Although this time of year is filled with exciting activities, Christmas lights and music, festive treats and holiday get-togethers, it can be challenging to enjoy all the merriment of the holiday season when your skin decides to act out. Don’t let your skin dictate your holiday season, treat your winter skin with care by using products that will leave it glowing and ready to impress this winter season.

Kimberly Smith, aesthetician at Rejuvena Health & Aesthetics in Scottsdale uses her handmade holiday masks this time of year to help clients achieve their skincare goals. The Christmas tree mask with cranberry, avocado, honey and vanilla brightens, hydrates and calms skin, while the hot chocolate mask with cocoa, honey, vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon firms, energizes and hydrates skin.

Kimberly Smith

Smith recommends ingredients such as honey, avocado, vanilla and cranberry, which help skin in various ways to retain moisture, brighten or heal. “I use organic honey that is unfiltered and raw, so that means that all the wonderful stuff about it is preserved, so you’ve got natural probiotics, a moisturizing element, healing and calming elements as well,” Smith says. “It’s also antimicrobial and it’s a humectant, so it draws moisture so that can be a very good thing for skin that’s trying to heal. So honey is a base for a lot of my masks, I use it on about 90 percent of the stuff I make, it’s one of my favorite things.” When using honey, Smith advises to dampen your skin first and leave the honey on your face for about five to 10 minutes then remove it with a warm washcloth. If you make a mask and have extra leftover, Smith says to store it in a plastic screw top container that will keep the air out and keep your mask fresh for more uses.

Cocoa, vanilla and avocado all have anti-inflammatory properties, and Smith says vanilla has a mood-elevating element as it “makes you think of the holiday season so that uplifts a lot of people, so I incorporate vanilla a lot because it gives you a feeling of well-being.” Cranberry matcha both brightens and energizes the skin since it has caffeine and is oxygenating, which Smith says gives her clients a luminous glow for this time of year.

“The number one complaint from my clients right now is their skin is dry, so anything I can do to get more hydration on their skin I’m all about. I think it’s important that the ingredients are as close to natural as you possibly can get,” Smith says.

The colder weather can dehydrate your skin or could cause it to breakout if you’re not taking the needed steps to care for your skin, like washing your makeup off before bed, using the right cleanser for your skin type or using products with harsh ingredients that further inflame or dehydrate your skin.

“This time of year there are a lot of holiday parties and I hear from my clients all the time: “I was so tired I fell asleep with my makeup on,” well that gets compounded when the air is really dry, it actually literally seals in bacteria into your skin, and you have a layer of skin that’s constantly building up and if you’re not removing that layer it builds up. What a lot of people don’t understand is it’s not just building up on the surface, it’s building up inside of the pore,” Smith explains.

So when people leave their makeup on overnight, it gets compacted into the pores and traps bacteria on the skin, which Smith says causes our skin to breakout.

“You’re setting yourself up for a major breakout and the stress that comes with the holidays just compounds it. So when you break out, it becomes something that feeds into itself, so number one thing I tell my clients is I don’t care how tired you are, wash your face,” Smith says. Clients can set themselves up for success, she says, by leaving or setting out the products they need to wash their face before they go out for the evening.

In addition to removing your makeup, cleansing is one of the most important things for your skin Smith says, but some people use a cleanser that over strips their skin, which can cause their skin to become dry and can set them up for breakouts. “Your skin should feel comfortable after you cleanse it. If it doesn’t then that’s a sign you’re using something that’s too harsh for you,” Smith says. “When people have a breakout, they’re stressed, and their skin is dry, and they don’t understand what’s happening, so a lot of people have this knee-jerk type of reaction and they throw the kitchen sink at it. So it’s important to be kind and use calming products on your skin until you can see a professional you trust who can treat those skin concerns.” Seeing a professional can not only help you towards reaching your skin care goals, but you can also receive recommendations on what products are best to use for your skin type, in addition to natural ingredients such as avocado, cocoa and honey that can leave your skin clear and glowing.

Although 2018 has seen some interesting skincare trends such as charcoal, sheet masks and unusual facials, Smith thinks in 2019 there will be more products that are multi-tasking and don’t require using as many different products. “I think making things easier for people so they’ll be more compliant is the direction things are going. I like being a minimalist and I also like knowing when I tell someone to do something they’re going to do it because if there are too many steps, they won’t do it because it takes too long.” That trend is already present in many beauty products such as micellar water that removes makeup and cleanses, face scrubs that exfoliate and brighten and masks that even out skin tone and moisturize.

So next time you head out to your holiday festivities or outdoors, don’t let winter get the best of your skin, treat it well — cheers to a wonderful holiday season with skin that glows.