The festive season spells good times for your social life but your skin can suffer, says Natalie Ticehurst. Here’s how to party like a boss and still have the complexion of a queen
Come party time, the Christmas tipples are on tap. But the thing is, those mulled wines and cocktails have a seriously dehydrating effect on our skin. ‘Alcohol puts stress on our liver’s natural detoxification process and on our hormone balance, causing skin to become dry, dull, congested and prone to barrier-function issues,’ says facialist Abigail James.
‘To combat this, choose face products that support the skin’s surface and boost natural moisture levels without weighing it down – look out for hyaluronic acid and ceramides, which rapidly boost hydration levels.’ Try Revolution Skincare Plumping & Hydrating Solution combined with CeraVe Facial Moisturising Lotion.
‘And don’t just focus on your face,’ adds Abigail. ‘Keep your body hydrated, too.’ We love Aveeno Daily Moisturising Yogurt Body Cream as daily TLC.
You went out for ‘just one drink’, but suddenly it’s night tube/taxi time. If you’re #teamnosleep, chances are your skin’s looking worse than the post-booze blues after the office party. ‘When we sleep, our body is in regeneration mode, so after a few late nights, this process is compromised and skin suffers,’ says chef and food consultant Tess Ward.
To bring it back to life, dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto says acids are the answer. ‘Using a chemical exfoliant AHA such as glycolic or lactic acid will help bring blood to the surface of the skin, making it look pink and healthy.’ Try Nip+Fab Glycolic Fix Liquid Glow Daily 2%.
‘Keep your eyes peeled for vitamin C and arbutin, which can re-energise tired skin – but they’re potent, so use them sparingly, when you need a boost,’ adds Dr Mahto. Superdrug Vitamin C Nourishing Gel Moisturiser is a morning-after marvel.
If you can’t manage to stop crawling in past midnight, maximise the hours you do get with magnesium. ‘Alcohol disturbs sleep, but magnesium can help relax the body so you switch off more quickly,’ says Tess. Work a supplement or spray, such as BetterYou Magnesium Oil Original Spray into your bedtime routine.
Much More Makeup
You’re usually in the foundation-free brigade, but the first tinkle of Last Christmas on the radio and you’ve gone gung-ho for a full face. The stop-the-spots solution? An extra skincare step. ‘Before a night out, rather than applying more makeup on top of what you’ve already got on, cleanse and use a hyaluronic acid serum like La Roche-Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Serum to help protect skin. Then use an oil-free primer that suits your skin type and won’t clog pores,’ says Dr Mahto. We swear by MUA Pro/Base Oil Free Primer.
‘Before bed, do a double-cleanse. This involves using a cleansing oil, balm or micellar water to break down makeup, then skincare and sebum, followed by a water-based cleanse. The second round of cleansing goes much deeper to help remove impurities, dead skin cells and bacteria,’ she adds. Try Superdrug Vitamin E Dual Phase Cleansing Oil paired with B. Creamy Foam Hydrating Cleanser.
Have you swapped Pilates for pizza? Sore heads can turn the strongest-willed of us into carb-munching machines, while coffee or a can of Coke becomes the cure-all for one too many late nights. But Tess warns, ‘Try not to live on caffeine, as it’s an extra stressor for the liver, when we’re already giving it
a lot to process. When the canapés come out, opt for crudités, houmous and avocado dips, and be aware of how much meat and pastries you consume.
‘Prebiotics are also an ingredient to look out for,’ Tess adds. ‘They provide skin (and gut) benefits by encouraging the growth of good bacteria. As well as taking them in through the foods you eat, using products containing prebiotics may help improve your microbiome and restore the skin barrier.’ We rate Superdrug Avocado & Oat Facemask and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Sensitive Crème.