Nightly parties, indulging in decadent treats, too much champagne and egg nog, and chilly air can push your skin over the edge this time of year. Instead of bright and beautiful, skin can look dull and dry, eyes get puffy and dark, and blemishes can crop up in new places. Have no fear—our expert tips will help you face your relatives looking great all the way through the New Year.
In order for skin to look flawless and radiant this holiday season it’s imperative to make sure it is properly hydrated. According to Dr. Lisa M. Donofrio, Associate Clinical Professor at Yale University School of Medicine, “apply a humectant daily to the face that contains hyaluronic acid, which helps to bind moisture and plump the skin.”
For dewy, plumped skin try CHRISTINA Cosmeceuticals Moisture Fusion Cream ($105) www.skincarebyalana.com, a hyaluronic acid infused moisturizer that also contains peptides and antioxidants to improve elasticity and protect skin.
TEND TO YOUR EYES
Lots of holiday cheer often brings dark circles and puffiness to the eye area. “Lack of sleep due to constant holiday partying can definitely cause puffiness and dark circles around your eyes,” says Dr. Marina Peredo, a dermatologist based in Smithtown, New York. “Your best bet is to try to get enough sleep whenever you can, decrease salt intake to combat fluid retention and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.”
To help with fatigue and swelling, cold compresses can offer immediate relief, while ingredients such as cucumber, arnica, peptides and antioxidants can help with puffiness, dark circles and fine lines and wrinkles.
Both Donofrio and Peredo like Replenix Eye Repair Cream ($73) www.topixpharm.com for its long list of powerful anti-aging ingredients—Vitamin K, green tea polyphenols, retinol, peptides, arnica and hyaluronic acid—that work to diminish puffiness and dark circles, plump fine lines and soothe tired, delicate skin.
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels ($30 for 8 pairs) www.skynICELAND.com firm, de-puff and cool tired swollen eyes in just 10 minutes. Ginko biloba leaf extract reduces puffiness, co-enzyme Q10 helps prevent breakdown of collagen and the brand’s unique Biospheric Complex helps soothe and stabilize stressed skin.
KEEP BREAKOUTS UNDER CONTROL
Holiday stress can cause skin to break out, and there’s nothing worse than a large, throbbing blemish during party time. A trip to the dermatologist for a cortisone injection can help shrink the size and swelling of the pimple in just 24 hours. If that is not an option, LED devices that emit heat can do the trick. What not to do: “Don’t torture the pimple, which will make it swell more or attempt to dry it out with products such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid,” says Donofrio. “This can cause skin around the blemish to be peely, making it impossible to cover with makeup.”
With the right technique and product you can easily cover unsightly pimples and fake perfect skin. Celebrity makeup artist Rosie Johnston recommends the following tip: “Take a good concealer that is the same shade as your skin and apply it directly to the blemish only. Use your finger and pat lightly on and around the blemish until the concealer is completely blended in.”
Rimmel London Match Perfection Concealer ($6) www.rimmelondon.com camouflages pimples as well as other imperfections in five skin-matching shades.
Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Acne Stress Control Power-Cream Wash ($7) www.neutrogena.com contains cucumber and green tea extracts to soothe and salicylic acid to help shed dull skin.
The tiny ZENO HOT SPOT ($39.99) www.myZENO.com heats up to 118 degrees to kill bacteria at the source and reduce pimple inflammation within 24 hours.
Go for the Glow
Make sure skin sparkles this time of year. Peels and microdermabrasion treatments at the medi-spa or dermatologist’s office shed dull, lackluster skin for a more radiant youthful complexion. “Exfoliating the skin helps products penetrate more efficiently,” says Peredo. If a professional treatment is not an option this time of year, incorporate a gentle scrub, at-home peel or microdermabrasion into your skincare regimen two to three times a week.
Reach for Philosophy’s The Microdelivery Peel ($65) www.philosophy.com to brighten and resurface skin with a dose of peptides and Vitamin C.
Dr. Brandt Detoxygen Experience ($75) www.drbrandtskincare.com) is a two-step system that boosts cell metabolism for a brighter complexion. First, apply the foaming mask to face, which delivers oxygen to the skin, followed by a detoxifying cream containing purifying Moringa seeds and moisture-binding hyalrunoic acid.
Soap & Glory’s Greatest Scrub of All Facial Exfoliator ($18) www.sephora.com contains super-fine silicami particles to help lift dead skin cells and salicylic beads to smooth skin and clear pores.
Lastly, for a guaranteed gorgeous lit-from-within glow, Johnston favors using a hydrating luminizer under makeup. Her favorite: M-A-C Strobe Cream ($30) www.maccosmetics.com subtly brightens with iridescent particles and moisturizes with botanicals and green tea.