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Complexion Protection

Approach the festive season face first with these three holiday remedies…
 
Every year, it seems the holiday season gets longer. From the moment big box stores unpack their Christmas wreaths, Hanukkah dreidels and Festivus poles (tinsel optional), our skin experiences a multitude of conundrums. Even if you fly away to snowy mountaintops or sun-soaked palm trees (as global professional services network PwC claims 45 per cent of Canadians did last year), you can’t escape it.
 
“The holidays can play havoc with your skin,” affirms Toula Bintas, an aesthetician and co-owner of Allazo Skin Care in Toronto. “Whether it’s shopping for gifts, entertaining, or organizing school or work activities, the stress of everyday life is magnified with the pressure associated with fitting all of these extra things into your daily routine. Plus, our diets change, we eat too much at parties, or don’t eat enough due to lack of time. We also tend to replace our water consumption with alcohol and don’t get enough sleep. And if you’re travelling, there are all of the weather changes to consider.”
 
While most of us enjoy the hustle and bustle of the season, no one wants to deal with unwanted skin issues, like dehydration and fine lines (courtesy of the plane ride), or dark under eyes and a puffy face (thanks to tying on one too many at the office mixer). You can, however, protect and avoid the collateral damage by following these holiday remedies.
 
Banish acne, eczema and rosacea breakouts
Having a second helping of Aunt Judy’s deep-fried turkey and washing it down with her homemade eggnog may have seemed like a good idea in the moment, but the red spots and scaly patches popping up on your face the morning after tell a different story. “Holiday foods can be high on the glycemic index, which can lead to these types of breakouts,” says Bintas. “If you have an autoimmune system disorder like psoriasis or eczema, you may be doubly prone to a flare-up.” To minimize skin sensitivities and to prevent your pores from getting clogged and causing breakouts, Bintas recommends using a glycolic acid-based product such as NeoStrata Glycolic Renewal Smoothing Lotion ($42, available at Shoppers Drug Mart) once or twice a week to exfoliate dead skin cells, while hydrating and calming your newly revealed and visibly younger-looking skin with a few drops of Aveda Lavender Fleurs Oil Singular Note ($29, available at Aveda).
 
Eliminate puffy eyes and face
Go to bed late. Get up early. Repeat. This pattern is destined to puff up your eyes and face. Add in the three glasses of champers you drank last night and having a bloated-looking complexion is unavoidable. “Being social is fun, but it can really wreak havoc on your skin,” says Bintas. “We tend to overindulge in sweets and salty foods and drink a lot more alcohol than usual, which creates a hydration and inflammation imbalance in our bodies that then shows up on our face.” To reduce swelling and dark circles and infuse a radiant glow, Bintas suggests applying something like For Beloved One Flawless Brightening Ethyl Ascorbic Acid Bio-Cellulose Sheet Mask ($63 for box of three, available at Sephora), a facial sheet mask that also targets the under-eye area and is fuelled with brightening vitamin C as well as calming, tightening caffeine.
 
Minimize fine lines and crow’s feet
Airplanes are one of the most dehydrating environments for your skin – you’re sitting still and breathing in recycled air at a high altitude for several hours. If you clink glasses with your travel companions while inflight, you’re further exacerbating this moisture imbalance. “There’s virtually no humidity on a plane, meaning your moisturizer won’t work as well as it normally does,” explains Bintas. “So by the time you land, your skin’s hydration levels are working at a deficit.” Factor in your new environment’s frigid cold or humid hot weather and you’re entering a skin disaster zone. Bintas recommends creating a protective barrier on your skin the night before you fly by applying a deep hydrating facial like Fresh Crème Ancienne Ultimate Nourishing Honey Mask ($150, available at Sephora) and then – regardless of whether you are snow- or sunshine-bound – following that up with a moisturizing sunscreen such as LaSpa Moisturizing Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 ($40, available at beautysense.ca), every single day.
 

 
ADRIANA ERMTER is a Toronto-based, lifestyle-magazine pro who has travelled the globe writing about must-spritz fragrances, child poverty, beauty and grooming.
 

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