A festive guide to skin and hair care from the experts
“Late nights, carbohydrate-laden fried foods, heavy makeup, and alcohol are all hallmarks of the holiday season. It dehydrates your skin, causes bags under your eyes and can even lead to skin congestion or acne breakouts, ”commented Dr Niketa Sonawane, renowned 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 outings of the holiday season with dull skin and hair. The weather and an improper skin care routine can also make your skin prone to eczema, which you wouldn’t want to face in the midst of the festivities. We believe prevention is better than cure. So here’s an expert-approved skin and hair care guide for the holiday season.
Focus on de-stressing rituals
For Dr Sravya C Tipirneni, dermatologist-cosmetologist and trichologist at Manipal hospitals, it is forbidden to touch your skin during the holiday season. “You have to focus on de-stressing your skin; follow a regular routine with small adjustments and without too many active ingredients. It is very important to use products that are suitable for your skin type. You can add an exfoliant once or twice a week depending on your skin type.
Dr Niketa added: “You can relax while addressing your skin problems while on vacation. 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 sore feet after wearing high heels, soak your feet in lukewarm water with bath salts. Facial steam followed by a clay mask can help detoxify your skin and relieve congestion.
Add small adjustments
With the pandemic restrictions relaxed, you will go out and be exposed to smog, dirt and dust after almost a year of being indoors. Sudden exposure increases the risk of free radical damage resulting in inflammation, loss of moisture, and loss of elasticity and firmness. These issues should be resolved easily with minor adjustments in your routine, namely –
1. Add decongestant ingredients – Switch to a lightly exfoliating facial cleanser with AHA, BHA, PHA, or lactic acid to keep your skin clear and congestion free. If the formulation is too dry for you, opt for a cleanser containing niacinamide.
2. Double cleansing, favoring hydration – For plumped and hydrated skin, perform a double cleansing with micellar water and apply a hyaluronic acid serum in the evening or at night. You can also double cleanse with a deep facial cleanser, followed by a creamy cleanser to hydrate your skin.
3. Choose protection over repair – During the day, opt for serums like Hyaluronic Serum and Vitamin C, layered on top of tinted sunscreen. This will help you avoid heavy foundations. Make sure to hydrate according to your skin type – gel / water based creams for oily skin and creamy formulations for dry skin. Finish with a deflated, moisturizing under-eye cream on your eyelids. Tinted sunscreens are beneficial if you want to avoid a heavy foundation.
Op for non-invasive treatments
For the holiday season, Dr. Sravya recommends an at-home ritual of exfoliating, brightening, nourishing and hydrating serums to get that extra hydrating glow. As for in-clinic treatments, she suggests, “radiance peels or superficial chemical peels which are very gentle and give instant results without the actual peel. You can also go for Photofacial – it uses light energy to blur tan and blemishes. Carbon laser facials that use a Q-Switched laser also do wonders to remove pigment particles and tone 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-free skin, the PRP Skin Treatment (also known as Facial Vampire in Hollywood) is ideal. Apart from that, you can also go for a variety of peptide peel combinations to target specific skin issues while still achieving glowing skin.
Address the sugar frenzy early
In addition to the skin and hair care guide, Dr Niketa revealed, “Sugar speeds up the aging process. A diet high in refined carbohydrates and added sugars can damage collagen, leading to sagging and deep wrinkles. This is called sagging sugar, and it is irreversible. After a sugar binge, you may want to try limiting your intake of added sugar for a few days to help your taste buds adjust to less sweet foods. Load up on protein, healthy fats, and high-fiber foods that will keep you full without giving you too much sugar. Drink lots of water, take antioxidant supplements, eat lots of salads, and exercise.
Dr Sravya added, “Go for a clogging cleanser, non-comedogenic sunscreen and salicylic acid wipes for the week after the festivities are over. Excessive consumption of sugar leads to secretion of oil by the sebaceous glands, which leads to acne. You can expect some acne lesions, which can be treated with an overnight acne patch. Glycolic acid wipes are also helpful. Stay hydrated and eat lots of green vegetables to recharge your antioxidants; you can start taking kiwi extract capsules to help manage acne breakouts ”.
Calm down 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 a lot of things to your hair like styling, tight hairstyles, daily pinches and braids. It is best to take care to maintain the health and shine of your hair with home care and quick salon treatments. We notice that many of our customers receive various types of chemical treatments throughout the year. But, during the holiday season, everyone is looking for quick fixes. “
What kind of quick fix can you choose? A masking session, of course! Deepak revealed, “Among my favorite brands, the one that caught my eye recently is The Circle Chronicles masks by Davines. It’s an amazing line that just works to make your hair feel good and full with lots of shine. And I love how we can mix and match different treatments because they work exceptionally well depending on your hair type.
In addition to the skin and hair care guide, Deepak gave some styling tips to give your mane a glamorous update without damage. “During the holiday season, we generally use thermal styling to counter dry hair caused by over styling and seasonal changes. Heat damage only happens when you use the wrong basics for a particular type of style. For example, it’s not just about thermal styling. However, you should also use products designed for curls, whether it is a leave-in serum or curl strengthening. Make sure you choose the right professional products and use the right amount.
Photos: Instagram, Pexels