It’s the “most-photographed” time of the year, but it’s also the time we’re most likely to look our worst. By December, year-end pressure at work, shorter daylight hours, bad weather (which translates to bad traffic) and any number of other problems makes holiday time stress time. And that’s before we’re even considering gift buying and the slew of parties that take their toll in sleep deprivation and alcohol consumption. Bottom line, it takes some work to look your best by the time you’re counting down the last seconds of the year. Get ready for your close up by going in prepared.
Here, our best tips for looking your best under the mistletoe . . .
Give your face a lift
Skip the fancy department store products this year. There is no magic cream in a bottle, but good skin care backed by science is always necessary to protect your investment and help maintain your results at home. The best solutions for “lifting” or “firming” skin come outside of the bottle. Luckily, a whole array of treatments, from Botox to fillers to combinations of the two, are primed to deliver real results. And the best news is that these treatments are highly customizable. You can opt for anything, from dramatically different to subtly smoothing results.
Treatment: The Liquid Facelift
Most doctors use the term “liquid facelift” to refer to a combination of products like Botox, used in small amounts to relax facial muscles responsible for creating wrinkles, and injectable fillers with hyaluronic acid, used to fill and replace the naturally occurring substance in your skin. How these products are combined and delivered is personalized to your individual needs. The main goal is to erase years from the face by lifting and filling out sagging skin or sallow areas while minimizing or erasing lines that drag the face down, like marionette lines and crow’s feet. Scheduling this service now will give you the best results by the beginning of the new year.
Clear and smooth skin
Get ready for smoother skin! If you weren’t born with perfect pore-free skin, you don’t have to live without it anymore. One of the best fixes is a HydraFacial, this year’s blockbuster facial. The HydraFacial has earned something of a reputation as the go-to treatment to help skin recover from stress and accelerate the rebuilding process, especially after ablative laser procedures like Fraxel. Because it pushes hydrating compounds deep into the skin, it’s a great option for ongoing self-care and a nice complement to procedures like injectables or filler, which look the best with newly cleaned and exfoliated skin.
Treatment: The HydraFacial
What to know:
It’s non-ablative. The HydraFacial doesn’t disturb the skin in same way, as, say, microdermabrasion, which blasts the skin’s surface to exfoliate. That makes it a great option for people who can’t tolerate more ablative facial treatments.
It’s highly customizable. The use of serums and serum boosters help technicians really tailor results to a patient’s priorities. Growth factors are available to address fine lines, prescription strength vitamin C concentrations can deliver a more powerful skin-brightening punch (than topical applications alone), and compounds like the body’s own hyaluronic acid can be enhanced with an infusion to support collagen stimulation.
It feels (and looks) good. With the HydraFacial, the sometimes-routine admonishment you give your facialist to “skip extractions” like squeezing or pressing the skin, is a non-issue. The vortex device and deep-cleaning pore flushing solution (made from anti-inflammatory Tasmanian pepper, salicylic acid and willow bark extract) gets the gunk out (at the end you can actually see what came out of your skin.
It’s an instant brightener. Because it doesn’t irritate the skin, the HydraFacial has become something of a last-minute go-to for a quick improvement in skin texture, tone, and even sometimes acne, without downtime. It’s the rare treatment that can deliver consistent results and brightening even hours before a big event – like a red-carpet gala or a wedding.
Work in some old-fashioned self-care
Are you drinking enough water? Getting enough sleep? Your skin will tell you . . . and everyone else. Follow these steps religiously and even if you’re not ready for something like a liquid facelift, your skin will thank you. . .
Wash your face with a gentle cleanser and replenish the skin’s natural oils that moisturize and keep your skin healthy. Try to minimize hot water exposure and apply moisturizer when your skin is damp. A moisturizer with sunscreen is essential during the day and look for a heavier, more moisturizing product for nighttime use.
This seems like the hardest advice come holiday time but being mindful of how you’re eating everyday can help you deal with unhealthy party food. NDDA’s Health and Wellness Advisor, Candace Stone recommends looking for brightly colored fruits and vegetables that contain many anti-aging properties. Vitamin A helps cell reproduction and repair. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects tissues from free radicals that cause premature aging and wrinkles. It also promotes the production of collagen, giving your skin strength and elasticity.
Skin that is dehydrated shows more wrinkles and lines. Try to always have a water with you to remind yourself to stay hydrated.
Get Your Beauty Rest
It may sound like a cliché, but “beauty rest” is a real thing. Your face is the first place the aging effects of bad or not enough sleep will show up. If you don’t do anything else, says NDDA’s Dr. Mary Hurley, get some good sleep, “it’s the best beauty elixir there is.” Time runs tight at the end of the year, so plan ahead and guard your bedtime like you would your most expensive night cream. If you’re having a hard time getting good sleep, research options for improving it. Try a weighted sleep blanket and assess how to make your bedroom darker and cooler at night.