Editors Note: The holiday season is fast approaching and it’s pretty much a given that most of us will be tempted to eat more, sleep less and have a few too many glasses of wine, all of this can wreak havoc on the skin, so I asked my good friend Magdalena from Woman Divine Skincare to give us some advice, here’s her Holiday Skincare Survival Guide From A Holistic Skin + Face Therapist.
Many will travel to visit with family and friends and there is a potential for our usual skincare routines to go out the window. The holidays can be a lot of fun but there definitely is an element of stress present as well, especially when it comes to our skin.
So how can you keep looking fresh and glowing not only during the holidays but also when the whole ordeal is over?
Common Holiday skincare complaints:
* Increased redness and inflammation – may be triggered by inflammatory foods and drinks, extreme temperatures and cold wind, harsh and toxic skincare products and makeup, high stress and travel.
* Increased facial puffiness – usually caused by ingesting food/drinks which are not compatible with our body and cause general congestion.
* Dehydration and dryness – increased by air travel, sleeping in overheated guest bedrooms, too much coffee, black tea, alcohol and not enough water, an ineffective skincare routine, over-cleansing with stripping products.
In order to look and feel fabulous this holiday season, there are a few things to keep in mind based on your skin type and predispositions.
Holiday skincare issue 1: Redness and Inflammation
If you are prone to redness and inflammation you may want to consider minimizing foods that encourage inflammation in the body and in your skin.
Foods that are highly acidic like pickled veggies or anything with vinegar, red wine, tomato sauce, sugar, coffee and black tea are best kept to a minimum. Hot and spicy foods will also increase redness and are best to be avoided. So please don’t put that hot sauce on everything!
It doesn’t mean that you can’t have any of the above but these foods will potentially mess with your holiday glow so be mindful.
Soothing, calming and protective is your skincare mantra.
Stay away from strong abrasive and stripping products. And make sure to keep it simple. Skin that is prone to redness and inflammation doesn’t like change nor too many products. Simple and gentle really does it in this case.
I often recommend a Rosewater Mist to my sensitive skin and inflammation-prone clients and they absolutely love it. It cools and calms the skin and hydrates beautifully.
Woman Divine Calendula + Chamomile Face Oil pairs perfectly with The Rosewater Mist to become a soothing and calming moisturizer. And for those who love winter outdoor activities and/or find their skin red and very dry, Divine Face Balm carrot + marshmallow applied after Rosewater Mist is an excellent choice.
Holiday skincare issue 2: Water Retention/Puffiness and congestion
If facial puffiness and congestion are your challenges, it will be best to avoid sweets, flour products, creamy sauces, dairy and other heavy foods. I know that this is not an easy task when chocolate and other goodies are everywhere you look. It’s definitely a good opportunity to exercise your will power :).
Sipping on hot water throughout the day is very beneficial to most who experience congestion and fluid retention.
Invigorating, firming, enlivening and decongesting is your skincare mantra.
Dry skin brushing would be absolutely amazing to move that congestion. I recommend this as a full body practice, starting at your feet and working your way up. Dry skin brushing offers excellent stimulation and will wake you up and invigorate you if practiced first thing in the morning.
Have you ever used a facial GuaSha tool? It is very simple and super effective and it will be very helpful during the holiday season. A few minutes of Facial GuaSha massage will drain excess fluids, move stagnation and bring brightness to your skin. It really works! And it’s very relaxing!
If you wish for a nurturing time with your mom, sister or friend over the holidays, have a little GuaSha party and do it for each other.
All you need is a cleansed face, hydrosol, a bit of oil (organic jojoba will do) and of course your GuaSha tool.
Frankincense Mist is wonderful for skin that needs tightening and brightening so it will be a great choice. Skin that’s prone to stagnation will definitely benefit from gentle exfoliation. WD Radiant Exfoliant Powder can be very helpful.
Avoid sleeping on your belly or you will experience even more puffiness when you wake up in the morning. The fluid will accumulate in the face and cause congestion.
Holiday skincare issue 3: Dryness and Dehydration
Including healthy fats and oils in your diet is very important, particularly now. Watch your consumption of coffee, tea and alcohol (all very dehydrating) and make sure to drink plenty of warm water. Focus on root veggies, warm soups and stews. Keep your belly and your body warm.
Nourishing, hydrating, softening and warming is your skincare mantra.
Dehydration and dryness are very common during this time of the year. Cold weather, indoor heat, air travel… dry skin gets even dryer and it can start feeling very uncomfortable.
Your dry skin will love oils and balms and they will protect it well from dryness, dehydration and will soften it and give it volume.
You may want to consider oil cleansing and warm cloth compressing. It has been a game-changer for many of my dry skin clients! We’ve already talked about how to oil cleanse.
WD Radiant Exfoliant Powder will further cleanse and soften your skin by gently lifting the dead skin cells and preparing your skin for better absorption of face oils and serums.
Rosewater Mist and Woman Divine Skincare are my top picks for very dry skin. If you are vegan, opt for WD Face Balm Shea + Sea buckthorn (it does not contain beeswax).
For the delicate area around your eyes, WD Eye Balm blue tansy + arnica will offer a great treatment for fine lines and dryness.
A few tips for everyone who is looking to decompress over the holidays:
Taking a lovely long bath with salts and essential oils can be a delightful and very restful experience. Make sure you remove harmful chemicals that may be lurking in your shower.
Bring a bottle of relaxing essential oil like lavender, rose geranium, or chamomile wherever you go. A couple of drops on the pillow before bed can bring considerable comfort, relaxation and will aid your sleep. Opening the bottle, placing it under your nose and taking a deep slow breath whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed is a simple way to support your nervous system.
Treat yourself to a holistic facial or to a professional face massage. These are wonderful to receive during stressful/busy times and will leave you with happier, fresher skin and a more relaxed body.
Visit your reputable health food store and purchase a selection of organic herbal teas. Rose, chamomile, turmeric are all good choices. Sipping slowly on a cup of herbal tea will encourage you to take a few minutes of relaxation and contemplation every day.
Air travel tips:
If air travel is part of your holiday plans, bring your Mist and face oil or balm on the plane with you. I have this simple routine whenever I travel by plane and it helps to keep my skin nicely hydrated. My in-flight skincare is very simple. I bring a wet cleansing cloth (I soak it in purified water while still at home and keep it in a little beeswax bag).
I wipe my face off as soon as I get on my flight. Then apply a Rosewater Mist, some Face Balm and Lip Balm go on.
You can be sure that sometime during the flight my GuaSha tool will come out to play. When I get sleepy or simply want my eyes to rest, I love to use an eye mask.
If you like to know more about the sustainable beauty industry, check out this article on what is clean beauty?
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