You might be able to mask the stress of the season with exuberant holiday cheer, but what you can’t hide are the blemishes, the puffiness and the redness on your face. But Pablo Prichard, MD, the chief of plastic surgery at John C. Lincoln Medical Center, offered skincare tips from sunblock to dermabrasion to help combat suffering skin through the holiday season. Here’s what to do to keep your skin radiant and glowing throughout the holiday season.
Though it’s tempting to substitute water for a mugful of hot cocoa during the holiday season, Dr. Prichard emphasized that “general hydration is important.” Dull skin is a sign that the skin has been “depleted of moisture,” and “plumping that complexion is important.”
If you really want to revamp your skin’s hydration, Dr. Prichard recommended hyaluronic acid.
“Using something like a hyaluronic acid on the skin … hydrates the skin locally, and that can kind of plump the skin up [and] make it look radiant,” Prichard said.
Also, limiting salt intake will aid in your overall hydration.
“Salty foods will kind of deplete the moisture from the skin,” Prichard said. “Low in sodium is important.”
Along with reducing salt, focus on enhancing your diet with skin-conscious foods. According to Forbes, “a healthy diet lays the foundation” for supple, dewy skin.
Antioxidants and supplements
Dr. Prichard said that antioxidants are not only “very important” for “skin health” in terms of “brightening, tightening and firming” the skin, but they also help “produce collagen” and “increase cell turnover.”
“I like oral vitamin C as well as a product with vitamin C,” Prichard said. “There are a lot of good skincare lines that have vitamin C in them. Both the ingested antioxidant and the topical antioxidant are very important.”
Try adding antioxidant-rich foods like tomatoes and pomegranate seeds to your diet, and swap out the milk chocolate for dark.
Dr. Prichard also suggested using a “retinol” formula, which is “derivative of vitamin A” and can “dry out” blemishes and acne while simultaneously “improving the skin.”
But if you still want that extra boost, consider a trip to a skincare specialist. Procedures tailored to your skin’s needs are crucial for amplifying the aesthetic of your skin — and they also make for great gifts!
Though Dr. Prichard believes that “facials” are a great way to give you a “temporary glow,” he said there are “a lot” of alternative procedures he would recommend.
“Peels, like glycolic acid peels, are great for exfoliation, which helps with acne-prone skin,” Prichard said. “You get all these dead skin cells that are plugging up the pores and causing a buildup of these little pustules.”
Along with peels, Dr. Prichard is an advocate for microneedling treatments.
“Microneedling is a huge thing that’s gained a lot of popularity … [and] causes these tiny perforations in the skin,” Prichard said. “The skin is healing those perforations by laying down collagen and thus getting thicker. That’s a great way to combat thin skin.”
While microneedling requires “upkeep,” it has minimal “downtime.” And the holiday break is the perfect time to have this kind of procedure done.
“I’ve actually had [microneedling] done on my face, and then I’ll operate the same day,” Prichard said. “You’ll get some redness there in the face, [but] it’s pretty low downtime. The chemical peels, also the lighter peels, have very low downtime.”
Dr. Prichard also recommended “dermabrasion” or “microdermabrasion” for those with acne scars, though these procedures can be a bit more invasive.
Products and UV protectants
However, some skincare treatments can be a bit costly and, especially during the season of giving, you might want to be more frugal in terms of spending money on yourself.
Thus, it’s important not to slack off on your skincare regimen during the holidays if your goal is luminous skin. As a final takeaway, Dr. Prichard highlighted simple tips that can have tremendous long-term effects.
“I recommend my patients to wear sunblock everyday,” Prichard said. “If you’re outside a bit, you need to be reapplying it during the day.”
Dr. Prichard also suggested looking for makeup products that contain SPF.
“There are a fair amount of cosmetic lines that have sunblock in them which I think is very beneficial, so I’m definitely not opposed to that,” Prichard said.
Dr. Prichard said to be “careful” when studying the “ingredients” of a product. He said to look for products containing a “zinc oxide” or a “titanium oxide,” as they “reflect the harmful UV rays” of the sun.
“Talk to your dermatologist or plastic surgeon about what you’re using,” Prichard said.
And finally, despite the negative stigma, Dr. Prichard said he is “not against” drugstore products.
“If at all possible, I recommend you don’t dry out acne skin, and you try to moisturize and get dry skin that needs to turnover,” Prichard said. “Increase the collagen output. Retinol is really important as well as the peels that turnover the cells frequently.”