The holiday season is almost upon us, and as we prepare for all of the Christmas nights out, dinners and lunches, it's vital to think about the health of our skin at this indulgent time of year. Just when we need our skin to look its best, as we enjoy wrapping up in our Christmas best for annual social gatherings, our skin suffers due to the increase in alcohol consumption, decadent food and the harsh winter weather. Not taking the correct precautions can leave our skin looking dull and weary, and on top of that for many of us, the dreaded annual Christmas breakouts.
Eavanna Breen, the founder of highly regarded Dublin 2 beauty clinic, Akina, says:
"A lot of my clients come to me worried about how their skin will respond to the excess indulgences they enjoy throughout the holiday season. Our skin can suffer from all the extra delicious food, sweet snacks, and alcohol. Because of this, plus the significantly colder and stormier weather, our skin tries to adapt as best it can, leaving it looking congested, exhausted, and lacklustre.”
"I understand how frustrating it can be, especially at Christmas time, when we want to feel and look our best for the celebrations, but the important thing is not to worry, there are lots of steps we can take to help our skin cope better and shine throughout the festive season”.
Here are Eavanna's top 5 expert tips to get your skin successfully through to the new year unscathed:
You still need SPF:
While UVB levels are often lower in the winter, UVA levels—the UV rays that cause our skin to age—are still very high. You can still be in danger of skin cancer and early ageing from UV radiation even on cloudy days. Even though it can be difficult to believe on dark, chilly, winter days, we need SPF. This is one step that should never be neglected, no matter the time of year.
“The Protect & Care Sun Oil by German, applied-science led skincare brand Skinmade, is the best sun protection product I've ever used. You only need a tiny drop in the morning to provide 8 hours of complete protection. UVA and UVB protection are offered throughout the day by this SPF 50 sun oil. The world's strongest antioxidant is also included in the ingredient list, so in addition to offering total sun protection, it also actively doing wonders for your skin health.”
Protect your Skin Barrier:
Our vulnerability to pollution, water loss, sensitivities, and bacterial infections that cause breakouts increases when our skin barrier is thin, damaged, or impaired, which harsher weather can often induce. Consider the skin barrier on your body as a bodyguard that keeps out all the harmful toxins. Using chemicals like niacinamide and antioxidants in your skincare routine can assist with maintaining a healthy barrier.
“It's possible to over-treat your skin just as much as it is to under-treat it. Take the uncertainty out of skincare decisions by speaking to a skin expert about your skincare routine at home. A massive percentage of the Irish population are not using the correct skincare products for their individual skin. Speak to a skin expert, such as the team at Akina Beauty Clinic, about skincare products that will really work for you”.
Your skin operates according to its circadian rhythm, carrying out specific tasks at specific times during the night. You might be denying your skin the chance to rejuvenate and mend itself if you don't get a full night's sleep.
“A top tip is to stop drinking alcohol at least one hour before going to bed and refrain from eating too close to bedtime, to help achieve a restful night’s sleep. Your skin will sincerely thank you for it.”
Prevent Dry, Chapped Lips:
Because there are fewer oil glands on your lips than the rest of your body, the skin there is thinner and more delicate. Lips can become dry and chapped due to cold weather, sun exposure, dehydration, and frequent lip-licking.
"Mesotherapy is a non-invasive procedure that involves tiny injections of a mixture of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and hyaluronic acid into the mesodermal layer (middle layer) of the skin. This method overcomes the limitations of topical product application by enabling this lip-smacking concoction to reach its desired location and nourishes and regenerates the skin. Having this done all over the face will ensure gorgeous, glowing Christmas skin, but be sure to include your lips in the pain-free process”.
Don't Drink Yourself Dry:
Alcohol is a diuretic, which causes the body to become dehydrated and lose salt and water. Dehydration's effects on the skin include dry skin, sunken eyes, dry lips, and flushing. Alcohol can exacerbate inflammatory disorders including acne, eczema, and psoriasis because it also induces inflammation.
“On a night out, being clever about your alcohol consumption and limiting the amount of alcohol you consume can help you stay hydrated. Try switching to lower alcohol alternatives such as an alcoholic seltzer water option, which are now hugely popular, and always remember to drink a glass of water between every alcoholic drink. Switching to soda or sparkling water as your mixer is also an easy skin-winning tip. Your hangover, as well as your skin, will be extremely grateful!”
Combat excess rich and sugary foods with retinol:
A natural process known as glycation is where sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules known as advanced glycation end products or AGEs for short.
Eavanna says: “The more sugar you eat the more of these AGEs are produced in your body. This is bad news because the body does not recognise AGEs as normal and will produce antibodies that in turn cause inflammation in the skin. They also cause protein to become stiff and malformed, the proteins in skin that are affected are the collagen and elastin proteins, the same ones that are responsible for keeping our skin looking fresh and youthful. Using antioxidant ingredients like Vitamin C and Retinol will help to counteract the effects of excess sugar on the skin”.
Daily skin treatments and consultations are available with Eavanna Breen and the expert Akina Beauty Clinic team. The experienced team will do a full examination of your skin during each appointment, including an artificial intelligence-led "skin read," to address any issues you may have, and put you on the right path to achieving optimum skin health and complexion.