The Holidays and Your Skin: What Causes Problems and What You Can Do

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • With the holidays right around the corner, many people are starting preparations. We are planning parties, preparing our homes for guests, buying gifts. Many of us, however, put aside our own health needs, skipping meals, getting less sleep and foregoing exercise programs during this season, even though our stress levels tend to rise. Skin care routines may be rushed through or forgotten altogether as we hurry from one event to the next. But skin care is important as there are a number of ways the holiday season can cause or worsen skin conditions.


    The Problem: Alcohol


    During the holiday season, alcoholic beverages seem to flow more than at other times of the year. Excessive drinking is known to cause health problems, such as liver disease, but it also can lead to premature aging of your skin. Your skin can look dull and dry.

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    What You Can Do


    Moderate your drinking. Alternate a glass of water after each drink to keep your body and skin hydrated. Use moisturizers to help counteract the dryness you might experience after a night of heavy drinking.


    The Problem: Traveling


    The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year. As you pack up your belongings, you may not want to include all of your skin products, opting instead to take only the "necessary" items. Or you may be traveling by plane and you aren't sure which items are allowed in your luggage. But that could leave you without some important skin care products. You may also be traveling to an area with a different climate or a higher level of pollution which can cause skin problems to worsen.


    What You Can Do


    Check with the airlines on the current regulations regarding carrying liquids or other substances. Many stores offer plastic containers that are in approved sizes for you to use to carry liquids. If you have prescription skin care products, make sure you keep the product in the original container. Be sure to bring along any essential products and have moisturizers on hand. Flying can dry your skin so you want to apply moisturizer before you board the plane as well as when you are in the air. If you are going to an area where you will be out in the sun, make sure to include sun block products. For more information on makeup when traveling: Travel Makeup and Skin Care Tips.


    The Problem: Changing Weather


    This time of the year isn't just about the holidays. For many parts of the country, it also means cold and snowy weather that is hard on skin. Some experts say that this type of weather weakens your skin and makes it more vulnerable to infections, in addition to causing dry skin. Traveling to a different climate can also cause dryness and itching.


    What You Can Do


    Take precautions during the winter months by using a moisturizer to help reduce the effects of the weather. Other ways to prevent dry skin include reducing the time you spend in hot steaming showers or blow-drying your hair (they can strip your natural oils). Showers should be warm, not hot, and use a towel to dry your hair as much as possible or allow time for your hair to air-dry (at least partially) before blow-drying it. For more information: Deflecting Winter's Dry Skin


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    The Problem: Stress


    In a previous post, HealthGal, states, "Stress can cause a myriad of skin problems - hair falling out, skin breaking out, skin flushing and so on." Our stress levels run high during the holiday season. We worry about finances, worry that our gift will be liked, are harried with different events we must attend or stress about visiting our family. The more we stress, the more it shows up on our skin.


    What You Can Do


    HealthGal suggests meditation, exercise, deep breathing and troubleshooting the issue that is stressing you out. Take time during the holidays to relax, spend time with people you enjoy being with and find activities that promote relaxation. While the holidays can be hectic, they don't have to be stressful.



Published On: November 08, 2011