William Vinyard, MD, FACS

Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

How to Look Your Best For The Holidays: 9 Skin Care and Self Care Secrets

It’s too late for surgery or massive changes, but you still want to look your best for the holidays over the coming months, so what do you need to start doing? These 9 glowing skin tips are all you need to maximize your gorgeous, glowing skin and shine at all of this season’s holiday events!

  1. Working In The Best Ingredients For Your Skin Type…

Those who are vulnerable to dark areas and staining (we see you sun-seekers and adventurous types) will benefit most from products containing lycopene to assist in lighten and leveling their tones. If that doesn’t sound like you, try products rich in lightening agents such as grapes, papayas, licorice, or mushrooms.

Your skin might also lack a bit of its brilliant shine due to deep-set wrinkles. To speed up the natural turnover of skin cells and get rid of those worn-in wrinkles in the weeks leading up to the holidays, doctors recommend retinol treatments.

Since retinoids can be very irritating to the skin, be sure to begin with one which has a low concentration of retinol within the cream, and only apply it 2 or 3 nights a week until your skin builds up a tolerance to it. It’s important to not begin a retinol cream at the same time as other new products (a new retinol cream overlapping with a new exfoliant would probably just make your skin angry) to prevent skin overwhelm.

  1. Pay Attention To Glycolic Acid and Galactoarabinan.

One of the best drugstore options for a last minute glow, search for a facial peel that contains glycolic acid. Glycolic acid works by breaking down the dirt that holds dead skin cells just below the outside layer of skin, to eliminate grey or dead skin and maximize the fresher skin underneath.

Want to smooth out your skin and address some of those fine lines and wrinkles? Look for galactoarabinan: a natural ingredient that initiates cell turnover (comparable to lactic or glycolic acid).

  1. Don’t Overthink Washing Your Face Well.

Clean your face twice a day - every morning and every night before bed - and stop using your fingers to do it! Blocked pores cause dullness, not glowing skin, so scrub away all of the oil, grease, and dirt which dims your natural glow. Don’t just wash with soap and water, make sure that they’re also followed with an exfoliator, which brings us to our next point…

  1. Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate.

While you're most likely focused on ironing out wrinkles with creams and injectables, it’s possible that other skin issues are distracting from what would be your youthful radiance glowing through. Dullness—a result of dead skin cell build-up—is a common complexion concern. It’s also something you can fix twice a week with a gentle manual or chemical exfoliator. Getting rid of the top layer of dead skin cells will allow the skin underneath to shine brighter as the sun reflects off of it.

A chemical exfoliator in place of physical exfoliation might sound intimidating, but is no rougher on your skin since it involves no scrubbing. Try switching out for a chemical option once a week.

  1. Toner, Vitamin C Serum, Moisturizer, Go!

Oily skin? Pick a drying toner with either witch hazel or salicylic acid. Dry skin? Try a clarifying toner; look for glycerin or ceramides.

It’s obviously important to make sure you have Vitamin C in your food, but it also does marvels for your skin. Don't let your skin miss out on one of the best secrets for glorious skin. A key component to brightening up skin, it prevents premature aging, fights bacterial inflammation, and protects the skin from UV rays by neutralizing free radicals.? Apply 2-5 drops to your face each morning with your other skincare for a lightening effect that will brighten your complexion.

Moisturizing daily is necessary—period—but remember that less can be more. Just as your hair only soaks in so much shampoo or conditioner, your skin will only soak in so much moisturizer. A dime-sized amount is enough for your face. Don’t forget to moisturize your neck and down your chest while you’re at it.

  1. Hack A Gorgeous Glow with Highlighter.

On your worst days, there’s one sure-fire way to guarantee a gorgeous, stunning skin. Get your glow on with highlighter! Make sure that you get a color that’s more on the natural side so the secret behind your perfect skin stays safe.

  1. Homemade Face Masks Can Go A Long Way.

Hit up your kitchen and whip up a homemade face mask. Try one made from yogurt (2 tablespoons), almond powder (1 tablespoon), and honey (1 tablespoon) once or twice a week. The lactic acid from the yogurt will help smooth lines and exfoliate your skin. Honey has natural antibacterial properties and almond powder lifts dead skin cells. Slap on some easy facemasks while you wrap presents or watch Hallmark movies and wake up the next morning with fresh, vibrant, skin.

  1. Treat Yourself to A Laser Treatment.

The best kept secret for beyond perfect skin is simple: laser treatments. Targeting water molecules, the best medical grade skincare lasers trigger collagen reproduction which promotes substantial skin repair. By encouraging your face to heal itself you can see radical improvement in skin tone, wrinkle reduction, scar resolution, and sun damage.

Lasers have little to no downtime. Can you say lunchtime treatments!? But more importantly, they provide enough options (addressing redness, fixing pigment issues, resurfacing acne scars, minimizing wrinkles, and more) that we can recommend the perfect laser treatment for your specific skin type and individual concerns.

  1. Invest in a few extra hours of sleep

There’s something to be said about getting a full night’s sleep. It’s a lot more than just an old wives’ tale. Sleep does impact the skin’s luminosity and glow, assisting with both cell turnover and exfoliation. Women who get quality hours of sleep (professionals recommend 7-8 hours a night) recover better from stress (like sunscreen) to the skin. When you aren't getting enough hours of sleep, your skin does pay for it! Try hitting the hay extra early tonight.

You’ll have radiant, glowing skin just in time for the holidays with these 9 steps!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.