Expert Tips To Fix Post-Christmas Skin
Expert Tips To Fix Post-Christmas Skin

Expert Tips To Fix Post-Christmas Skin

If your complexion is feeling the effects of a few late nights and some holiday indulgence, help is at hand. From the tapping and pinching technique to the radiance-boosting ingredients that work, we asked A-list facialists Hadda Akrim and Debbie Thomas for their tips to get things back on track.
By Rebecca Hull

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Why It’s Time To Hit Reset

“During the festive season, there are a lot of parties, we over-indulge and, as a result, our diet becomes unbalanced. On top of this, there’s a high chance your sleep will become disturbed and, as we’re so busy, we tend to pay less attention to our skin and its needs. All these factors take their toll and can result in dullness, breakouts and inflammation.” Hadda

“Our skin is affected by our lifestyle choices, but also the environment – for instance temperature fluctuations. This, on top of all the festive indulgence, means you will almost certainly see your skin play up in January. Patchy redness, dry skin, acne and generally a dull pallor are all common at this time of year. Cranking up the heating can have a huge impact too, as can a lack of vitamin D – these two issues can really contribute to rosacea and extreme sensitivities. January is the time to hit reset and feed your skin with moisture.” Debbie

The Treatments To Try

“Post-Christmas, everyone wants to reset their complexion. My advice? Don’t rush into building an entirely new routine. Instead, look into getting a ‘reset’ treatment that involves a deep clean paired with a peel. In January, I see lots of breakouts and dullness, but also puffiness due to stagnation of the lymph nodes. This is mainly to do with having more sugar in the diet, as well as excess alcohol. With that in mind, look for deep cleansing facials and, if you can, opt for a resurfacing peel as well – preferably one that contains lactic acid as this is gentle, but it will also exfoliate and whisk away dead cells while also adding moisture back into your skin.” – Hadda

“I recommend trying a facial that incorporates dermabrasion. This is a treatment that simultaneously infuses hydrating, skin-boosting ingredients into your complexion while also sloughing away dull, dead skin cells. It’s clever, quick and requires no downtime. You can follow up from the treatment with an enzyme cleanser daily to keep your cell turnover high for better glow and skin smoothness. Acid-based tonics or overnight creams that contain gentle exfoliators are a great addition post dermabrasion.” – Debbie

Techniques Worth Adopting

“If treatments are out of the question after a costly Christmas, try light massage techniques at home – these can make a difference to sluggish skin. Do this during your daily cleanse – preferably in the morning when skin is more receptive. I recommend using your full hand and swiping it across the face, always working outwards towards the hairline. Don’t forget your neck and chest. Knuckling movements are key too. They can help release tension around your jawline and forehead. As a technique, this is better done at night just before bed as it can help improve your sleep. I am a big advocate of gentle tapping and pinching too. Both techniques are a great way to improve circulation and blood flow to your skin’s cells. Go easy and ensure you’re using your fingertips – not the nails. Gently tap and pinch all over your face – you’ll see it redden slightly but this is just fresh, nutrient-rich blood coming to the surface.” – Hadda


Ingredients That Make A Difference

“A good antioxidant – like vitamin C – should be in everyone’s routine year-round, but especially in January. Antioxidants work to support skin barrier function for a suppler, smoother appearance and they also strengthen skin, giving it more protection against the damage of things like pollution and UV. I recommend using them alongside ceramides which are proven to strengthen the upper layers of skin to better protect the more delicate ones underneath.” – Debbie

“If breakouts are your bugbear, look for treatments that contain benzoyl peroxide. These will be able to kill off acne-causing bacteria while removing excess oil. Don’t forget the simplicity of ice either – this will reduce inflammation, which then helps spots to heal faster. I also swear by lactic acid – it has a larger molecule, which in layman’s terms means it’s far less irritating than some acids. It’s great for resurfacing skin, but it hydrates at the same time. Finally, I recommend azelaic acid and peptides. The former has skin-calming effects to reduce any post-Christmas redness, while the latter are a portion of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Our skin is basically made up of a composed protein called ‘keratin’, which is why most skin types benefit from a hefty dose of peptides. They can help bring things back under control, while also plumping and smoothing skin to reduce the look of sallowness and a loss of firmness.” – Hadda

Why Exfoliation Is Key

“If dullness is plaguing you post-Christmas, it’s probably been caused by several things. The first is dehydration. Yes, up your moisture levels, but don’t rush to apply the richest cream you can find – instead look for one with the right ingredients but in a lighter formula. This will help it absorb properly for maximum results. Second, don’t neglect exfoliation. Dullness is often caused by a build-up of dead skin. This creates a dull, grey layer that blocks the healthier, glow-y cells underneath from shining through. This is why mild but regular exfoliation is key. I prefer an acid or an enzyme-based product over a scrub, so look for non-drying formulas that contain PHAs or a lactic acid – as mentioned already – for the winter. Aim to exfoliate roughly twice a week – you’ll be amazed at the difference.” – Debbie

The Breakout Remedies

“Lots of sugar and Christmas excess can cause a flare-up of bad skin. If this sounds familiar, you can minimise the fallout by using certain ingredients. That includes retinoids and salicylic acid which work hard to minimise blockages within your skin. Use them regularly – or as much as you can – on the whole area where you’re likely to break out. For emergencies, pimple patches are surprisingly helpful. Full of antibacterial ingredients, they really do help to shrink spots and tackle them at speed. They may not get rid of them entirely, but they will reduce their size and redness.  It’s an obvious thing to say, but try to create less of an insulin spike when you do have sugar – this means balancing your diet with healthy meals in between snacks so when you get less inflammation showing up in your skin.” – Debbie

Finally, A Note On Your Eyes

“It’s not just the face that shows the tell-tale signs of Christmas, our eyes do too and are often neglected. I recommend moving your facial massage to this delicate area to improve any stagnant lymph flow. Work gently using your index and middle fingers to keep everything moving. Try incorporating brightening ingredients within your serum too – look to arbutin, kojic acid and tranexamic acid – all are proven to make a difference and resurface skin. A gentle retinol can be great too, but only if you find you can tolerate it in this area.” – Hadda

“Nothing helps reduce puffy eyes and darkness more than a good night’s sleep, but I do recommend a lightweight eye gel too. Gel is lightweight, so it will absorb easily to deliver those hard-working ingredients. Gel textures are also immediately hydrating and brightening. For a quick bit of de-puffing, use ice cubes in fast, sweeping motions for roughly two minutes around your eyes. It sounds simple, but it works and feels really good.” – Debbie

Follow @Minimal_By_Hadda & @DebbieThomasOfficial for more skin tips & product advice.


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