“Late nights, carb-laden fried food, heavy makeup, and alcohol are all hallmarks of the holiday season. This dehydrates your skin, causes puffiness under your eyes, and may even cause skin congestion or acne breakouts”, commented Dr Niketa Sonawane, Celebrity Dermatologist and founder of Ambrosia Aesthetics, Mumbai. The combination of winter-induced dryness, stress-induced cortisol imbalance and, of course, sugar binge is responsible for many walking out of the festive season with dull skin and hair. The weather and improper skincare routine can also make your skin prone to eczema, which you would not want to deal with amidst festivities. We believe that prevention is better than cure. So, here is an expert-approved skin and hair care guide for the festive season.
Focus On Destressing Rituals
For Dr Sravya C Tipirneni, Dermato-cosmetologist and Trichologist at Manipal Hospitals, messing with your skin is a big no-no during the festive season. “You need to focus on destressing your skin; follow a regular routine with small tweaks and without too many actives. It is very important to use products for your skin type. You can add an exfoliant once or twice a week depending on your skin type.”
Dr Niketa further elaborated, “You can destress while also addressing your holiday skin concerns. For puffy eyes, soak cotton pads in coffee or green tea. A quick lymphatic massage of the face with your hands or a gua sha tool can help relieve puffiness. To relieve aching feet after wearing high heels, soak your feet in warm water with bath salts. Facial steaming followed by a clay mask can help to detoxify your skin and relieve congestion.”
Add Small Tweaks
With pandemic restrictions eased, you will be stepping out and exposed to smog, dirt, and dust after almost a year of staying indoors. The sudden exposure heightens the risk of free radical damage leading to inflammation, moisture loss, and loss of elasticity and firmness. These issues need to be addressed easily with minor tweaks in your routine, namely –
1. Add de-congesting ingredients – Switch to a mildly exfoliating face cleanser with AHA, BHA, PHA or lactic acid to keep your skin clear and free of congestion. If the formulation is too dry for you, opt for a cleanser with niacinamide in it.
2. Double cleanse, prioritising hydration – For plump and hydrated skin, double cleanse with micellar water and apply a hyaluronic acid serum in the evening or night. You can also double cleanse with a deep pore cleansing face wash, followed by a creamy cleanser to add moisture to your skin.
3. Choose protection over repair – During the day, opt for serums like hyaluronic and vitamin C serum, layered with a tinted sunscreen. This will help you skip the heavy foundation. Make sure to moisturise according to your skin type – gel/water-based creams for oily skin and creamy formulations for dry skin. Finish with a de-puffing and hydrating under eye cream to your eyelids. Tinted sunscreens are beneficial if you want to skip a heavy foundation.
Op For Non-Invasive Treatments
For the festive season, Dr Sravya recommends an at-home ritual of exfoliating, brightening and nourishing and hydrating serums to get that extra hydrating glow. In terms of in-clinic treatments, she suggests, “Glow peel or superficial chemical peels which are very mild and show instant results without the actual peeling. You can also opt for Photofacial – it uses light energy to fade tan and blemishes. Carbon laser facials that use a Q-Switched laser also work wonders in removing pigment particles and tone up your skin.”
Dr Niketa suggests, “A Venus Freeze Plus facial tightens the skin and leaves it with a plump, dewy glow. Hydrafacial MD is ideal for people who suffer from congestion. If you want a long-lasting glow, smooth skin, and pore-less skin, PRP skin treatment (also known as Vampire facial in Hollywood) is ideal. Aside from that, you can also go for a variety of peptide peel combinations to target specific skin problems while also achieving glowing skin.
Address The Sugar Binge Early
Adding to the skin and hair care guide, Dr Niketa revealed, “Sugar hastens the ageing process. A diet high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars can damage collagen, resulting in sagging and deep wrinkles. This is referred to as sugar sag, and it is irreversible. Following a sugar binge, you may want to try limiting your added sugar intake for a few days to help your taste buds adjust to less-sweet foods. Load up on protein, healthy fats and fibre-rich foods that will keep you full without giving you a sugar high. Drink plenty of water, take antioxidant supplements, eat plenty of salads, and get some exercise.
Dr Sravya further elaborated, “Go for a de-clogging cleanser, a non-comedogenic sunscreen and salicylic acid wipes for the week after the festivities are over. Excess sugar consumption leads to oil secretion from oil glands, leading to acne. You can expect a few acne lesions, which can be addressed with an acne patch overnight. Glycolic acid wipes also help. Hydrate and eat a lot of greens to recharge on antioxidants; you can start supplementing on Kiwi extract capsules to help manage the acne flare-ups”.
Take It Easy On Your Mane
According to Deepak Jhalhan, Creative Director at Looks Prive, New Delhi, “My advice for this festive season is less is more. You often tend to do many things to your hair, such as styling, tight hairstyles, tonging and braiding daily. It is best to take it easy to maintain your hair’s health and shine with at-home care and quick salon treatments. We notice many of our clients get various types of chemical treatments throughout the year. But, during the festive season, everyone is looking for quick fixes.”
What kind of quick fix you can go for? A masking session, of course! Deepak revealed, “Among my favourite brands, one that’s recently caught my attention has been The Circle Chronicles masks by Davines. It’s an amazing line that works simply to make your hair feel great and voluminous with lots of shine. And I love how we can mix and match different treatments because they work exceptionally well depending upon your hair type.”
Adding to the skin and hair care guide, Deepak did shell out a few styling tips to give your mane a glamorous update without damage. “During the festive season, we usually use thermal styling to counteract dry hair caused by excessive styling and seasonal change. Heat damage only occurs when you use the wrong foundation products for a particular styling type. For example, it’s not just about thermal styling. Still, you also need to use products made for curls, whether leave-in or curl building serum. Make sure you choose the right professional products and use the appropriate amount.”
Photos: Instagram, Pexels