This time of year, you might generally be running from party to party, possibly over-indulging on alcohol and under-indulging on sleep. While the 2020 holiday season looks a bit different, you’re still under stress this time of year. The weather is colder and drier than it is during the warmer parts of the year, and on top of the standard elements, you are also likely dealing with wearing a mask and the havoc those can cause on your skin. If you want to head into 2021 with fresh, ageless skin, we have some tips for you.
If it’s cold and windy where you are, then your skin will likely be drier now than it was during the summer and early fall. Also, if you use heating in your home or workplace, that is drying out the air. Your skin is the unwitting victim to these weather woes: As the humidity level in the air goes down, the suppleness of your skin also goes down. There are two ways to keep your ageless skin hydrated: from the outside and the inside out.
Using a good moisturizer after washing your skin and applying any serums or masks (and before applying makeup if you use it) will help lock in moisture. And drinking plenty of fluids (non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated) will keep your body well-hydrated, leading to more supple skin. You might also consider using a humidifier in some cases but be sure to keep it clean to prevent mildew and bacteria from building up.
Stick to Your Normal Skincare Routine
After a late-night of watching holiday movies or wrapping gifts, you might be tempted to fall into bed without washing your face, applying your eye cream, and slathering on moisturizer. Do not give in! No matter what is going on, it is essential to wash and moisturize your skin twice daily.
If you do not have time for makeup or masks, that is okay; you can always add these things back into your routine later. Remember to wash with lukewarm water. Yes, a hot shower feels fantastic on a cold day, but it is not what is best for your skin. Showers should be comfortably warm and if you are washing your face at the sink, go for slightly cooler water. This will prevent dryness.
Also, use a cleanser formulated for your skin type. If you had oily skin in the summer, you might have combination, regular, or even dry skin now. Check your face and body to look for signs of dryness like roughness, flaking, or itchiness. Those are all signs that you need to switch to a cleanser and moisturizer for dry skin.
Don’t Overdo the Salt and Alcohol
Even if you are not going to many parties this year, you might still enjoy salty seasonal foods or spirited drinks. We would not begrudge you these pleasures in moderation! But when you overdo the salt and alcohol, you will notice some puffiness, lines, and other signs of overconsumption.
The best solution is prevention, but if you have overindulged, up to your intake of fluids, get some exercise, and be sure to get some extra sleep for a night or two afterward. Stick to a healthy diet, preferably one with some diuretic foods, like cucumbers and watermelon. These will help flush those excess fluids out of your skin.
Don’t Neglect Your Body Skin
There is a lot of focus on your face during the holiday season, but if you are itchy and scratchy under your seasonal sweater or adorable leggings, that is no fun.
- In the shower, exfoliate with a scrub or a washcloth.
- Avoid body poufs unless you’re changing them out every few weeks, as they harbor bacteria and can cause more trouble than they prevent.
- Apply a heavy moisturizer if your skin is dry; seasonal scents are optional.
- Do not soak for a long time in a hot bath – this can cause dryness.
- Choose soft fabrics to go next to your skin to keep yourself comfortable.
Take Care of Maskne Before It Begins
This year, we have the added challenge of wearing a mask in most public locations throughout the country. If you are in an area where you need to mask to stay safe, you might notice that you have some acne starting on your chin and cheeks. This is called “maskne,” and it is becoming a common issue.
The good news is that you do not have to give up safety to combat it! Just be sure to wash your face before and after wearing a mask. You do not need to wash it if you wore it for 20 minutes in the grocery store, but if you are working in an office or are spending several hours shopping, you will want to wash your face afterward.
Also, make sure your mask is always clean. If it starts to feel moist, switch it out for a new one. This means that you should always have an extra mask or two with you just in case. Disposable masks should, of course, be tossed in a trash can, and reusable masks should be adequately washed: Use warm or hot water and a mild detergent.
If it can be machine-dried safely, then do so, then put them away promptly so they do not become dusty or otherwise dirty before you can wear them. Masks that cannot be dried can be hung up. Hanging them in the sun can kill any bacteria that made it through the wash cycle. The holiday season looks quieter and less busy than typical holiday seasons, which is not necessarily bad.
It gives you more time with those in your household and gives you more time to focus on good self-care, including your skincare regimen. Getting into a great routine now will serve you through 2021 and beyond with beautiful, ageless skin. Talk to your dermatologist or clinician if you have skincare concerns, but otherwise, a simple routine and some extra pampering should keep your ageless skin looking and feeling fabulous.