Top tips to look like you’ve had a Big Night In

  • The socialising of Christmas and the festive season can take its toll on your skin
  • The day after, it is your face that is the first tell tale sign of a heavy, late night 
  • Claire Coleman details these signs and explains how you can fix them quickly 
  • Read more: How to have flawless skin at ANY age 

After years of Christmas gatherings being off the table due to Covid and lockdown, who can blame you for packing the diary with as many festive nights out as you can? 

But all that socialising can take its toll on your skin. So if your morningafter face is telling tales about the night before — here’s why, and, crucially, how to fix your festive skin frustrations… 

RUDOLPH REDNESS 

The combination of central heating, biting cold and wind can damage the skin barrier, making it prone to soreness and redness at this time of year. Add in a few drinks and you’re really asking for trouble. 

‘If you get skin conditions such as rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis, alcohol can cause these to flare, says consultant dermatologist Dr Emma Craythorne (dremma craythorne.com). ‘But even if you usually have healthy skin, alcohol is a vasodilator (it causes blood vessels to get bigger) which can lead to redness.’ 

The socialising of Christmas and the festive season can take its toll on your skin. The day after, it is your face that is the first tell tale sign of a heavy, late night

The fix: Dr Craythorne advises her rosacea patients to keep small ice packs in the freezer (such as those used in kids’ lunchboxes) and apply them to the back of the neck to help cool a flare and reduce redness. 

For immediate camouflage, look for a green-tinted concealer which will neutralise the red — such as MUA Pro Base Prime & Conceal CC Cream in green (£3.50, muastore.co.uk), a soft, blendable concealer. Or try Dr Jart’s Cicapair range (from £16, drjart.co.uk) which uses centella asiatica, a herbaceous plant, to calm inflamed skin.

BAUBLE BREAKOUT 

If you find a sugar binge or a few nights out eating deep-fried beige canapes gives you spots, you’re far from alone. 

‘One study has shown a correlation between eating fried foods — which may contribute to blocking some structures in the skin — and acne flares,’ says Dr Craythorne. 

‘However, it’s more likely that late nights mean you haven’t been as rigorous as usual with your skincare regime. Not cleansing as thoroughly as you normally do can contribute to dull and spotty skin.’ 

Try B&V Flawless Pre & Probiotic Moisturiser (right, £30, superdrug.com), with healthy bacteria designed to support your skin’s microbiome and help stave off spots

The fix: Try B&V Flawless Pre & Probiotic Moisturiser (right, £30, superdrug.com), with healthy bacteria designed to support your skin’s microbiome and help stave off spots. 

If they do break through, there’s Dots for Spots (from £5.99 for 24, amazon.co.uk), tiny stickers which don’t contain any active ingredients but help to draw the gunk out of any blemishes and accelerate healing. 

Or try a salicylic acid gel, such as Sam Farmer IntensivePlus Spot Gel (£20, samfarmer.co) developed for teen pimples, but just as effective on adults.

SNOWMAN FACE 

If you’ve woken up with a pasty, puffy face, you can thank any number of things — too much salt causes water retention (all those crisps and nuts you scoffed), to the lack of sleep and one too many eggnogs. 

Lymphatic facial massage or lymphatic drainage is your friend. It’s a manual technique that helps to clear the blocked lymph channels and you can do it while applying your morning moisturiser

‘Alcohol can cause inflammation,’ explains Dr Craythorne. ‘And when the skin in inflamed, the lymphatic channels which are responsible for clearing waste products also get inflamed and blocked, and don’t clear the fluids in the same way.’ 

The fix: Lymphatic facial massage or lymphatic drainage is your friend. It’s a manual technique that helps to clear the blocked lymph channels and you can do it while applying your morning moisturiser. 

You basically work from the middle of the face outwards, from the bridge of the nose along the eyebrows, from the inner corner of the eyes to the outer, from the middle of the forehead to the outer edges. YouTube is packed with videos demonstrating exactly how to do it. 

‘For someone who is prone to puffiness, I recommend keeping ice globes [glass or metal bulbs filled with frozen liquid] in the freezer and using them for massage. The combination of cold and massage can help to bring down puffiness,’ says Dr Craythorne. 

You can also try Oxygen Boutique Cryo Facial Tools (pictured below, £55, oxygenboutique.com) and, for instant depuffing, Skin Proud Frozen Over (£16.95, beautybay.com), a freezable gel packed with hydrating hyaluronic acid and calming aloe vera.

CRINKLED SKIN 

It’s no coincidence you think you look older the morning after a big night out, with skin like creased wrapping paper. ‘­Alcohol dehydrates the body,’ says Dr Craythorne. ‘And when skin is dehydrated, it will look more lined and wrinkled.’ 

The fix: Start by rehydrating with lots of water. You may also want to think about trying hydrolysed collagen in a capsule or a drink. ‘I’ve not seen evidence that consuming collagen will put collagen into your skin but it does hydrate it,’ says Dr Craythorne. Try Ingenious Ultimate Collagen (from £1.60/day, feelingenious.com), a supplement with clinical trials showing improvements in hydration, elasticity and lines. 

Also upgrade your moisturiser. Layer a hyaluronic acid serum — such as B. Intense Hydrating Serum (£14.99, superdrug.com) — under your moisturiser, or swap a moisturising lotion for a more heavyweight cream, such as La Roche Posay Nutritic Intense Rich (£19, larocheposay.co.uk). 

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