How to cure your winter beauty blues

It's easy to get caught up in seasonal madness only to find yourself looking a little worse for wear post-party season.

With so many to-do’s and fetes to dress for, it’s easy to get caught up in the holiday madness, only to find yourself looking a little worse for wear post-party season. Here’s how to give your skincare regime a tune-up to combat everything from frigid temperatures to next-to-no-sleep.

Lack of sleep

When you’re toasting till the wee hours, your beauty rest takes a back seat, and over time, you’ll begin to see the effects. Aside from the typical puffy eyes (due to fluid retention) lack of sleep releases the stress hormone cortisol, which can actually break down skin collagen, resulting in sagging and dullness.

If a curfew is out of the question, there are things you can do to care for your skin and beat the lack of sleep. Be sure to remove all makeup, especially after a party when you’re wearing more than usual, and wash with a gentle cleanser. Follow up with a moisturizer, lip balm and eye cream. An eye cream is key for reducing puffiness and dark circles (a dead giveaway that you’ve burned the candle at both ends).

Try Benefit’s Let There Be Bright skincare set, $45. Available at Shoppers Drug Mart.


Poor diet

The holidays are a time to indulge (we won’t argue with that!), but expect a change in your complexion when you swap out fruit and veggies for hors d’oeuvres, cheese plates and sweet treats. Nutrition plays a huge part in our skin’s glow, our hair’s luster, even the strength of our nails, so all those things will suffer when the diet changes for the worse.

Tamara Green, a certified nutritional practitioner and founder of The Living Kitchen Wellness Group, has these suggestions for undoing the effects of holiday indulgences. “Drink more water!” she says. “This keeps cells hydrated and flushes toxins out of the body, which are common causes of skin breakouts. The number one food you should eat during the holidays, for your overall health and your skin, is dark, leafy greens, like kale, spinach and swiss chard. Dark greens provide minerals and vitamins that support immunity and prevent damage to skin cells. You should also consider using healthier alternatives for sugar. Choose maple syrup and honey – they’re perfect for desserts and more nutritious than refined white sugar.”


Weather woes

There’s nothing like the change in climate to throw skin for a loop. Though everyone experiences different seasonal effects, in winter months it’s common to notice dry skin from a lack of moisture in the air. This can result in flaking skin, or worse, painful chapping (not exactly ideal for midnight smooches on New Year’s).

For intense hydration, try introducing a humidifier to your home. Running a humidifier in the bedroom while you sleep, will ensure you wake up with a fresh face.

Air-O-Swiss Humidifier, $259. Available at The Bay.


Holiday bubbly

With so many reasons to cheers through the season, it’s easy to find yourself clinking glasses more often than usual, and this, too, can play a part in your skin’s appearance. Drinking alcohol dehydrates your body, leaving skin dry and dull.

To avoid post-party blues, make sure to drink lots of water (try for one glass of water between each cocktail) and always moisturize before bed.


Lack of sunlight

The benefits of vitamin D are seemingly endless. The sunshine vitamin can do everything from aiding a healthy immune system to strengthening teeth, bones and nails. It even helps with the absorption of other much-loved vitamins A and C.

We naturally absorb vitamin D through sunlight exposure, so consider a supplement during the winter, when you’re bundled up indoors and can’t soak up the feel-good rays.

Vivitas Woman Vitamin D, $6. Available at