What’s your favourite part of the holiday season? Do you love sweet treats, a flurry of parties and sparkling cocktails shared with friends and family? Whatever you love about Christmas, there’s probably one thing you hate: skin problems caused by holiday activities. Many of the things we all love best are the worst things for our skin health. Happily, Austin Clinic has a wee Santa sack with four simple things you can do to ensure you and your skin both have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Without This, Your Skin Hasn’t Got a Chance
Along with a gaily decorated tree, brightly wrapped gifts, and holiday lights, dark under-eye circles and eye-bags are a hallmark of the Christmas season. Most of us are getting too little sleep and it shows. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. Between the hours of 11pm and midnight, cell division is at its peak, helping to renew and repair skin. Stress hormones fall and growth hormones are released during sleep too. This helps to strengthen skin and increase skin muscle mass.
Drink Up, But Don’t Forget This
Celebratory toasts are a wonderful part of the holidays. Whatever your choice of libation, be it prosecco, mulled wine, beer, specialty cocktails, fruit juice, or a non-alcoholic fizzy drink, make sure you drink plenty of water so you don’t become dehydrated. “Drinks containing high amounts of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar are most likely to perform as diuretics in the body and promote dehydration,” reports Medical News Today in an article on the subject.
Alcohol prevents the release of Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH), a hormone that allows your kidneys to absorb water and excrete urine, so you stay hydrated. If you combine 50 grams of alcohol with just 200 grams of water in a typical cocktail, you are likely to eliminate up to 800ml of liquid as urine. At that rate, it doesn’t take long to become dehydrated. Do your skin (and your kidneys) a favour and say “Water, please,” between rounds.
If you’re looking for help with skin hydration, look no further than Austin Skin’s own Hydrate Rich. It is ultra-hydrating to rejuvenate skin that has had too much holiday for its own good.
Don’t Be the Sugar Plum(p) Fairy
It’s a bittersweet truth that’s hard to swallow: Christmas sweets are bad for your skin. (They don’t do your waistline any favours either.) Christmas sweets cause a spike in blood sugar. When your blood sugar goes up, an inflammatory reaction occurs in your skin, causing problems such as acne. Women, in particular, should be aware of the havoc-wreaking properties of sugary food and drink. The effect sugar has on insulin levels can lead to a hormone imbalance, which in turn can make skin more sensitive and prone to flare-ups.
Another skin-ache caused by over-indulging your sweet tooth at Christmas is glycation (excess glucose in your skin fibres). Glycation keeps skin firm and supple until we enter our 20s at which time the process intensifies making once-supple collagen unable to keep skin firm by forming advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). AGEs are the reason the face starts to fall as we age.
Keeping your skin clean helps fight glycation. If your skin is inflamed or tends to be sensitive, we recommend Austin Skin’s Gentle Cleanse. It will leave your skin clean, but also super-supple thanks to natural ingredients like aloe vera and lactic acid.
If You Can’t Resist Chocolate, Go Dark
Our suggestions about alcohol and sweets may have you saying, “Bah, humbug, Austin Clinic! I’m going to have my cake and eat it too this Christmas.” We understand! We love holiday treats too. “The holiday treats I love the best are the ones with ingredients that are also good for my skin,” says Dr Austin. One of the most surprising of those ingredients is dark chocolate made with 70% cocoa. Cocoa is a superfood and a good friend to skin health. When it becomes chocolate, it becomes rich in vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E. It is rich in iron and calcium too!
Cosmopolitan magazine points out that dark chocolate can help boost skin moisture, soften wrinkles and even prevent pigmentation problems due to sun exposure. Oh, and did we mention how delicious it is?!
When You Need Something More
The skin experts at Austin Clinic and the Sanctuary are never further than an online enquiry away. Get in touch with us today. We can address your concerns, answer your questions, and help you get ready for the holidays and beyond with skin-loving treatments and products.