Top 10 Healthy Holiday Skin Tips!

The holidays are wonderful! I am a huge fan of the fun, food and festivities! But I am NOT a fan of forced air causing dry cracked skin, the cold air causing chapped, bleeding lips, and myriad other skin conditions that tend to crop up in the cooler holiday months. So here are a few tips to get through the holidays with your skin (and hopefully sanity) intact!

1. With dry winter air and increased using of heating, dry skin is extremely common problem in the winter. In many of us, that can lead to what we call “ashy” skin where the skin appears almost white or covered in ash- you can thank layers of dead skin cells sticking to your skin for that. The best remedy for this is a gentle exfoliation in the shower followed by immediate application of your favorite thick, fragrance free moisturizer to slightly wet skin. The key is to get the skin greased up while still just slightly wet- if it the skin is already dry, then it’s like oil on sandpaper and won’t absorb at all.
2. Winter holidays call for parties and if you’re lucky and blessed with strong ankles, open toed and open heeled shoes! To keep feet looking great, wear thick moisturizer with cotton socks at night and consider doing an exfoliating foot peel. I recommend Baby foot peel in a lovely lavender scent, which is easily found on Amazon.
3. The holiday are filled with delicious smells and fragrances- I myself have a penchant for the smell of cinnamon. But what I DO NOT recommend is putting those lovely smells on your skin. These fragrances can cause irritation and even eczematous eruptions, so I recommend staying away from those and sticking with your fragrance free products.
4. After those holiday parties, always make sure to fully remove makeup and wash your face before going to bed. I love micellar water for this purpose followed by a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil or Cerave. I like vaseline for eye makeup removal.
5. Dry lips are a problem in the winter again due to dry air and potential exposure to skiing and other dry environments. First gently exfoliate the lips with plain vaseline on a toothbrush and then follow with another layer of vaseline. And try not to bite or chew on the lips as this will make them even more rough. For more irritated lips, a nice Amazon product is Dr. Dan’s cortibalm, which has a little hydrocortisone in a nice emollient base.
6. Keep the stress low. Stress exacerbates all skin conditions, including eczema, acne, and psoriasis. So try to get enough sleep and keep the holiday drama at bay to reduce those pro-inflammatory cytokines.
7. While sweets and treats are part of the holidays, consider that we know that a diet of high glycemic index foods is definitely linked to acne. So while the occasional indulgence is fine, try to steer clear of constant exposure to sweet or processed foods. Your sugars and insulin will thank you as well!
8. Consider re-evaluating your skin care regimen. The end of the year is a time to take stock, and it is no different for your skin. Not using sunscreen? Put it on your holiday wish list. Thinking about some tretinoin or vitamin C? Grab some Differin for an OTC option and vitamin C to try out for the new year. Never look at your skin? Do a full body skin check on yourself after your next holiday outing and look for moles or other irregular growths- if you see something funny, contact a dermatologist to discuss further. In my experience January is a quieter time in the doctor’s office, so you can be sure to get your pick of appointments.
9. Get some great stocking stuffers- my favorites are moisturizers, vitamin C serums, and sunscreen! Be skin friendly and get cool points for not giving socks.
10. Give thanks- I think we are all so lucky to be doctors. We help people every day and learn so much every day. So give thanks for who you are and what you do!