We all know that the holiday season can put even the most seasoned of dieters to the test. But festive fare can have an effect on more than just your waistline. Holiday cuisine loaded with rich processed foods and dish after dish of carbohydrates (all of our favorite things! But why?!) can actually lead to skin inflammation, breakouts, and other complexion complaints. Don't even get us started with the cocktails.
So, how to establish a regular skincare regimen that feels right for you, especially during the holiday season? We talked to celebrity beauty nutritionist Paula Simpson about just that. Battle even the worst of your beauty woes with her winter skincare tips.
Your skincare regimen doesn't have to be complicated to be effective.
Once you've determined the particular kind of skin type you have, it's important to indulge in skincare and beauty products that treat this skin type. For instance, if you've got combination or oily skin, you often don't need to moisturize as much as those with a drier skin type. Although it's important to keep your skin hydrated during cold winter months no matter what type of skin you have.
When we asked Paula what her daily skincare regimen is like, she responded, "I keep it simple. Because I have sensitive skin, I opt for natural based skincare rich in antioxidants and algae extracts. Skin essential nutrients from diet and supplements are a daily part of my regimen too, as well as SPF."
Lock in your skin's moisture with facial oils and serums.
Paula's go-to wintertime product? "I love facial oils," the skincare expert told us. "I apply a small amount of oil to bring out a dewy complexion and then an antioxidant-rich serum to lock in skin moisture."
When traveling, be sure to take extra care of your skin.
During the festive season we often find ourselves jetting from one extreme weather conditions to another, and that can definitely take a toll on our skin.
When we asked for Paula's expertise on protecting our skin while traveling and/or on an airplane, she recommended replenishing with a "rich moisturizing mask the evening before and apply a moisturizing night cream before the flight."
Rinse and repeat. "After the flight I repeat," Paula continued. "Sometimes I will do a detoxifying type mask after the flight and moisturize with a facial oil and antioxidant based serum. Hydration is critical too – water, green tea and coconut water are my go-to for flights."
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
According to Paula, "Your skin is the largest organ of the body and [a] direct reflection of your inner health. If you are dehydrated, your skin will show it."
When we asked what her favorite foods were to make our skin glow, she told us, "Above drinking adequate fluids, choose in season raw foods more often, [like] dark leafy greens, cucumbers, strawberries, and watermelon. Pineapples, for example, provide over 90% water and are also loaded with nutrients/antioxidants to support a healthy body."
Raw foods, antioxidants, and healthy fats are a crucial part of a diet beneficial to healthy skin.
"When skin is exposed to environmental stressors such as UV rays or pollutants," Paula explained, "the skin becomes more vulnerable to unstable free radical molecules that break down proteins [such as collagen], disrupt cellular renewal, damage DNA, and stimulate inflammatory reactions. Choose more of these antioxidant rich foods and spices to ward off damaging free radical molecules."
What's an example of something rich in antioxidants, you ask? Simple: Paprika.
Not only is it rich in antioxidants but it includes vitamin C and, according to Paula, "It also helps to brighten skin and bring out natural radiance."
Don't fear the fats – at least, the good kind.
Eating a diet of balanced foods with sources of healthy oils and fats will stimulate healthy skin from the inside out. Not to mention, certain fatty acids can help to protect the skin from harmful byproducts in our environment that cause dull, dehydrated skin. Sallow skin problems no more.
"Omega fatty acids 3, 6, 7, 9 are crucial to skin function and appearance," Paula shared with us. "Typically the North American diet is over abundant in omega-6 fatty acids. [But] focusing on balanced foods... can naturally bring back skin glow."
To protect our skin from environmental stressors that cause dull skin, we should aim to get at least one source of omega-3 fatty acids in our diets every day.
"This could be through a serving of fatty fish (such as salmon), a tablespoon of oil (olive, hempseed, grapeseed, flaxseed oils), or add a handful of flax, chia seeds, walnuts to your cereal, oatmeal or smoothies daily," Paula suggested. "Avocados are also a balanced source of healthy fats for radiant skin."