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 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
Is it any wonder my skin went wonky just before the festive season and just got progressively worse throughout?
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
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 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
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
Go back to basics with your skincare
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
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!
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?