For most of us, December is the busiest month of the year. Jam-packed full of family lunches, staff Christmas do’s, catching up with friends…and that’s even before the festivities really begin on the 24th!
So… You’ve been working really hard on sticking to a strict acne-friendly routine for the last few weeks but how on earth are you supposed to summon up any willpower when there’s cake, mince pies, chocolate and sweets literally everywhere you look?! Not to mention the impossible task of saying no to another glass of booze when you’re being forced to socialise with your partner’s colleagues…
Late nights, over indulgence and too much Prosecco mean that the holiday season can be a recipe for skin disaster. While one or two spots may not cause too much trouble, there is simply no time in the social calendar for a full face meltdown. Amiright?!
How to avoid acne breakouts during the holidays
I’ve put together some tips to make sure you stay acne free this season – without being a party pooper!
Get your beauty sleep
I’m not saying you have to leave your office party by 10pm (however, it could be a great excuse to get away!) but I am telling you to get a good 8 hours sleep as often as possible! For optimal sleep, it’s advised that you nod off this side of midnight – this will help you to wake up more energised and leave you with happier hormones and calmer skin.
Load up on anti-inflammatory nutrients
Okay, so you went off the rails last night. No one’s judging! Just make sure you load up on plenty of antioxidants for the next 72 hours to reduce as much inflammation as possible. If you see yourself getting into this kind of situation, I recommend stocking up on some Matcha Green Tea (or just good quality Green Tea) and drinking 3-4 cups a day post-binge. If Green Tea’s not your thing, whip yourself up some antioxidant rich low-sugar vegetable juices to drink!
Eat before you party
Most parties will inevitably contain gluteny, sugary, cow-dairy treats covering every single surface, in every single room. While these miniature foods look incredible (and let’s face it, probably taste pretty yum too) they are your skins worst enemy! I was lucky enough to develop a severe gluten allergy prior to my acne-healing journey so I’d already got used to being the one who had to decline the mini pastries and clear up all the carrot sticks instead! I get it though, all those different snacks can be so tempting, especially after one or two drinks! Enjoy a decent meal prior to going out and you’ll find yourself surprisingly disinterested in the party food platters.
Don’t go overboard
I’m not going to tell you you’re not allowed to drink over the festive season, working towards your clear skin goals doesn’t mean you have to give up on the things you enjoy – in fact, I think it’s essential that you still enjoy yourself! But it is important to avoid going totally overboard as our liver already has enough to deal with!
My best tip is to order a large glass of water with every alcoholic drink you have to help flush out the alcohol and rehydrate you as quickly as possible. My pals often mock me for it, but I’m the one that can get up the following day bright eyed and bushy tailed without a killer hangover!
Be the breakfast king
Eating a low carb, high fat/protein breakfast is one of the best things you can do for your skin all year round, not just at Christmas! Starting your day with a meal that’s high in the essential macronutrients fat and protein will keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day. It really is one of the best habits you can get into for your skin. Foods like eggs and grass-fed butter/ghee are full of acne-clearing vitamin A (which you can’t get from vegetables) and liver detoxifying and skin healing glutathione – it’s these sorts of foods that will give your blood sugar levels and skin the best fighting chance of staying balanced and clear during the holidays.
My go-to breakfast is usually a smoothie made up of:
- Non cow dairy milk
- LARGE knob of melted butter
- Protein powder (I’m loving the gut healing Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth protein!)
- Cacao powder
- Drop of Stevia
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
However, when I have the time I love to cook myself up a delicious brunch of baked eggs, sweet potato, pepper and onion hash topped with bacon, chives and homemade guacamole!
Despite our best intentions of sticking to our healthy routines over Christmas, let’s face it. It just ain’t gonna happen! However, you’ll be overjoyed to hear that treating yourself is not the end of the world! In fact, if it makes you happy – it’ll be a helluva lot better for your skin then stressing out over a bit of cake or a cocktail – now that sorta stress and guilt will give you spots! Realistically, unless you have a proper food allergy, the odd ‘off-diet’ treat isn’t going to have a mega impact on your skin.
However, if you’re keen to give your skin the best fighting chance, then one of the best trickis to eat something high in protein and/or fatabout 10-15 minutes before you indulge in something sweet and ‘off-diet’. I’ve mentioned the importance of focusing your diet around fat many times before, but eating plenty of fat slows down the rise in glucose, meaning that your body won’t go into insulin overdrive when any sweet treat hits your belly! For quick and easy high protein hits, think apple or celery dipped in nut butter, a handful of nuts/seeds or some grass-fed jerky/biltong.
What treats (acne-friendly or not!) are you most looking forward to this festive season? Let me know your tips for staying acne free this holiday season in the comments below!
Peace, Love & Clear Skin