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Looking after your skin over the festive period

Christmas parties and festive catch-ups often mean too much alcohol, all the wrong food, and a lack of sleep resulting in tired, stressed skin. There are a few things you can do to help save your skin throughout December.

Stay hydrated

Even though the skin is the largest organ in your body, it is always the last one to get any essential nutrients, oxygen or water so being pickled for hours will literally suck the life out of your skin leaving it looking dull and often blotchy. Ideally you should aim to drink 8 glasses of water on a standard day and try to add a glass of water in between alcoholic beverages to help limit dehydration.

Beauty sleep

As you snooze, your skin’s collagen production increases, plumping cells and helping your skin’s lipids—the protective barrier found in the outermost layer—retain moisture, a key part of avoiding dryness. Most simply, hydrated skin remains firm and intact, reducing the appearance of fine lines and leaving you with a healthy-looking complexion that’s smooth and soft to touch.

During your deepest, most restorative sleep, known as the Delta stage, cell renewal kicks into high gear, increasing protein production and the release of growth hormones. As a result, your body’s cells repair themselves and begin to grow in number, which is an important part of protecting your skin from damaging factors. Sleep-deprived skin doesn’t get this benefit, leaving it more prone to developing conditions like wrinkles and eczema.

Just one sleepless night can begin to affect your skin’s appearance, leaving the surface looking dull. Ensuring you get enough shut-eye—seven to nine hours for most adults—not only keeps your complexion fresh but protects it from germs and irritants, helping to prevent acne and blemishes.

Watch what you eat

Do you find yourself saying ‘just one more’ over and over again when it comes to the sharing tubs of chocolates? Whilst sugar may boost your energy, it won’t help your skin. It can be hard not to over indulge in sweet snacks, but if you do need a chocolate fix opt for dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa. Studies have shown that after 6–12 weeks of consuming a cocoa powder high in antioxidants each day, participants experienced thicker, more hydrated skin. Nuts and seeds make great snacks and are a good source of skin-boosting nutrients too.

Add fatty types of fish, such as salmon, into your diet as they contain omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and keep skin moisturised. Serve with leafy greens which contain anti-aging antioxidants and minerals like vitamin A, C, and K.

Face mask

After a big night out, there’s nothing better than a soak in the bath with a relaxing sheet mask. Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask features ingredients – think vitamins, floral extracts and oils - which are clinically proven to reduce wrinkles, smooth, brighten, lift and hydrate your skin exactly where it needs it in just 15 minutes.

Clean, cleanse and moisturise

When it comes to removing makeup and cleaning your face, avoid skin wipes at all costs. Instead, opt for a gentle face wash that will leave your skin feeling fresh and clean.

Cleansing is an important step in a healthy skincare regime. Not only does it help to remove impurities from your skin - dirt, excess oil, dead skin - it also hydrates it and preps it for moisturisers, serums and masks.

Moisturiser is essential, but you should make sure you’re using the right one for your skin. Before purchasing, have a chat with the person serving you and seek their advice so you don’t add any unnecessary oils or dry the skin out further.

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