’Tis the season… to eat a whole lot, get no sleep and say goodbye to your beauty routine. Yikes! Don’t worry, we get how hard it is to look after your skin (and yourself in general) during one of the busiest times of the year. Sometimes squeezing in a facial or indulging in an extensive bed-time routine is just not on the cards. Sugary foods, carb-ing up and late nights can wreak havoc on your skin. And, when your mother-in-law is exercising her camera phone skills, it is nothing short of a nightmare when you’ve broken out. To avoid Santa Claus knocking on your door and asking you to guide his sleigh, we’ve compiled a list of easy to-dos to keep you looking more Vixen than Rudolph. We’ll let you in on a little secret, there’s a way you don’t have to skimp out on Christmas pudding and you can definitely have that last mince pie! Add these simple, easy and quick fixes to your routine (which has likely gone right out the window) and you’ll be sleighing the season!
Take a cold shower
It may go against your better judgement, but, luckily Dubai doesn’t get that chilly so a cool shower is not necessarily terrifying. We all get a little puffy when we’ve had one too many late nights. As well as feeling bloated and drained, sugary snacks, sweets and carb overloads spike blood sugar and produce excess insulin. The rise in your insulin levels stimulate sebum production, cause hormone imbalances which can lead to breakouts and redness. Take the heat off your skin by having a cold shower which will encourage blood flow, seal your pores and speed up your skin’s recovery. If you don’t feel like diving in head first, have a warm shower but finish off with a cool rinse. This is also a dream for your hair! Yuliya Kazakova, Senior Facial Therapist at The Nail Pavillion said “After a late night the most common issue is puffiness/dark circles around your eyes, the best thing for this would be to use under eye patches as the gel has a firming effect around the eyes."
Lather up the moisturiser
During the winter season, temperatures drop - even in Dubai, just check your Facebook, there will be someone telling you all about it! The cool temperatures make the air much drier and cooler - causing it to strip the natural oils in your skin. Your skin’s natural oils act like a moisturiser so without them, your skin can experience major dryness. Turn to your moisturiser like it’s your best friend and don’t skimp out - layer it up. Lather your face (and body) in a thick layer of moisturiser and let it seep into your skin for half an hour. As an extra tip, warm the cream up in your hands and massage it into your skin. The heat from your hands will open your pores, making them soak up all the moisturising goodness. “Look for a skin moisturiser rich in vitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid. Must use a mineral based sunscreen and a Vitamin C antioxidant serum in the morning and a topical retinoid once a week at night. This will give you gorgeous, soft, hydrated skin. Yuliya Kazakova said: “For easy home care we suggest more nourishing facial creams as well as hydrating masks - sheet masks and clay masks work wonders.”
Drink plenty of water
It is one thing that you hear absolutely everywhere and that’s because it’s so important - drink water! One of the major concerns during the winter is dehydration. During summer, we generally feel warmer so it’s a constant reminder to drink water, but as the weather begins to get cooler, we forget. Your skin is an organ that is made up of cells, skin cells, like any other cell in the body, are made up of water so it’s vital that you replenish its levels. Approximately 50 to 70% of our bodies is made up of water and there’s a reason it’s been dubbed as
the ‘elixir of life,’ - because you need it!
Dr. Razan Al Kadry, Specialist Dermatologist from Emirates Speciality Hospital said: “Hydration is extremely important: for those who don’t like drinking normal water, add lemon juice or drink aloe vera juice or coconut water as a tasty and healthy alternative.” Invest in a water bottle that you can keep on you at all times and remind yourself to keep sipping throughout the day. If you’re a little bit dishevelled and forgetful during the busy season, there are even mobile phone apps that remind you when to take a drink!
Get to know your essential oils
Essential oils can do a number of things. But, some of our favourites to help breathe some life into your skin are: lavender, lemongrass, ylang ylang and tea tree. When applying essential oil to your face, dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, castor oil, Vitamin E oil or coconut oil. Essential oils can be very strong so you don’t want to apply them directly to your skin. Lavender is widely known for helping calm stress and encourage relaxation - which is exactly what it does for your skin too. If you’re feeling puffy or are experiencing some redness, combine lavender oil with a carrier oil and apply to your face before bed or after a shower. Lemongrass oil is a great astringent and can be used as a toner to give you a gorgeous glow. Ylang ylang also works as a toner and helps combat an excessive amount of sebum which causes oiliness and breakouts. Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties which cleans spots and removes bacteria that sits on your skin and in your pores. Adding oils to oily skin may seem counterproductive but it is, in fact, the opposite! As oil attracts oil, it can dissolve sebum, grease or makeup without stripping the skin of its natural oils. It’s a matter of science, really!