Couple drinking and laughing at holiday party.

Holiday Recovery

Most people look forward to the seasonal celebrations that break up the dark and cold that come with winter. It’s a great time to be around friends and family, but the sugar, alcohol and indulgent foods at those parties can wreak havoc on your skin. Here are some of the most common triggers for breakouts and how you can avoid letting them damage your skin during the holidays.


Drinking Alcohol

From Thanksgiving onward, it feels like there’s a never-ending rotation of holiday parties with sparkling wine, hot toddies and other festive drinks. It’s fun to indulge now and then, but for some, drinking alcohol has immediate, obvious effects on the skin. What effect does alcohol have on your skin? Just as it dehydrates the rest of your body, your skin is affected as well. Alcohol tends to absorb moisture from your skin, and it has a drying effect that is visible, making wrinkles more pronounced. It also causes inflammation. This effect goes away as you process the alcohol, but regular drinking can lead to lasting redness and exacerbate existing acne. Skin care can help tend to the dryness or redness in your skin. Moisturizing and drinking water along with alcohol helps your skin recover from the drying effect. When inflammation causes redness or increases existing redness, rosacea medication is one possible solution. Topical medications will help calm blood vessels.


Eating Sugar

Between cookies in the break room and special holiday flavored snacks, there are plenty of opportunities to let your sweet tooth get carried away. Sugary snacks are hard to get away from during the holidays. Sweets can take a toll on your skin, however. Dermatological experts say that sugar can cause inflammation, which is a key factor in acne flare ups. High sugar foods also age your skin, because the sugars can bond to collagen and stiffen it. Collagen is what gives your skin elasticity and youthfulness, so stiffer collagen leads to aged skin. If you have any existing skin issues, such as eczema or psoriasis, sugar can contribute to them and make you more irritated. Combat inflammation with antioxidants and hydration, both with the foods you eat and with skin products.


Staying Up Late

Whether you’re staying out late at parties or simply up late planning for the holidays, a lack of sleep is a common problem toward the end of the year. If you’re getting less than your ideal amount of sleep, which for adults ranges from seven to nine hours a night, chances are it has affected your skin. Lack of sleep can impact your health overall, and your skin often reflects your health. Not getting enough of it causes your stress levels to increase, releasing cortisol. Cortisol is linked to inflammation and it can exacerbate skin problems or cause new breakouts. Like sugar, it can cause psoriasis and eczema to flare up. The best way to address serious, persistent skin issues is with dermatological help. Medications can help counteract the effects of a change in routine.

The holidays are an important time to evaluate your skin care routine, and if unmedicated face washes and creams aren’t effective, you may want to consider getting a dermatologist’s opinion. Contact Windsor Dermatology today for more information.