimize the effects of sugar being released into the bloodstream quickly. Slow this process down by eating some slow-digesting proteins and fiber, along with your sugary treat. The next day, be sure to eat a low-sugar, low-carb breakfast that’s high in protein with a moderate level of fat. This will work to burn up energy that comes from stored-up sugar.
Holiday Skincare Problem: Salt
Salt lurks in more holiday foods than you might expect. From the cheese plate to cured ham, too much salt causes skin to retain water. This can lead to swelling and, in particular, puffy eyes. Too much salt can also spike blood pressure, which can affect collagen production and weaken the skin.
Skincare Solution: Too Much Salt
It’s important to flush excess sodium from your system. You can do this by drinking water or sweating it out through your pores with cardio exercise.
Holiday Skincare Problem: Alcohol
Eggnog and holiday punch are certainly festive. However, too much alcohol can cause a trifecta of damage to the skin. First, it’s a diuretic, which means alcohol inhibits hydration of the skin. Dehydration can make skin look tired and dull with more pronounced lines, pores and wrinkles. Second, alcohol’s a vasodilator, which is a fancy way of saying it dilates capillaries and makes dark circles appear more prominent under the eyes. And, finally, consuming alcohol inhibits the body’s ability to absorb Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that’s responsible for promoting cell turnover and fighting off free-radicals.
Skincare Solution: Too Much Alcohol
Prevent overindulging on alcohol in the first place with some strategic thinking at holiday gatherings:
- Consume only one drink per hour
- Be sure not to drink on an empty stomach
- Continue to eat as you drink (particularly complex carbs)
- Alternate an alcoholic beverage with a non-alcoholic one
- Avoid sugary or carbonated drinks, which speed up alcohol absorption in the body
Holiday Skincare Problem: Lack of Sleep
From late night gift wrapping to extra nights on the town, your skin might not be getting its beauty rest. While you’re asleep, your body’s working overtime to remove dead skin cells and repair the skin. Without this nightly cellular turnover, you won’t look as restored and refreshed as usual in the morning. Lack of sleep can also lower your skin’s pH levels, which can kick off a cascade of effects from drier skin to increased redness to uneven skin tone to acne or rosacea breakouts.
Skincare Solution: Too Little Sleep
Unfortunately, only you can clock more hours of rest during the holidays. We can offer tips to make sleep more productive and restorative. Sleep better by:
- Avoiding food and alcohol two hours before bedtime
- Avoiding caffeine four hours before bedtime
- Exercising regularly, which encourages deeper sleep
- Taking a short nap (no more than 30 minutes) to make up for any sleep loss
About Smooth Synergy Medical Spa
Medical Director George Liakeas, MD and CEO Nicole Contos founded Smooth Synergy NYC in 2002, as the first cosmedical spa in New York City. Since then, they have been dedicated to providing real skincare solutions with superior results to each client who walks through their doors. Smooth Synergy is also the premiere place for PRP in New York City. Dr. Liakeas brings over 20 years of medical experience and a keen eye for aesthetics to every cosmetic aesthetic procedure he performs. To find out which treatment from their comprehensive menu might be right for you, call us at 212-397-0111. An Expert in Beauty is available to create a customized beauty plan to meet your individual skincare needs.