This holiday season is different than any other and most of us are very much looking forward to this year, of all years in recent memory, coming to a close. Even with the challenges of the year, everyone still wants to put their best face forward for the holidays. Your skin is a powerful reflection of your overall health and well-being, beautiful radiant skin is a great representation of the care you take of yourself.
The good news is that your skin is very forgiving, designed to tolerate fluctuations and recover quickly compared with the other organs of your body. So even if there have been times of stress in the past, there are ways to manage to minimize the impact on your skin and on your body as a whole. My goal is to help you understand the power you have within yourself to look and feel your best: mind, body, soul, and with it comes true beauty. I learned many of these lessons from my father, who was also a physician and who taught me that being a doctor meant being a healer and the importance of taking care of the whole person not just the parts.
Your appearance is not vanity and it’s ok and even healthy and positive to want to look your best. The good news is you don’t have to break the bank to get there. There are outstanding products and treatments available to help you look and feel your best every day of the year. There are also exciting cutting edge non-surgical treatments with minimal down-time that can get you looking your very best in the most gentle and natural way.
The single most important thing you can do for your skin to prevent premature aging and the discoloration, blotchiness, lines and wrinkles that come with, it is to be sun smart. Yes even on that cold snowy day you need sun protection if you’re spending time outdoors, especially if you’re skiing since ultraviolet (UV) rays are more intense at higher altitudes.
Colder drier weather in winter can be very hard on the skin so be sure to avoid harsh deodorant or antibacterial soaps as they are especially harsh on your skin, compromising your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Instead, opt for mild, fragrance-free make up removers and cleansers. UV rays, present every day all year round, are responsible for 90% of how your skin ages. Yes, you read correctly, genetics are only responsible for about 10% of how your skin ages, you have great control over how you age and how your skin looks over time. That is great news! I will help guide you to the best ways to optimize your aging so you can look even more beautiful with every decade. Here are my favorite tips by area:
- Give your hands and body extra TLC: Moisturize your hands every time after washing. Trade in traditional hand sanitizer for a combination sanitizer that contains moisturizer or lotion. The FDA has now banned triclosan and other antibacterial ingredients but you may still have these products at home so be sure to discard any remaining product in your cabinets. I like lasercyn spray as a hand sanitizer, it contains an ingredient called hypochlorous acid, a non-drying ingredient that is gentle on the skin and that kills most bacteria and viruses including covid. It’s also safe on the face and around the eyes.
Skin can be extra dry during cold winter months, look for rich creamy moisturizers and know that the best time to apply is right after the bath or shower or after washing or doing dishes. There are also excellent laser treatments to help remove sun spots from the hands and to improve skin texture. As the skin of the hands age, the veins become more prominent and visible as well. There is now a soft tissue filler called Radiesse that has been FDA approved for rejuvenation of the hands. It helps your hands look younger and more beautiful in just one treatment. It’s one of my favorite treatments to do because the results are instant and gorgeous!
- Your neck and chest:
Your neck and chest age more poorly, scar more easily and are much harder to fix than your face. There are new creams and products designed and tested just for this area to help brighten and rejuvenate. In office treatments such as chemical peels and fractional resurfacing lasers can also work magic in helping to improve the quality and strength of the skin in this area. Ultherapy and our new Fotona 5D are outstanding options to tighten and improve lines and wrinkles of the chest and decollete as well as the face and neck.
- Your face:
Of course you want to put your best face forward for the holidays and every day. No one really wants to look old. We talk about aging gracefully and accepting the process, which is great on paper, but looking old doesn’t mean you’re aging gracefully, and having a few lines and wrinkles doesn’t mean you look old. The best way to age truly gracefully is to have a great skin care routine every day and then treat yourself to an in office session for special treatments.
For the holidays I have curated special sets to help you get ahead this holiday season.
Since the first Hyaluronic Acid (HA) soft tissue filler was FDA approved in the US in 2004 we have had over 15 new products approved in the US and literally hundreds available around the world to help you look soft, smooth and contoured. It’s been a game changer for those who want to enter the rejuvenation market without undergoing surgery, but there’s a lot to know before you get started.
When considering a treatment and deciding where to go to have it done it is very important to consult with a board certified aesthetic physician such as a dermatologist for optimal outcomes. We study anatomy, structure and function of the skin for decades and this helps us use the products properly for natural and authentic outcomes, time after time.
- Use all your senses:
The holidays are also a lot about wonderful fragrances and aromas. These should be in candles and potpourri, not in your skin care products since the number one cause of allergies to products is from preservatives and fragrance. Avoid irritants often found in everyday products by selecting fragrance-free or dye-free options. Un-scented means there’s a masking scent and this is just another form of fragrance… designed not to have a smell.
- Beauty from the inside:
The best high-antioxidant fruits and vegetables are readily available and fresh during the holiday season. Some of my favorites are cranberries, blueberries, pumpkin, pomegranate and squash. These foods will help feed your skin from the inside out and keep it looking its youngest most beautiful best. Many of these are packed with water and can help you stay hydrated this holiday season. Pair this with our delicious, for your skin, pumpkin mask for beautiful radiant and happy skin.
- Think about all you’re grateful for and have to be happy about:
Nothing makes a person more beautiful than gratitude and doing service for others. Life is full of ups and downs but remembering to be thankful of what we had brings out the best in how we look and feel. There’s strong science behind the power of positive thinking and positive expression. Even just smiling makes you look younger and feel happier- and it brings out the best in those around you too.
Your skin naturally repairs and rejuvenates while you sleep. You can apply creams and serums to help enhance the process but there is no cream or serum or pill that can replace what sleep does. Do your best to get a good 7-8 hours sleep during this special season, or take cat naps during the day to make up for extra hours of revelry.
- Alcohol and your skin:
Alcohol can dehydrate the skin and on top of that if you add the salty foods most people eat when they drink, it’s a perfect recipe for puffy eyes and dark circles when you wake up in the morning. Keep track of how many glasses of egg nog, wine or other drinks you have and try to match each ounce of alcohol with one glass of water. This will help you avoid dehydration and that hangover headache the next morning.
In the year to come I’ll share my favorite treatments and concepts of beauty and also my favorited ingredients for you to look for in the drug store and ask your dermatologist about as well. Happy Holidays!