Ahhhh the holidays….filled with joyous family reunions, gift-giving, delicious feasts oh….and bloating, breakouts and total body meltdowns. Our change in habits during this time of year (more sugar and alcohol consumption, less self-care, etc) can lead to a variety of negative results including bloating, excess water retention, increased pain and swelling in the body, increased arthritis, poor skin tone, blemishes, and full-on breakouts. Here are 7 tips to keep your skin glowing and blemish-free this holiday season!
1. Regulate sugar, alcohol, dairy and grains consumption
We know by now that sugar, dairy, grains and alcohol can wreak havoc on our gut health. Poor gut health = systemic inflammation which can lead to many of the outcomes listed above. If you know you will be attending a holiday gathering packed with all these foods and beverages, be sure to really love up on your gut before and after the event. This means loading up on plenty of whole fruits and vegetables to keep digestion smooth. Along with this, try cutting back on the consumption of added sugar, dairy, grains, and alcohol in your daily life to help offset the consumption of these at gatherings.
Try shifting the way you approach food. Rather than looking at a food or beverage and considering how happy it will make you emotionally consider what chain of reactions that food will set off within your body. Does this mean you can’t enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving? Of course not! The damage from one piece of pie or 1-2 alcoholic beverages can be offset, but the damage from 1 piece of pie, 3 cookies, a glass of eggnog and 5 glasses of wine is going to be exponentially harder to recover from.
What To Do:
- Reduce sugar, dairy, grains and alcohol consumption in daily life
- Up consumption of whole fruits and vegetables prior to an event
- Eat consciously and intentionally at events to avoid over-consumption of these inflammation-causing items
2. Stay hydrated
When our bodies are dehydrated every single function begins to slow down. Seventy-five percent of Americans are dehydrated on a daily basis and this number only increases during the holiday season. Staying properly hydrated can play a big role in helping the gut recover from upsetting food, reduce systemic inflammation and keep the body’s natural detoxification process running optimally.
What To Do:
- Set a goal for daily water consumption. General guidelines are to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day (120lbs = 60 ounces of water/day).
- Before AND after a holiday event add at least 20 ounces of extra water consumption
3. Increase antioxidant consumption
Did you know that alcohol and many pharmaceutical drugs can kill antioxidants in the body? Whether you will be attending a string of events or just casually enjoying a glass of wine at dinner, you will want to be replenishing your antioxidants after any amount of alcohol. Oxidative stress leads to increased inflammation and aging of both the body and skin. Fresh sources like blueberries, artichokes, cranberries, raspberries, etc are always best, but of course, you can look for supplements and/or teas as well to replenish lost antioxidants.
What To Do:
- Consciously increase your consumption of antioxidants through fresh whole foods or through teas/supplements/powders
- Try adding an antioxidant-rich powder to a smoothie or hot water
Here are a few of our favorites:
4. Optimize natural detoxification
Toxic overload plays a big role in inflammation and particularly acne breakouts. Supporting the body’s natural ability to detox is the best way to prevent these negative outcomes:
- Follow all the above-mentioned tips up to this point
- Sauna Use
- Saunas are incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons, but one of the most applicable is detoxification. Sauna use has been found to detox the body of heavy metals, pesticides, alcohol, etc. Read all about the benefits of sauna use for detoxification here. Aim to use the sauna 3-4 times a week for best results.
- Milk Thistle and/or Dandelion tea/supplements
- Milk Thistle and Dandelion are both rich in antioxidants, help heal the gut and both heal and prevent liver damage. Consider taking a milk thistle/dandelion supplement/tea daily or at the very least the day of and the day after an event. Read more about Milk Thistle and Dandelion here.
- Walking is an amazing way to activate the lymphatic system and help stimulate better toxin excretion. Consider adding a 30-40 minute walk to your routine a few times a week and particularly after a holiday event.
5. Switch to a clean makeup brand
If you are going to be wearing more makeup than usual consider switching to a natural, clean and effective beauty brand. Two of our favorites include La Bella Donna and Youngblood. This is something that anyone who wears makeup should consider doing anyway! The combination of inflammation caused by holiday foods along with the irritation from low-quality and toxic makeup = skin chaos. Some of these include skin rashes, redness, irritation, breakouts, and poor skin tone.
And we know you have heard it before, but be sure to ALWAYS wash makeup off completely. Our Gentle Facial Cleanser is a favorite for gentle, thorough and calming makeup removal.
La Bella Donna:
6. Don’t Slack on Your Skincare Routine
Part of this includes always removing makeup as mentioned above, but the other part means paying attention to your skin and giving it what it needs. Again, alcohol, sugar, dairy and grains all can cause irritation and inflammation. During the next few months consider using more healing and hydrating products. We list a few of our favorites below. Read more about how Fall and Winter weather affects the skin here.
Our favorite cold weather products:
7. Monthly facial with a mini in between
To prevent breakouts or to help clear them up quickly, maintain your monthly facial routine. At Facial Lounge, we are one of the few who perform gentle, dermatologist-approved extractions. Along with this, our new red and blue light treatments are game-changers when it comes to reducing inflammation, killing acne-causing bacteria, improving skin tone and reducing fine lines and wrinkles. View before and afters and read all about it here! Ask your esthetician about upgrading your facial with red and/or blue light for $40.
You may even consider coming in for a mini facial after an even to be proactive at preventing adverse skin issues. Our mini facials are $69 and can also include both extractions and red/blue light treatments.