If indulging during the festive season was your top priority, you might find yourself dealing with the aftermath of overeating, and all these consequences eventually manifest on your skin.
When the body is exposed to high levels of glucose (or sugar), collagen and elastin in the skin are damaged, leading to the rupture of their elastic structures. Apart from loss of skin elasticity, it also results in increased sebum secretion, dehydration, and a rougher, more uneven skin surface. The abundant sugar in alcohol can also pose problems for the skin. Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing dehydration in both the skin and the body. It expands and permeates the blood vessels in our skin, causing redness, flushing, and swelling. Alcohol is also a known trigger for conditions like rosacea and psoriasis.
It’s not just our tendency to overindulge that causes problems; according to a YouGov survey, a quarter of UK adults believe their mental health worsens during Christmas, with over half expressing concern about the mental health of loved ones. Considering how tumultuous this year has been, both locally and globally, stress is inevitably widespread. “Stress increases cortisol levels, leading to inflammation, exacerbating inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis.”
“Cortisol also indirectly affects the activity of oil glands, leading to acne, and stress increases the permeability of the skin barrier, causing increased water loss and skin dehydration. Stress also reduces collagen synthesis, resulting in a loss of elasticity and skin thickness.” Stress also alters the way we implement skincare routines. “We should not underestimate the impact of stress on our daily skincare routines, which are often neglected. Our skin thrives in daily care, and interruptions, such as stress, can exacerbate issues and lead to flare-ups. Sometimes, when under stress, we may find ourselves skipping our usual skincare routines… this can have a negative impact on our skin.”
Start a double cleansing routine
While experts differ on the actual meaning of “skin detox,” with the skin being efficient at protecting itself through its barrier and the medical impossibility of clearing toxins from the body through the skin, most agree that all seasonally dull skin can benefit from a reset. “There is not enough evidence to support any form of ‘skin detox.’ It’s about finding a balance between the active ingredients and cosmetics you use on your skin, aiming to soothe and moisturize your skin, coupled with considering your overall health and reducing known skin stressors, such as lack of sleep, excessive alcohol consumption, unbalanced diet, smoking, and pollution.”