The holiday season is here and that means extra stress and less time to spend on self-care. When these two factors are added together, they may equal new skin health concerns and flare-ups in existing skin issues. As you and your family members celebrate the season, it may be beneficial to amp up your holiday skincare routine. According to Dr. Kristyna Iyer of U.S. Dermatology Partners in Cushing, Oklahoma, “The holiday season means a lot of conflicting priorities that can lead to less time and dedication to maintaining the daily skincare routine. When this happens, skin may not look or feel its best, leaving people feeling less confident. The good news is that better skincare doesn’t necessarily mean spending hours a day on your daily routine to keep your skin healthy. Instead, you just need to find the right skincare products and apply them correctly to maintain healthy skin.” In this blog, Dr. Iyer walks through the recommended holiday skincare routines for the morning and evening as well as provides additional skincare tips for individuals with acne-prone and sensitive skin.
Best Morning Skincare Routine
Morning skincare is all about protection. As we go about our days, our skin is exposed to sunlight, pollutants, allergens, irritants, and other sources of damage. The morning skincare routine should be geared toward preventing as much damage as possible.
- Cleanser – Thoroughly clean skin but use a gentle cleanser with few ingredients to avoid stripping skin of moisture and causing irritation.
- Toner (optional) – Apply a toner to balance the skin’s pH, deep clean pores, and remove all residue and matter left on the skin after cleansing.
- Serums – Many different types of serums can help you achieve a variety of specific skincare goals. For young people, a good vitamin C serum is typically the best option for daily use. These products are antioxidants, which means they protect against sun and pollutant damage.
- Treatments – If you struggle with acne, rosacea, eczema, or other skin health issues, apply treatments for these skin health issues after serums but before moisturizers or other products.
- Moisturizer – Use a lightweight moisturizer to keep skin hydrated and avoid excessive oil production that can clog pores and leave skin looking and feeling oily.
- Sunscreen – Last but not least, make sure to apply a broad spectrum (protecting from UVA and UVB rays) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all areas of skin that will be exposed to sunlight. Reapply sunscreen as necessary throughout the day.
Best Evening Skincare Routine
In the evening, skincare routines are all about recovery and healing the damage of the day. Your basic evening skincare regimen will be similar to your morning routine, but you’ll use more soothing and hydrating products.
- Cleanser – Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser and rinse away soap and residue thoroughly.
- Toner (optional) – Depending on specific skincare needs, you may want to apply toner in the evening. For dry or sensitive skin, it may be better to skip toner at night.
- Treatments – If you struggle with acne, rosacea, eczema, or other skin health issues, apply treatments for these skin health issues before your moisturizer.
- Moisturizer – Apply a deep, hydrating moisturizer. If you have dry skin, it may be beneficial to use a heavier, cream-based moisturizer at night. A thicker moisturizer is usually beneficial during the dry winter months as well. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, make sure to find a lighter moisturizer that’s formulated for acne-prone skin. These products should be designated as non-comedogenic.
Don’t Neglect Your Body’s Skin Health
According to Dr. Iyer, “When most people talk about skincare, they’re really just talking about caring for the face. However, the skin covering the entire body needs to be cared for properly as well. That means showering or bathing regularly using a gentle body wash or soap. Your skin should also be moisturized at least once a day, after bathing, and anytime skin feels dry.”
Holiday Skincare Tips for Acne-Prone Skin
Acne-prone skin takes special care to maintain. For those who are struggling with acne, one of the most important things to remember is to be consistent. Cleaning skin gently but thoroughly in the morning and evening and anytime you have sweated is essential. While it may seem counterintuitive, it’s also very important to apply the right moisturizer. This prevents skin from producing excessive amounts of sebum (oil) that can lead to acne breakouts or make current blemishes worse. In addition to being consistent with the daily skincare routine, it’s important to manage lifestyle factors that impact skin health. That means getting plenty of sleep, eating a nutrient-rich diet, exercising regularly, and finding healthy outlets for stress.
Holiday Skincare Tips for Sensitive Skin
When it comes to sensitive skin, Dr. Iyer says, “Finding the right skincare products is key for people with sensitive skin. Start by choosing products that have fewer ingredients or those that are created specifically for sensitive skin. While this is a good start, it doesn’t guarantee that sensitive skin won’t react. For this reason, it’s important to do a spot test before applying the skincare product over the full face or body. Apply the product to a small area like the back of the hand or the nape of the neck. If there is no reaction, it should be safe to use.”
If you’re putting together a list of products safe for sensitive skin to create a good daily skincare routine, some of our top recommendations include:
- ALASTIN Skincare Gentle Cleanser
- EltaMD Skin Recovery Toner
- Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex 30%
- SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator
- SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50
Should You Work with a Dermatologist?
Dermatologists can help you develop a specialized skincare routine to achieve and maintain clear, healthy skin. If you’re noticing changes in skin health this holiday season, scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist may be a great way to get your skin health back on track. If you’re interested in working with U.S. Dermatology Partners, getting started is quick and easy. Simply take a few moments to complete our online scheduling request form. Once our team hears from you, they’ll be in touch to finalize the details of your visit and answer any questions you may have.
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