Looking to clear your skin in time for the holidays? The fastest, most effective path to radiant skin is by incorporating both internal and topical treatments in your day-to-day routine.
1. Clean up your diet today.
Holiday parties are filled with tempting treats and goodies that are no good for your skin. Nobody wants to miss out on the indulgences altogether, but it's important to know the ins and outs of your skin and commit to skipping those foods that irritate it.
If your skin gets red easily or feels hot from within, stay away from hot and spicy foods. The same holds true for rosacea sufferers, who also need to stay on the wagon for the holiday season. Sorry to say it, but alcohol is a big no-no for rosacea. For people with acne or oily skin, it's best to eliminate dairy products and fried foods. Sugar and white flour create inflammation and can make any skin condition worse.
Looking to indulge? Head for the caviar and dark chocolate; both have health benefits and are also good for the soul.
2. Infuse your body with healthy teas, both topically and by drinking.
Various teas have great benefits for the skin. Choose the tea that's best for your symptoms, or rotate between all of them. Drink 2-3 cups per day.
In the evenings, brew one cup for drinking and another to use as a wash. Let the "wash tea" steep for 10 minutes, then cool down to a lukewarm temperature. Use cotton balls or a washcloth to submerge in the tea. Apply to the face for about 10 minutes, and allow to dry naturally.
- Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea is the best choice to reduce wintertime redness. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, inhibits inflammatory acne and rosacea, and has all-around calming properties. Internally, it also aids in reducing stress and benefiting sleep.
- Green Tea: Green tea is widely regarded as one of the best all-around "superfoods," packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation. Topical use of green tea reduces sebum production, gets rid of oiliness and protects against acne-causing bacteria. For rosacea sufferers who have sun sensitivity, green tea decreases the skin's reactivity to UV light.
- Rooibos Tea: Rooibos tea is an excellent choice for winter dryness. It cleanses the pores and leaves the skin moist and supple. It's a wonderful caffeine-free alternative which accelerates overall healing of the skin.
3. Stock your pantry and medicine cabinet with turmeric.
Turmeric is another skin-care staple which can be taken internally and applied topically. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties reduce redness and eliminate the formation of pimples.
In Chinese medicine, turmeric "quickens the blood" and is useful to treat the tiny blood vessels that appear as spider-like webs seen in rosacea.
Internally, mix 1 teaspoon a day into food, or look for capsules of turmeric or its active ingredient, curcumin. Avoid internal use if you have a history of gall stones or are on blood-thinning medications.
Twice a week, turmeric can be mixed with water to use as a face mask. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off with a gentle cleanser. Be careful to cleanse thoroughly so that your skin doesn't turn orange!
4. Supplement with zinc.
Clinical studies have suggested that zinc may improve acne, heal damaged skin, and reduce the production of sebum. Take zinc supplements internally two or three times per day. Look for natural moisturizers that contain zinc as a primary ingredient.
5. Start taking evening primrose oil.
Evening primrose oil is rich in omega-6 fatty acids and has a particular affinity for treating skin conditions, from acne and rosacea to eczema and psoriasis. In eczema and rosacea, evening primrose helps eliminate redness by reducing inflammation. In acne cases, it's been shown to dilute sebum, reducing the risk of pores becoming clogged. It is commonly used for hormonal acne, when bumps appear on the chin and jaw line.
Incorporate these five tips in your health and beauty regimen in the weeks to come, and you'll be sure to sparkle and glow this holiday season.