Holidays have come and gone. The sequined dress is at the dry cleaners. The poofy slippers are on the feet. And, if you’re not passed out on the sofa clicking through reruns of Madmen, wondering how they party so hard and still look so chic, chances are you’re looking in the mirror thinking, sheesh! What in the heck just happened to my skin?
Fun times, unfortunately, can have their price. But with a little effort, you can look as cute as Megan Draper does after a bender. Or at least, almost. Here’s how to get back your pre-holiday glow.
Get back on your sleep schedule. Safeguard your rest, and learn how to say no!
Use an eye cream! Try a formula preferably with caffeine and/or Vitamin K, AHA’s, vitamin C to reduce dark circles and puffiness. Keep the eye cream in the fridge to further bring down the poof.
Sleep on your back. This prevents fluid collection in the face and under your eyes.
Try some DIY remedies. There are the tried and true—cucumbers and tea bags—but here’s a few additional eye-savers to try for quick relief: ground ginger and honey, aloe, moist coffee grounds, turmeric and honey, avocado slices, and/or pineapple slices.
Switch to a sparkling cider—at least for awhile! Alcohol can trigger rosacea. The diuretic promotes skin dryness and it causes capillaries to dilate and flow more closely to the skin's surface, leading to redness and flushing.
Watch how you wash. Wash with warm, not hot, water to keep skin from drying out; avoid cleansers with harsh detergents (natural oil and glycerin soaps are good choices).
Seal in moisture. Choose a moisture-rich cream that contains emollients like ceramides to boost the skin’s natural barrier and seal moisture in (shea butter, olive oil and almond oil are other effective natural emollients). Reapply often.
Sleep with a humidifier. You may not be able to avoid the extremes of dry outdoor cold and indoor heating during the day. But using a humidifier at night can give skin a break.
Look for products with redness-reducing ingredients. Search for licorice extract, white tea extract, sea whip extract, turmeric, green tea, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, rose extract, cucumber and ginger. Want to DIY your own face mask? Mix licorice powder with aloe vera gel, leave on for 10 to 20 minutes, and remove with lukewarm water.
Reduce stress and calm skin through exercise. Exercise breaks the inflammation cycle in the body, calming and cooling your system. It also reduces production of DHT and DHEA, the hormones responsible in part for acne.
Eat a healthy diet. Take the time to prepare or at least purchase fresh food with whole grains, a variety of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and lean protein options.
Follow a regular skin care regimen. Keeping skin clean, exfoliated, hydrated, and protected is incredibly important when dealing with acne.
Visit your friendly neighborhood dermatologist. Your doctor and you can develop a multi-modal approach that can lead to real short-term relief as well as permanent results.
This article was originally published on January 1, 2013
Dr. Ava Shamban is a scientist, author, business owner, and supermom of three best known for her on-air expertise on “Extreme Makeover” or “The Doctors.” She is the Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the UCLA-Geffen School of Medicine, and recently published “Heal Your Skin: The Breakthrough Plan for Renewal.” Her mantra? “Life happens. It doesn’t have to show on your skin.” Follow her on Twitter at @DrAvaMD or tune in for more tips on YouTube at DrAvaMD.