Saturday, December 8th, 2012

By Renee Rouleau, Skincare Expert & Esthetician

Renée Rouleau has been helping men, women, & teens attain healthy, glowing, beautiful skin for more than 20 years. Her philosophy is simple: With the proper tools, effective products, & a disciplined approach, anyone can have great skin. You can find more advice on her blog!

Your best accessory during the holiday is glowing skin – it can make you look ethereal, radiant and simply ravishing. Unfortunately, with the holidays in full swing, sometimes our glow gets a little less glowy. Here are my tips on how to keep skin looking its best, even as you may jet from party to party, city to city or country to country celebrating the season and ringing in the New Year!

Exfoliate. Exfoliation is considered one of the most important techniques that you can perform on your skin to resolve certain skin problems as well as to achieve healthy and glowing skin.

  • Take the exfoliating test. Start off with a simple test to determine if you have surface dry skin cells on your skin that need to be exfoliated. A quick and easy test is to take a piece of clear tape and apply it to the forehead. Rub it gently and remove. Look at the tape, and if there are little pieces of flaky skin, then you need to exfoliate!
  • Use a gentle face scrub or mild acid serum. I recommend using products that feature round beads or an acid exfoliator using lactic, glycolic or salicylic acid. Just keep in mind that the goal with your skin is to exfoliate as much as possible, with minimal irritation. The skin likes little boosts but not on an everyday basis!

Rev up your circulation. When the skin ages, less oxygen and nutrients are being delivered to the skin. For example, by the time you are 75 years old, you have about 50% less blood vessels in your face, so with less vessels, it means less blood is flowing to the skin leading to skin fading, lacking the glow and looking fairly washed out. It’s so important to focus on keeping good circulation in the skin so nutrient-rich blood can deliver what it needs to the skin to keep it glowing.

  • Massage in your moisturizer. When applying your moisturizer, massage into the skin using firm circular motions to help increase blood flow. Another trick is immediately after applying moisturizer at night, close your hand to make a fist and use your knuckles to massage the skin in small circular motions for two minutes. This helps to gently stimulate blood flow to the skin to bring new nutrients to the skin cells—and a glow!
  • Try incorporating products containing vasodilators. This includes ingredients such as peppermint and ginseng which work to give the skin a pick-me-up!  When applied topically to the skin, these ingredients work to dilate the blood vessels, therefore, allowing the skin to accommodate more nutrient-rich blood. With continued use, you can get skin that glows!

Additional tips

  • Avoid yellow-based colors. That goes for makeup and clothing (mustard, olive green, khaki, burnt orange) as they can make the skin appear sallow. Mineral makeup is a great choice for giving your skin the look of radiant glowing skin!
  • Get a facial. Whether you DIY or book an appointment with a professional, facials are extremely beneficial for stimulating circulation to get your skin glowing. Giving a boost to your normal skin care routine with a facial the night before a special event can really help guarantee glowing skin.
  • Increase your intake of water and eat your fruits and veggies. Particularly to help control unnecessary under eye puffiness drinking a lot of water really helps to prevent excess fluids from building up around the eyes. It’s also important to replace water and antioxidants from the inside to aid in recovering your body. Eat fruits like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries since they contain a good amount of water that the body can retain. Raw and steamed vegetables like broccoli and green beans not only provide water to the skin and body but also good antioxidants that your body craves. Salmon, avocado and olive oil are also beneficial to the skin’s moisture content.

When it comes to glowing skin, keep in mind that rough, dry skin = dull, tired-looking skin and healthy, glowing skin = light reflective skin! When the skin is tired-looking, it is a result of a damaged lipid barrier that no longer seals moisture between surface cells, resulting in an uneven dull surface. As a consequence, when light hits the skin, instead of reflecting it evenly, it is scattered and skin appears lackluster. So make sure you’re exfoliating and keeping your skin hydrated to ensure a holiday glow.

If you’re curious what products Renee Rouleau recommends from her range that fit the bill, here are five:

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22 thoughts on “Holiday Skincare Tips: How-to Beautify Your Skin

  1. Catherine

    All those types of products change the PH level on your skin and can do more harm than good in the long run

  2. Iris

    This artical was pretty helpful thank you :)

  3. Ana

    I always like Renee’s tips.

  4. Fuchsia

    I have an issue with the skin on my nose. It’s completely smooth, so smooth in fact that it shines. And NOT in the oily way, it’s just the texture of the skin that isn’t matte like the rest of my face. Powders don’t do much as they don’t have anything to adhere to, it just sits there before falling off my nose. It’s ridiculous. So what do I do about this?

  5. This was a great post to read! I admit I’m a sucker for “tips and tricks” posts/articles though :)

    Skincare is one of those topics I rarely talk about because it always gets heated – which is something I find interesting as well: Trained skincare professionals openly contradict one another with an authoritative kind of confidence. And consumers can be even worse! Sharing their opinions and experiences with the warmth and friendliness of a hungry [insert favorite carnivorous dinosaur name here].

    I adhere to the fluffy “everyone is different” school of thought. We don’t just look different from one another – we ARE different. Take what you read, watch and see and then become your own expert (this goes with makeup as well). Just because I like using products with essential oils and you don’t doesn’t make you wrong and me right, it just means we have found different paths to (hopefully) the same outcome: skin we’re comfortable in.

    That’s MY thinking anyway 😉

    • alisha

      Oh you’re always so nice Dusty! I agree that we all have different preferences and skin/skin types but we are all human so that brings us to some common ground as far as skincare is concerned. I base my information on science and proved studies rather than bogus ingredients, marketing and price tags. Yes, I like when skincare smells good but fragrance is not skincare, it’s an irritant. I say keep the fragrance to your perfume (or cologne) because even if I “feel comfortable in my skin” using skincare with fragrance, I am still doing damage. I agree that there are many ways to achieve great skin but there is WAY more bad skincare out there than good. And yes, some essential oils are good!

  6. emmyjean

    Just be careful of increasing circulation if you have problems with redness; vasodilators will exacerbate issues like rosacea!

  7. alisha

    I thought peppermint was an irritant. Even though maybe it “stimulates”, (similar to the lip plumper working by irritating lips) don’t irritants ultimately cause damage to the skin which is what we are trying to avoid because collagen is broken down or whatever?

    • alisha

      I looked online and wouldn’t niacin have the same effect but be good for the skin?

      • alisha

        Okay so I hate to be “that girl” but I never really disagree with posts on here. I took a look at all 5 products Renee recommends. A couple of them are in jars which besides from being unsanitary, any anti-oxidants lose all their potency in that sort of packaging. Two of the items contain mint which is an irritant (along with spearmint, peppermint, etc). The ginseng toner has bee pollen that not only is an irritant to skin, but many people are allergic. When I say irritant, I don’t just mean “oh some sensitive people might react”. No, irritants are going to irritate everyone’s skin; even if you can’t see it, it may be below the surface. This is going to lead to collagen break down and damage to the skin’s protective barrier. It can cause skin to become oilier by triggering nerve endings, pores to look bigger and acne to worsen. This is definitely not the kind of “glow” that I’m after nor is it the key to younger looking skin. There are many good-for-your-skin ingredients that are out there if you are looking for a natural approach. But I think we also have to consider that just because something has been done for 2500 years (or in her case 25) it doesn’t mean we should keep doing it, hence why we aren’t using lead for eyeliner and shouldn’t use witch hazel or sulfur.

        • Shelly

          I agree with you, I don’t think these are the greatest tips and they are definitely biased to certain skin tones. There is a lot of discussion about mineral makeup being bad for the skin long term as well, and I’ve heard other dermatologists saying NOT to use it…

  8. Vasodilators?? Ouch… Not if you have redness problems, visible little veins around your nose, or acne!

    Now for yellow-based colors, what are you supposed to do when you have a warm skin tone? Use pink-based colors and look ashy?

  9. Melody

    You know, some of us have naturally sallow skin and don’t appreciate the implication that being sallow is unattractive.

  10. Lenita

    i really love renee’s writings and tips.

  11. Shelly

    Avoid yellow-based colors. That goes for makeup and clothing (mustard, olive green, khaki, burnt orange) as they can make the skin appear sallow.

    Actually, I look stunning in those colors, thank you very much. And I stand- out in the crowds of black, navy, and red.

    • edith

      Yes, my sister looks really great in these colors so perhaps the avoiding certain colors really depends on the individual skintone of the person.

  12. Andromeda

    The best way to increase the blood flow to my face is exercising. After close to an hour of running or cycling (which I do 4-5 times a week) my face is as red as a tomato. Once the excessive redness disappears my skin looks great, it really glows, and I’m left with nice pink cheeks.

  13. Mia

    From my own experience, for acne or blemishes… leaving them alone, warm compresses, and patience, I would think it might be helpful. Also, a good OTC treatment system can do wonders if you find the right one for your skin type.

  14. Jessica

    I’ve been using brightening products from Apothederm and my skin looks amazing!