The holiday season is a time for fun and indulging, when there's typically a lot of great food being shared, and a few parties that last late into the evening. While these special holiday treats and activities are what many people look forward to all year, they need to be enjoyed with a mindset of moderation â€“ because if you go overboard, your skin will likely suffer.
How does eating yummy holiday fare and attending a few soirees negatively affect your skin? Well, for one thing, the goodies going around at holiday gatherings are typically heavy in sugar, and consuming too much of it is bad news for skin cells.
Wondering why a couple of nights that last into the wee hours of the morning can hurt your skin? Staying out too late throws off the body's circadian rhythm, which leads to body stress and hormonal imbalances that can cause breakouts.
Let's talk about a few ways that the holiday season presents challenges for the skin, and then discuss how you can keep your skin looking and feeling healthy during the holidays.
Sweets: Choose Them Wisely
We're not going to tell you to avoid all sweets during the holidays. We wouldn't do that to ourselves, so why would we make you miss out on pumpkin pies and chocolate cakes?! However, when it comes to maintaining healthy skin, it's best to pick desserts based on the ones you most want to enjoy, and then to eat only a moderate amount of them.
A little sugar typically won't hurt your body. It's only when we overload our system with sugar that we see the effects on the skin. During the holiday season, consider having a nibble of this and a taste of that. Or opt for one decent-size portion of a sweet you love, and then say no to the rest. If you make your own holiday desserts, consider baking with organic raw sugar, organic maple syrup or dates to sweeten naturally and more gently for the body.
The reason you have to be careful about how much sugar you ingest is because excess sugar causes insulin levels to rise, which leads to inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation breaks down collagen and elastic, giving you saggy, wrinkly skin. Too much sugar also causes the body to hold water, which can make your skin look bloated.
Hectic Schedules: Make Time for Sleep
We want you to attend all the holiday parties you want â€“ just make sure you come home at an hour that still lets you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep during normal sleeping time. Getting a good night's sleep is best for your skin health, and we don't mean getting to bed every night at 3 a.m. and then waking up at noon!
When you're sleep deprived, your body produces more cortisol, which leads to increased stress and inflammation in the body. This, in turn, hurts the quality of your skin.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to skin conditions like eczema or atopic dermatitis, which are thought to be connected to hormonal imbalances (i.e. elevated cortisol due to not sleeping).
When you have multiple holiday parties to go to, arrive as early as you can and check out at a reasonable hour.
What Else Can You Do to Keep Skin Healthy During the Holidays?
As you go about your busy holiday schedule, cramming shopping excursions into an already packed day, make sure you drink enough water, eat healthy food, and keep your spirits light. These things will help you keep your skin in balance, because you'll stay hydrated, get proper nutrition, and ward off stress.
Oh and BTW, and go easy on the alcohol during the holidays, because heavy drinking dehydrates the body and spikes insulin levels. Holidays and healthy skin can go hand-in-hand and offer much joy and merriment, if you know how to stay in control.
The holidays are about coming together and celebrating. Although you want to look your absolute best (after all, those pictures are forever), remember the most important thing is to enjoy the moment and fill yourself with the happiness of the season!