5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

by Paris B on · 27 comments

in Discussions,Skincare,Tips

If there’s one thing that every festive period brings is excesses. Lots of food, lots of drink, little sleep, travelling, and the list goes on. For many in other parts of the world, feasting ends around the New Year. After the clock strikes 12 midnight on January 1, people start to sober up and life starts going back to normal as everyone makes grand plans to hit the gym and go on a diet.

But here in Asia, and for those of Chinese descent, the party doesn’t stop until Chinese New Year is over, and that could be any time from mid to end February. It’s a wonder any work gets done icon razz 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses And Chinese New Year is a time of excesses and stress. Family. Gotta love them and yet, they inflict some of the worst stress on a person icon razz 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

Is it any wonder my skin went wonky just before the festive season and just got progressively worse throughout?

skin recover 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

I’m back at work and when I got home after travelling back to my hometown, one of the first few things I did was to get my crappy skin back in order. A week down the road, I’m already seeing it rebalance, and improve and get better and I thought I’d share what I have done in case you too are suffering the after effects of bad weather, familial stress and festive excesses icon smile 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

If you too have a tip to share on how you managed your skin during this time, please do! It’s always worth learning from each other.

Rehydrate and drink more water

One thing that happens when I travel and when I’m away from my normal routine is my poor water intake. I notice it but it’s one of those things that slip my mind, you know. Also, during festive periods, we just tend to consume more sugary drinks or in some cases alcohol and it isn’t beneficial to our bodies at all.

So, one of the first things I did when I got home was to re-establish my water-drinking routine. I filled up a large bottle of water and made sure I emptied it throughout the day. Often I try to take in at least 2 bottles. It flushes out my system and keeps my skin hydrated. One of my problems over the festive period was crazily dry and clogged skin. A few days of monitoring my water intake and my skin started to rebalance itself. Never underestimate the curative effects of simple plain water!

Use a chemical peel lotion to exfoliate skin

I had these clogged pores, flaky skin, dullness, uneven skintone, breakouts… name it I had the problem. I can’t attribute it all to festive excesses to be honest. I went through a very stressful period just before the break and everything just went mad. When I got home, my Mom took one look at me and said “What’s wrong with you? Are you unwell?” I looked a mess.

While controlling mental stress is one thing, I took to chemical exfoliating peel lotions to deal with the physical side of things. I went back to diligently using the Alpha-H Liquid Gold on alternate nights, and I would use the Hada Labo Mild Peeling Lotion on the nights I wasn’t using Alpha H. It took me a week but my skin started to go back to normal. The clogged pores were reduced, flaky skin was gone and I’m slowly having it go back to normal.

Eat more vegetables and fruit

vegetables 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

Vegetables and fruit rarely feature a lot in festive diets which tends to be heavy with meat and fried or baked or sweet snacks, cakes and biscuits that are steadily munched on through the day. All that does take a toll on the skin and I noticed it.

Since returning, I’ve gone back to a diet that is more focused on vegetables and fruit. I just eat more fruit and vegetables alongside my meaty offerings and less carbohydrates and it not only helps my skin look better, I actually feel better too! Less sluggish, and less heavy. I don’t go vegetarian though because I do like my meat but I just eat less of it. So far so good icon smile 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

Reduce fried, oily, sweet food from diet

I have also cut back on munching on snacks now that the festive period is drawing to a close. I have a soft spot for fried stuff and not only is it bad for the waistline, it plays merry hell with the skin too. If you believe in the “heaty-cooling” yin-yang theory then heaty foods do tend to make me break out more.

I’m still battling with some stubborn spots and clogged pores but I have at least stopped breaking out along my cheek and forehead where I hadn’t experienced breakouts in months. Sugar has been found to be a cause for breakouts as well and lots of biscuits are high in sugar so cutting back on that does help with the skin and the waistline icon smile 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

Go back to basics with your skincare

skincare works 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

Just prior to my skin going mad, I ran out of a few of my tried and true things, of which Vichy Normaderm cleansing gel and Origins Make A Difference Plus moisturiser featured. However, when I needed to go back to basics, I went back to products that my skin already knew and loved, and I cut things down to the basics.

I still focus on proper cleansing, but I now also focus on proper toning where I use both an exfoliating toner and a hydrating toner after reading what UK skincare guru Caroline Hirons has to say. I don’t necessarily use the products she recommends as not all work for me, but I use the technique, and I do see benefits. I’ll expound on this in a separate post to come icon smile 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

So my basic skincare at this point, until I’m comfortable to add back serums would be thus:-

Cleansing balm (night) -> Cleanser (night/day) -> exfoliating toner (night) -> hydrating toner (night/day) -> hydrating serum gel (night/day) -> face oil (night) -> Moisturiser (night/day)

I don’t say this works for everyone of course but when the world, or in this case your skin, goes mad, stop and go back to basics. Also, stop messing around with new/untested products and go back to the products that you know works for your skin. I’m now dreading the day I run out of my Dior Capture Totale night cream coz that’ll happen any day now and then what?! Gah! icon razz 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

Do you find your skin going haywire during or after a festive period? How do you deal with it?

In some cases, weather too plays a part as well as sun exposure. It’s been incredibly hot here, which our friends suffering from the Polar Vortex won’t appreciate me complaining about, but it all plays a part to tip our skin off it’s balance. The trick now is to rebalance – so how do you do it? icon smile 5 Tips How to Help Skin Recover from Dullness and Breakouts after Festive Season Excesses

Paris B

Previous post:

Next post:

[ 27 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Lana February 11, 2014 at 9:21 am

Paris, you’ve hit the nail on the head again! I’m recovering from the CNY festivities and a 30 hour flight now and the first thing I noticed last night was the condition of my skin. My skin felt dry and parched and I had a lot of clogged pores.

The first thing I did last night was to use my favorite cleansing balm from Pai followed by the deep cleansing mask from Omorovicza and rosehip oil after. My skin was so much better this morning. This really isn’t back to basics I suppose, but I think falling back on natural skincare has worked wonders for me.

My 5 step routine last night.
Oil Cleanser – One Love Organics Vit B Cleansing Oil
Cleansing Balm – Pai Camellia and Rose Hydrating Cleanser
Mask – Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask
Eye Cream – Pai Echium Eye Cream
Oil – Pai Rosehip Oil


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 2:28 pm

Hey Lana, so sorry you experienced the same problems I did but glad to know you figured it out quickly enough to get your skin back on track! I believe that for many of us, it is the travelling that really messes with our skin because our routines go out of whack. It’s good to know that you know what to go back to when that happens :) Incidentally, I haven’t tried any of the products you mention! Hmm.. ;)

p/s 30 hour flight?!?! My skin would dry out too!


Firn February 11, 2014 at 9:40 am

I’ve always been using a retinol product at night and a glycolic acid toner (that’s milder than Alpha H’s) twice daily, so that helped to keep my skin clear. But KL is really really hot! At least 2-3 degrees more than Singapore! I also put on extra sunscreen when I was back home and drank tons of barley water and young coconut juice to keep hydrated.

I also stayed away from lots of sweets (my only indulgence is pineapple tarts!).


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Yes it’s been blazing here. Horrible! But I hear we can expect it to cool down soon. I suppose my skin went a little nuts due to the change in routine. No matter that I brought along my regular skincare, the change in diet, eating times and weather messed everything up. Tried to drink more liquids but erm, napping in the afternoons put paid to that LOL!


Victoria February 11, 2014 at 10:51 am

I did not feast much on food during this festive season so in that sense, my skin behaved. Just wondering, when your skin is going through this condition, is there any reason that a serum like ANR II does not help since it helps with hydration?

I bought the same Origins moisturiser in the light green jar like your photo and I quite like the gel like texture and also the smell. I believe you also had the other one in the dark green jar? I found that a bit too oily for day use so decided to get the light green one instead. I am still trying to decide whether I should add the exfoliating toner into my night beauty regime because Caroline Hirons really raves about this method too. So I will wait for your post as usual before I make a decision :-)


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm

That’s a very good question about ANR, Victoria and one to which I have no answer. I did use ANR both day and night when I saw my skin going crazy but it didn’t do anything. It helped me LOOK rested but the breakouts and clogged, dry skin continued so I dropped it from the routine in the end. I think what my skin needed was an overhaul which is what I gave it in the end, with all the exfoliating lotions. Seemed to help! :) I found a tub of this light coloured Origins moisturiser in my cupboard thankfully or I’d have gone to buy the dark green tub (I only just found out it’s meant for different skin types – which is what happens when you don’t read the instructions closely enough :P ) As for using exfoliating toners, I’ve been using it in recent months thanks to Ms. Hirons and it’s actually quite effective. But I do use the Hada Labo one which is quite mild and I only use it in the night as I find it too drying used twice a day. I’m going to get the REN one so we’ll see how that goes ;)


Victoria February 12, 2014 at 2:45 pm

Hahaha, thought you already knew that the dark green tub was for dry skin. Which REN exfoliating toner would you be referring too? I am thinking of the Clarins one but still undecided about it.


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Yeah I should know these things >.< But on the bright side, the lighter green tub seems to be working as well. Whew! I got the REN Clarifying Toning Lotion coz I couldn’t decide on the Clarins one especially after a few of you said they’re reformulating. So I thought I’d go with something that’s sold as the same thing worldwide just to be sure :P


Victoria February 12, 2014 at 3:23 pm

I have actually used that one. I bought it during the REN workshop in October. I did not know it was an exfoliating toner as I used it as a hydrating toner instead. LOL. I love that one and so does Caroline Hirons. Pity it is not value for money though. I finished the 150 ml bottle within 2 months of daily usage. Haha.


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 3:29 pm

Ohhh!! And yikes! LOL I guess it’s not very drying then? It’s good to know that it’s good though. It would have been tragic if it sucked. And you go through it so quickly? Oh dear *gulp* Maybe try the Hada Labo Mild Peeling Lotion? It’s not bad, just a wee bit drying if you have dry skin


Lily February 11, 2014 at 8:40 pm

My skin was actually OK even after CNY. I also make sure I drink lots of water, and I hardly indulge in fried foods. It’s true when they say a healthy diet reflects on the skin :-)


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Good job. Guess for me, the travelling and break in routine was what killed it. Would be great if there was no need to travel LOL!


Nabihah February 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Hi Paris. I am your silent reader :). I always admire your blogs, the things that you share with the readers and other bloggers. Excellent post about after the festive season regarding the harsh reality that we, the ladies are facing.

Can I ask you what to do if I have a very bad case of acne bouts on my chin and the area of my jawline and near the side of my necks? I have tried drinking lots of water and well, a little (occasional) fruits and veggies to help me but to no avail. Should I exercise a lot more than I do now as to flush out the toxins? ;)

It would be such a wonderful thing if you or any other readers here help me



summer February 11, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Hi Nabihah,

usually breakouts around that area are hormonal, more due to your body functions inside than whatever you apply on your skin. for me, there was a time i’d get terrible breakouts along my jawline, chin and neck, exactly like you, and at first i had no idea what i was doing wrong.

(before that, just please check first if you have tried any new facial or hair products. i found last time that when i tried a new shampoo, sometimes it wouldn’t agree with me and wherever my hair touched my face i would break out there.)

once you have ascertained that it isn’t shampoo or a new face product, then start thinking of your diet. have you been eating anything out of the ordinary lately? or have you been eating too much of one thing lately? hormonal breakouts can be developed. i was never allergic to dairy or eggs my entire life, but recently due to the population boom, the milk companies around the world have been injecting cows with hormones to up milk production. same with chickens. so now, if i eat dairy or eggs, i break out TERRIBLY and HORRIBLY along my jawline and neck.

so do think about it. it might be something you ate. stop eating whatever you think it is and see what happens. by the way, if it’s because of hormonal issues, it will take your skin around 2-3 weeks to rebalance.


Irene February 12, 2014 at 8:47 am

Hi Summer and Nabihah, just chipping in here. Milk is a HUGE culprit for hormonal related breakouts! I used to take milk/yoghurt diligently for the nutritional benefits, but when I have terrible breakouts along my chin/jaw/around the mouth, I stopped my dairy intake and saw immediate results. I am now seeing a skin doctor for separate bouts of breakout, and he too said that dairy is a known culprit.


summer February 12, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Irene, it’s the worst thing ever though for me. I am a HUGE sour cream, cheese, ice cream and bechamel. Now i have to avoid them all, the compensation is that my skin is glowing and dewy, the sad part is i’m 164cm and i used to be 48kg, but lost 5kg due to cutting dairy. i have a MASSIVELY high metabolism, i know some ppl think it is a blessing, but it also means that i burn carbs SO fast it isn’t funny, and without dairy to make up for it, i’m only FORTY THREE kg now, i am badly underweight and i look terrible!! my cousin saw me that day after quite a while and he said i look like tweety bird – big head small body


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm

Hi Nabihah, thank you for your comment! :D As Summer and Irene have shared, I too have found that bad acne on my chin and jaw area tend to be hormonal and food/digestive tract related. For me, I will breakout in this area around the time I get my period or after eating a lot of beef or if my digestion gives me problems. Dairy and sugary food tends to also cause or make acne worse so it does pay to watch your diet and cut back on dairy, sugary food and drink, oily and fried foods etc. I discovered beef was a culprit for me but it could be fine for you but the cause could be something else too. More exercise is a good thing naturally, if you can and a diet high in fibre also helps to flush out the system.

Another reason for breakouts along my chin and neck I have learned is bedsheets. If you use a blanket or comforter, be sure to change and wash it regularly, as well as your pillow case. I would say also that shampoo or conditioner can cause breakouts (For me it was Tresemme) but when that happened to me, it was all over my face, not just on one part. But still, it’s something to consider if everything else fails.

On the skincare front, I would suggest reviewing your skincare and see if it’s too drying. When my skin gets too dry and dehydrated, I break out too. Hope these help you narrow down and reduce the acne problem :)


Nabihah February 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Thank you very much Irene, Summer and Paris! Probably the culprit in my case is chocolate. Well, I am a sweet tooth for anything that tastes sweet, especially ice cream, cakes and anything with sugar and chocolate itself. It is a huge concern for me since I am still adapting to a much cleaner type of diet, I mean a much healthier and less of those fried food, caffeine and all that taste delicious but not good for the body. Malaysia is the paradise of food right? Haha (lol).

This should probably meaning I am lactose intolerant or allergic to nuts. Hmm, never though I am allergic to any types of food. Now, the current state of my skin shows reaction to the way of my lifestyle. Hehe. I need to get organize on my current diet, exercise and skin care routine. I must be more diligent then, right? :D But still, better late than never.

Well, my secret indulgence is probably the sugar itself. All of your valuable opinions are very helpful. So yeah, we need to watch out for what we eat :D.

Thank you very much (big hugs).


summer February 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm

sweetheart, u have no idea. i have a big sweet tooth, and also a big fat tooth. my daily diet used to consist of 4 eggs and bread slathered with butter for breakfast, a triple cheeseburger with 3 extra slices of cheese and fries and coke and a chocolate sundae with extra chocolate for lunch, and something equally horrifying for dinner. for in between meal snacks i’d eat the American Hot Wings flavoured Doritos, half a packet with an entire carton of paul’s full fat sour cream. i have an incredibly high metabolism, i’d burn carbs even by lying down, so it wasn’t a weight problem for me..and was never a skin problem for me either until about 6 months ago. now i’m suffering for the sake of good skin. sigh.


Jennifer February 11, 2014 at 10:55 pm

Hey Paris, Gong Xi Fa Cai! May we gallop like we’re forever 16 eh! Your post is spot on – my skin was showing signs of CNY wear and tear the moment I landed in my hometown. I had rashes and my skin turned uber oily. There was a zit on my cheekbone as well. Whoever who reported cooler weather this time round during CNY…must not have been a meteorological expert who has lived through CNY in their lifetime.

I was grateful to have packed ANR II sachets and brought along Hada Labo lotion, EL Hydrationist Maximum Moisture Creme and Clinique Turnaround Concentrate Radiance Renewer. I applied these diligently at night because in the daytime, the random and spontaneous CNY house visits led to insufficient water intake and irregular/random food intake. My skin gradually improved but still not its usual self.

It got back better when I was back in KL, ironically. Thanks for the tip on chemical peel lotion to exfoliate skin. I will use the REN one this weekend. Water intake definitely helps as well :) Glad we are all home and on the way back to business as usual for our skin!


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Gong Xi Fa Cai, Jennifer! Just 2 more days and it’ll all be over and I’m sort of glad! LOL! I sorely need to get back into my routine in life and for my skin and it’s good to know I’m not alone seeing skin problems crop up thanks to the celebrations! Ok, I’m not glad, but it’s always nice to know you aren’t alone :) I think for many of us, the travelling, sun exposure and change in routine is what messes up our skin. Now that we’re back in the groove, let’s hope everything settles back down :)

p/s The prediction of a cool CNY? Bonkers, I tell you!


Emma February 12, 2014 at 8:03 pm

I hate to say this, but that origins make a different plus treatment thing is just not worth the hype at all. Well, it’s a nice moisturizer, but YouTube had me believed it to help with acne and plump up skin and many other abilities. I was expecting so much from it especially because of how much it cost, and I was so disappointed.


Paris B February 12, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Awww sorry to hear it didn’t work for you Emma. It definitely is just a moisturiser for me and one my skin really takes to and likes but I’d hardly recommend it as a treatment product especially for acne! It does plump up my skin nicely especially in the day which is when I use it, but the steep price is quite a bummer :(


Effa Haniza February 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

Hi Paris!

I saw you tweeted the light green jar and thought would asked you the difference with the dark green jar once you posted about it. Hehe.. I recently bought the dark green jar but I haven’t use it daily as I’m still trying to finish up my Laneige one. Teehee! I’ve been using exfoliating toner too and love how it changes my skin lately. I use Clarins every night and Antipodes clarifying toner in the morning. Although I’m actually itching to get the REN one. Lol! For hydrating toner, I’m still waiting for Michael Todd Blue Algae toner, so now I’m using the Caudalie Beauty Elixir. I didn’t like the smell at first but now I’m ok with it. Not planning to repurchase though.

I still have ANR in my wish list and I couldn’t get Shiseido sunscreen here. They kept saying they’re still waiting for stocks. Pfft! Any alternative you’d recommend?


Paris B February 21, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Hi Effa! I’ve been using the REN Clarifying Toner and it’s pretty decent stuff! I only use it on alternate nights though, because I’m back on Alpha H Liquid Gold. I actually also have problems getting the Shiseido sunscreen here. I wonder if it’s a worldwide issue :P I don’t know of an alternative to be honest! It’s the best I’ve used! :(


Joel March 1, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Hi Paris,

I would like to seek your advise on the ANR as I was thinking of getting it. Currently im having sensitive dry skin where it reached a point that when I touch my face, it feels rough & with lots of tiny bumps surfacing :(. I just bought the Origins light green tub for moisturiser. Do you have any good serums to recommend as the current serum (Laneige water bank) that I’m using has no effect. Please advise :)


Paris B March 10, 2014 at 6:42 pm

Hi Joel, I personally love ANR but it’s quite common knowledge. As for skin sensitivity and bumps, could it be an allergy? Sometimes it could be dust, dirt, stress or something you ate. For myself, when that happens, I stop using everything and go back to basics – cleanse properly, use an exfoliating toner (try Hada Labo Mild Peeling Lotion if you want something affordable), spritz on a hydrating face mist, apply a hydrating serum (if you can, try Hydraluron) and then apply a hydrating moisturiser. A lot of the time, I find that keeping skin well moisturised helps it recover on it’s own instead of overloading it with lots of products.

That said, I’m not an expert so if it’s a hormonal change or an allergy to medication, dust, food etc it might be worth seeing a dermatologist. But if it’s just clogged pores then some mild exfoliation usually helps. Good luck!


Let's Talk ~ Share your view

No SEO names, rude comments or advertising in comments. Please read the comment policy if new.

Previous post:

Next post: