Skin Deep

A holiday skin survival guide


Special to The Miami Herald

It’s that time of year again, and odds are you have a schedule filled with holiday parties for work, friends and family.

These events are all about indulgence, from the food and the drinks to the late nights—and your skin often pays a price. I’m not saying you should stay home, but I am suggesting a few simple steps that can minimize skin damage and the beauty consequences.

Eat before you go out. Holiday party spreads are oh-so tempting. From the onslaught of hors d’oeuvres from the second you walk through the door to all-you-can eat buffet extravaganzas, it’s not hard to overindulge. As delicious as these foods may be, they’re usually packed with salt, which, in terms of beauty, can translate to puffiness the next morning.

It’s also easy to overdo it on sweet treats this time of year, and studies show that sugar may worsen wrinkles and acne. My solution? Eat a small meal before leaving the house. Think protein, like lean meat and cheese, with a little fiber-rich whole grain to keep you full. When your tummy isn’t rumbling, it’s easier to keep your appetite in check.

Nosh mindfully. Make wise choices — and don’t let alcohol cloud your judgment. Go for the crudités instead of the fried hors d’oeuvres, shy away from bread (which is converted to sugar that can break down collagen) and limit sweets to just a bite or two.

Avoid the eggnog. I’m not suggesting you be a teetotaler, but there are much better cocktail choices than eggnog, which is packed with sugar and fat. Stick with wine or liquor (the less sugary mixers the better), and drink a glass of water between each round to help prevent a hangover.

Prevent a hangover—or looking like you have one. We all have one too alcoholic drinks many from time to time, but you can help prevent a hangover the next morning if you play it smart. Drink water before you go to bed, take a few Advil, and for the sake of your skin, wash off that makeup before you hit the sack.

Get your caffeine from tea. When you roll out of bed the next morning, considering reaching for tea instead of coffee. You still get your caffeine fix, but you can use the teabags (after letting them cool) to quell puffiness and dark circles that may be the result of overindulging the night before. If that’s not enough, try an eye cream with caffeine or ginseng to help flush excess fluid (try M.A.C Fast Response Eye Cream). And if your complexion needs a little pick-me-up, add a luminizing product to your morning routine.

Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist and the CEO of the Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami Beach.

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