Just like that, the party season is once again upon us. December is full of festivities for each of us to indulge in; late nights, party food, a touch too much alcohol (I do not encourage the consumption of any alcohol as no level has been proven safe). It’s essential that we all treat ourselves, but it’s also important that we feel our best, in order to completely relax into these glorious moments. The fact of the matter is that the winter season is accompanied by cold weather, central heating, a lack of exercise and more. All these factors, especially when combined, can really compromise our skin and dull our glow, meaning we neither feel nor look our best. Throughout this article, I will share with you my skincare top tips so that all of us can come through the party season better than ever before.
- Moving More
My first tip is to get moving. I highly recommend yoga as a number of key positions (asanas) focus on results in improved blood flow to the skin. It also has relaxation properties. One of the best anti-ageing asanas to really get skin glowing is the famous headstand, however, if this feels like too advanced a position, there are a range of alternative asanas. You know better than anyone what your body is comfortable with. Consulting a local yoga teacher can be a fun and safe way to uncover a specific set of positions, suited to you and your unique abilities.
- The Carb Complex
The cold weather and comfort carb combination is one that has been around for centuries- and it’s no wonder. Complex carbohydrates derived from foods such as quinoa and sweet potatoes can aid in maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. Plus they are delicious, hearty foods that help us to feel ‘warmed through’ throughout the winter months. To satisfy carb cravings, without the high glycaemic effects, many nutritionists recommend consuming them in their original, complex carbohydrate state. Think delicious root veggie stews, pulse curries, organic short-grain brown rice, lentil dhal, and so on. I also suggest incorporating an exciting selection of orange veggies for two key reasons. Firstly, so that you are getting a dose of beta carotene – a precursor to vitamin A. Secondly, previous studies have reflected a correlation between high consumption of orange foods (sweet potatoes, carrots, red and orange peppers etc.) and a ‘golden’ glow. Studies have shown that not only is this glow perceived as attractive, just one serving of these orange veggies per day for a two week period can have this glow effect. In the short term, it also reduces symptoms such as the appearance of a puffy, swollen face and reduction of visible blemishes. You can also enjoy a range of long term benefits such as lower blood sugar levels which will help to reduce the cross-linking and stiffening of proteins in our organs, including our skin. This stiffening can occur when proteins like collagen are exposed to sugars, in the presence of oxygen, leading to the creation of Advanced Glycation End-products or AGEs.
- Hydrate Hydrate Hydrate
I know you will have heard multiple times that hydration and health go hand in hand. That said, I cannot stress its importance enough! As temperatures shift and summer passes, it’s easy to forget our fluids. I swear by water and herbal teas with a firm favourite being hot water and half a lemon. It’s divinely refreshing and as it has an acidic pH, it produces alkaline byproducts once ingested. This buffers acids in our system which can cause bone loss leading to osteoporosis. Additionally, drinking hot water aids with a smoother digestive function. It is widely understood that the digestive system can directly impact the skin and if it is underperforming or impaired it can reduce the skin’s ability to repair its cells. Staying hydrated also aids in reducing wrinkles, fine lines, acne and other skin blemishes! To maintain your glow throughout the colder weather, I suggest circa 2L a day of water, in order to work out whether your hydration levels are optimal, you need to be monitoring your pee, if your urine is a pale straw colour you are spot-on, if it’s any paler than that or darker then you are, respectively over-hydrating, or dehydrated.
- Suitable Skincare products
As your largest organ, it could not be more important that we take care of our skin. When selecting products it’s worth noting the absorbent abilities of the skin. It is also key you understand what your skin can tolerate on an individual level. There is strong evidence to suggest synthetic chemicals are extremely damaging to the skin and to keep your dermis in tip-top condition you should stick to organic, natural options. Of course, there are cogent arguments from those based in the synthetic camp, I have personally chosen (and would advise others) to avoid synthetics where possible, opting instead for more natural products. This said, I strongly urge you to do your research in order to make an informed decision that reflects your body’s needs.
Finally, I hope that you thoroughly enjoy the party season – let’s keep our fingers crossed it isn’t too hampered by Covid-19 restrictions adjusting! I know that you’ll weather it with aplomb – and I truly hope these self-care tips help you to maintain your sparkle and glow throughout this season and beyond!
All my love,