Sugary cocktails. Late nights on the dance floor. Hefty meals. The holidays are full of indulgences that can take a toll on your body (and skin!). Hangovers, under-eye puffiness and discoloration, a sallow complexion, and fatigue are just some of their effects. Good news, though—beauty and wellness professionals know exactly what it takes to make it through the season, guilt-free. We consulted Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection, for tips on helping your skin recover from the holidays' most sinful festivities. Listen in on our talk, here.
Before we talk about recovery, got any tips to help prevent falling victim to over-indulgence this season?
Exfoliate! Exfoliation is often a skipped step in people's beauty routine, but makes a huge difference in the way your skin looks and feels. Think of exfoliation as your way of creating a perfect canvas for your products and your makeup. You might be investing in the most expensive, amazing skin care products, but if you don't exfoliate, those ingredients will never penetrate to make a difference in your skin. I also recommend sleeping in a mask nightly if you'll be partying a lot. I alternate between my own Exfoliating Mask ($75, joannavargas.com) to reduce inflammation, even my skin tone, and clear out my pores, and a stem cell mask to help my skin repair and renew itself. Another tip is to eat a bit of avocado every day. Avocado supplies the skin with healthy fats and phytonutrients to help hydrate from the inside out, and keep your skin glowing. Incorporate a half of an avocado into your salad, or throw it into your morning smoothie.
Alcohol, holiday parties, and fattening foods—how can the holiday season's most common indulgences affect your skin and overall well being?
Alcohol is horribly drying for skin. It also inhibits the digestive system and poor digestion leads to breakouts. Similarly, fattening snacks are tough to digest. (Drinking green juices daily and cutting out coffee is the ticket back to great skin! This will offer hydration and get your digestive system back on track.) Lack of sleep robs the skin of its ability to repair itself overnight, which can also trigger breakouts. And it's common to skip washing your face before bed at the end of a long night, which is a huge no-no when it comes to having clear skin. If you have trouble with breakouts, remember to apply your skin care products downwards on your face to encourage lymphatic drainage. It will open your lymph nodes and allow your skin to clear up quickly.
How can a trip to the spa help ease these effects?
Keeping the skin soothed and clear is an esthetician's job. If you're burning the candle at both ends, an esthetician can guide you to a treatment that will calm and restore the skin. Nothing takes the place of a great peel, so I always recommend my Power Peel ($175 for 45 minutes). It's a combo of a detoxifying blueberry peel, LED light therapy, and oxygen. It flushes out toxins, resurfaces your skin, and restores that amazing glow we all love!