4 reasons why the party season could be bad for your skin | vogue.in
The pandemic may still be upon us, but that hasn’t dampened the festive spirit that December brings. Cocktails, party snacks, makeup looks, late nights (read: lack of sleep) are all a prominent part of our lives this month and of course, they all start to show on our skin. Dullness, dark circles, and breakouts begin to sprout up right when you don’t want them to—trust us, we hear you. Two dermatologists tell us everything there is to know about saving your skin from the after-effects of your loaded social calendar.
1) Had one too many cocktails
It’s no secret that sugar-heavy cocktails and alcohol can dehydrate your skin and cause breakouts—your single malt on the rocks may be a better choice compared to a margarita, but too many of the former can also set you on the same path. “Sugar-based cocktails and high calorie drinks like rum, beer and carbonated drinks impact the skin in three ways,” says Bengaluru-based cosmetic surgeon Dr Karishma Kagodu. “Alcohol can cause a sudden spike in the body’s insulin levels, fluctuations in your blood sugar levels and interfere with your liver function when consumed very often. Sugar causes inflammation of the skin and water retention in the body. This inflammation causes breakdown of collagen, thereby impeding the skin cell cycle, leading to dry skin and premature ageing. And lastly, alcohol causes severe dehydration. Water is consumed by your internal organs, leaving your skin dry and parched. Drinking night-after-night will disturb the healthy production of new skin cells.”
While monitoring your drinks and alternating them with glasses of water is the best possible way to reduce dehydration, if you simply can’t get out of drinking frequently this month, it’s time you up your skincare routine. “Use ample amounts of natural moisturisers like glycerin, aloe vera, or milk cream before bed and after taking a shower. Vitamin C is your best friend in the form of serums when used in combination with a moisturiser in the mornings. Intake of Vitamin C rich foods, or even in tablet forms (1gm of Vitamin C per day) is suggested and highly effective.”
2) The post-alcohol binge
If the hangover and dehydration weren't not enough, the carb and fat loaded binge post-drinking will definitely seal the deal. “Party cocktails ignite cravings for meaty, salty and oily foods, which trigger many skin issues,” confirms Dr Kagodu. “The body is dehydrated and craves for carbohydrates, making you feel an increased craving for high-carb and fatty foods. Fatty foods are often laden with saturated fats and higher levels of sugar and calories. This paves the way for acne, breakouts, and many other issues that are associated with the body’s endocrine system.”
Your gut plays a significant role in your skin’s health and a poor diet instantly starts to show on your skin. The sudden change in your diet and influx of unhealthy food causes “inflammation of the gut, stressing your body,” says Bangalore and Chennai-based dermatologist Dr Chytra V Anand. “Inflammation can cause a Bengaluru in the good bacteria in the intestines, affecting your skin. Have a glass of buttermilk or a bowl of curd before going to bed or first thing in the morning post-party. This helps restore the gut balance and calm skin inflammation.”
3) Sleeping with makeup on
We’ve said this multiple times before and we’ll say it again—don’t sleep with your makeup on. Multiple layers of product, no matter how light, coupled with the sweat and grime that gather on your skin over the course of the party, need to be washed away before you hit the sack. “Prolonged makeup on the skin tends to clog your pores, leading to acne, skin rashes, skin irritation and itchy eyes,” says Dr Kagodu. Even if you do take your makeup off, using overly drying cleansers or products that aren’t gentle on your skin can wreak havoc as well. “Repetitive use of chemical-based, low quality skin products, heavy makeup, harsh face washes, or alcohol-based makeup removers can destroy the skin moisture level, leaving your skin dry and dull.” Make sure you thoroughly cleanse your skin, keep a pack of wipes by your bedside if you have to, and moisturise after.
4) Not sleeping enough
Sound sleep is vital to allow your body to heal from the damage that alcohol does to it. Unfortunately, it’s hard to get enough good sleep when your body is dehydrated. Your skin cells regenerate overnight, making sleep even more important to avoid dullness and dark circles. “Your body produces a hormone called melatonin which has a calming and healing effect on the body,” says Dr Anand. “Melatonin is produced a few hours before the body shuts down, and this is based on your routine sleep cycle. When your sleep cycle becomes irregular; the body cannot produce enough melatonin, hence cellular regeneration is hampered. Typically when we are in a deep sleep, the melatonin and the human growth hormone causes cell repair and skin cell turnover, which is essential for healthy skin.” While your body may not be receiving the rest it craves, the one thing you can do is make sure you’re taking vitamin supplements to assist your body’s recovery process. “Take antioxidant supplements with coenzyme Q10, grape seed extract, Vitamin C and Curcumin to help boost your cellular immunity.
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