The holiday season is usually marked by delicious meals, sweets and festive cocktails. But did you know that some of the holiday foods that we commonly eat could wreak havoc on your skin, while others could help you get your glow on?
We break down some of the best and worst holiday foods for your skin, plus offer a few quick and easy skincare tips for a smooth, radiant complexion.
Holiday Foods Great for Your Skin
Lots of holiday foods that you’ll find on the table are actually very beneficial for your skin, so stock up on these festive favorites:
- Cranberries. Rich in antioxidants, cranberries help to fight harmful free radicals to protect your complexion and ward off signs of aging. Whole cranberries are best, as cranberry sauce tends to be high in sugar.
- Walnuts. Not only do walnuts contain high levels of antioxidants, but they are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help your skin stay smooth, hydrated, and protected.
- Carrots. You could call these orange holiday staples nature’s retinoid cream. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A within your body. Vitamin A is the derivative from which retinoids come.
- Fish. Many cultures eat fish on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and other holidays. Fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which your skin needs to stay moisturized.
- Chestnuts.Roast these over the fire to boost your vitamin B. Some studies show that vitamin B may help your skin to create new skin cells more quickly and efficiently.
Holiday Foods Not So Great for Your Skin
These foods and drinks, on the other hand, aren’t so great for your skin and could worsen existing skin conditions or leave you with a dull, lackluster complexion post-holiday:
- Cookies and sweets. Sugar is your skin’s enemy, as it causes a chemical reaction called glycation. During glycation, sugar molecules bind to and damage proteins like collagen, accelerating the aging process.
- Eggnog. Not only is eggnog usually high in sugar, but it’s also high in saturated fats, which can cause inflammation throughout your body, including your skin. If you struggle with acne, you may want to avoid eggnog and other dairy products, as studies show that dairy is one of the biggest food-related culprits of acne.
- Veggie dips. Veggie dips also traditionally contain dairy and saturated fats. Hummus is a healthier alternative that also comes along with the added free-radical-fighting benefits of the manganese found in chickpeas.
- Alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption dehydrates your skin and can also cause a flare-up of existing skin conditions like rosacea.
Easy Skincare Tips to Get Glowing Skin
Whether you’re looking for a quick boost of radiance right before the holidays or you want a little skin pick-me-up after a festive night, here are a few quick and easy skincare tricks you can try:
- Create a honey and sugar scrub. The sugar crystals are small and soft enough that they don’t damage your skin, but they do offer gentle exfoliation. Honey is full of beneficial antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, and can also help to draw moisture to your skin.
- Make a DIY face mask for glowing skin. Combine cacao powder, papaya, and a dash of aloe vera gel to make an at-home face mask that’s jam-packed with beneficial ingredients for your skin. Leave this mask on for about ten minutes, and then gently wipe off with a washcloth.
- Keep a consistent skincare routine. Don’t forget about the power of a daily skincare regimen! While you won’t see overnight results with a brand new regimen, you will see long-lasting improvements to your skin as you continue to use it.