How-to Fight the Flake & Stress-Induced Breakouts this Finals Season
Winter is the most wonderful time of year.
While it is the season of holiday parties and celebrations with loved ones, it is also the season of late nights and binging on delicious treats. If you’re a student, it also means FINALS and lots and lots of stress.
The extreme changes in weather from fall to winter, your diet, and the increase in stress hormones over the next few months can cause major changes to the overall health and wellness of your skin.
Not to fret. You can get your skin back on track with a few tweaks to your holiday routine. Let’s fight flakey skin and stress-induced breakouts this winter!
1. Make Good Skincare Choices
One of the most common skin conditions during the winter months is dry and flaky skin.
Dry skin can feel uncomfortable and look less than glamorous when you see skin flaking off your face and on to your clothes. The downside: wearing makeup can exacerbate the peeling!
Now is the time to switch up your lighter, gel-like moisturizer that was appropriate during the summer months for a thicker, more luxurious cream to replenish the skin with essential moisture that has been lost to the ether.
Goal Digger® Soothing Gel Crème is specifically formulated for dull, dry skin and is infused with cucumber and other natural plant extracts that help to replenish moisture. The star of the show is Hyaluronix®, a pharmaceutical grade hyaluronic acid (aka skincare HOLY GRAIL) that binds 1,000 times its weight in water at the cellular level, drenching the skin in the moisture (no thirsty girls here).
This crème can be worn alone for an even, dewy complexion, or used as a great base for your makeup. Smoothing Goal Digger® on before your makeup will help with application, preventing foundation and concealer from settling into fine lines around the eyes or pilling in the dry spots on your face.
2. Chill on the Lava Showers
On a cold, winter morning before work or school it is increasingly tempting to hop in a scalding hot shower to warm up your body. Please, don’t!
While hot showers cause an increase in blood flow to the skin accelerating heat loss from the body, which actually cools your body temperature instead of warming your body temperature… Hot showers and baths also contribute to your skin’s dryness during the winter months. It is best to bathe in warm water and to use non-drying soaps, preferably ones without sulfates and silicones.
Also try swapping out your AHA facial cleanser during the winter months with a gentle, ultra-hydrating cleanser to combat dry, flaky and irritated skin during the winter months. No Brainer® Gentle Facial Cleanser is a great option, formulated with Hydrolyzed Rice Protein and Fermented Bamboo, which work to restore the skin’s moisture barrier while calming and soothing the skin, leaving your skin’s natural protective oils intact for a refreshing clean.
3. Squeeze in Self-Care During Finals Week
Winterizing your skincare routine is no doubt the most important step to tackling dry, flaky and pimple-pestered skin over winter break. But, there are other steps that you can take to reduce the frequency and severity of stress-related breakouts from winter finals and general holiday anxiety.
While your full attention is generally zoned-in on your GPA and acing your finals, try to sprinkle in some self-care time whenever you can.
It only takes 10 minutes for a clarifying mask to work its magic. You can even review flash cards while you wait for the mask to dry on your skin!
Study Buddy® Detoxifying Bentonite Clay Mask is formulated with bentonite clay, which detoxifies the skin and slurps-up impurities, while olive oil and sodium PCA restore hydration to the skin. Just 10 minutes and you’ll find yourself and your skin feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle your next study sesh.
4. Time Blocking
“Time blocking” is a productive new trend that has proven wildly successful for people with busy schedules looking for work-life or school-life balance.
Time blocking consists of scheduling a batch of time, “X minutes” to study and scheduling a batch of time, “Y minutes” to take a break. Breaking down your study sessions into smaller, manageable sessions can drastically reduce anxiety and help you to feel less overwhelmed with the volume of work you need to review.
You can extend this practice into all areas of your life, including self-care, for example, making a 30-minute block for performing meditation, enjoying your skincare routine, or anything, like painting your nails. Whatever makes you feel alive!
I personally tried this approach and found it to be extremely helpful, increasing my productivity. Scheduling time for yourself every day takes practice for many people, especially in this season of giving.
5. Wash Your Pillowcases
Before your head hits the pillow at night, make sure it’s clean!
As a society we are now aware of the negative effects of touching our face with dirty hands or dirty phones, but a lesser-known culprit of bacteria is your pillowcase.
It is important to change your pillowcase to a clean set or wash your pillowcase every other week to avoid wasting time washing and prepping your skin for bed only to lie down on a dirty pillow at night. Yuck!
Pro-Tip: Silk pillowcases statistically harbor less bacteria than cotton varieties and have the added benefit of being gentler on your hair and skin contributing to less breakage and wrinkles. Count us in! You can add it to your Christmas list and thank us later.
6. Get Your Beauty Sleep
7-8 hours of sleep is recommended for overall health and wellness, though many of us (especially in our college years) do not achieve nearly this many hours nightly.
If you don’t believe us, we highly recommend listening to this Joe Rogan podcast with Matthew Walker, the Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at UC Berkeley and author of “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams.” This podcast will revolutionize how you view the importance of sleep in your life.
If you live in a particularly cold and dry climate, we recommend investing in a humidifier like this one for your room. A humidifier will help to balance the moisture in the air and rejuvenate your skin while you sleep.
If you happen to wake up with those dreaded under eye bags and dark circles that resemble a racoon, apply Night Owl® Caffeinated Eye Cream with your ring fingers, lightly tapping the skin around your eyes to stimulate blood flow, brighten the eye area and give your skin a little boost of caffeine.
7. Eat and Drink Wisely
Lastly, be mindful about what you consume during this holiday season. The stress of finals and family celebrations can lead to an increase in sugar and dairy consumption that affects the appearance of your skin.
Try to counterbalance sugar consumption with extra water, which will flush the system, and adding a green juice just 1-2 times per week can help you maintain the supply of minerals and vitamins your body needs to function properly.
Listen to your body and make note of the foods that break you out, opting for healthier alternatives when possible. For example, I recently discovered that my hormonal acne is particularly sensitive to dairy, which is unfortunate. I made the switch to a sugar-free soy creamer in my morning coffee, just a small change, which has hugely improved my skin.
As with anything, prevention is key. Help yourself by getting ahead of the winter blues and finals week breakouts by making a few product changes, practicing self-care, and making small tweaks to your routine when possible. This cumulative effort will make a huge difference in your skin this holiday season.