Thursday, 1 January 2015

Cheat Sheet - Hungover Skin/Parched weather-worn skin/Nurses/Teachers

Happy New Year! 

'Tis the season to be jolly. And of over-indulgence. 
Even those of you that don't drink alcohol may have succumbed to the delights of Holiday food temptations - the seemingly endless dinners, the chocolate, trifle, Christmas pudding, crisps and After Eights *says nothing*.

The three main culprits of the 'Indulgent Season' are alcohol, salt and sugar. Unless of course you're a saint, juiced your way through the last week and wouldn't touch an After Eight if your life depended on it, in which case, this post may not be for you and we all dislike you intently. :)

So: if you don't celebrate Christmas but live somewhere with 4 seasons and your skin is feeling parched, or you work in an insanely hot hospital or a completely dry, warm, germ-festering classroom or you have overdosed on All I Want For Christmas is You and you've noticed that your skin is not itself and/or that your lips are so dry that they feel like they may split, this may help....

Alcohol: There are no two ways about it, booze is dreadful for your skin. It dehydrates you to the point of raisin-like status and if you are slack in your product usage because of the effects of alcohol *eyebrow*, it will only get worse.
See also: redness/rosacea. If you are prone to reddening, alcohol will give you a helping hand to the point where you could easily understudy for Rudolph. 
An alcohol side-note - the 'healthiest' booze you can drink is a Pinot Noir red wine from the California regions. This is coming from the liver specialists at St Mary's Hospital in London, not me.

Salt: Puffy/bloated and dehydrated? Those heavy dinners, gravy and crisps may have taken hold. If you're not particularly savoury inclined and your indulgences are of the sweeter nature...

Sugar: The Devil for your skin and your internal organs. That's basically all. You may as well take a hammer and chisel to your collagen.

Take all three together and you may look in the mirror with some concern. Fear not. It's easily fixed.

* Drink water like it's going out of fashion. First thing, on the hour every hour and before bed if you don't already. Rehydrate yourself. Give your skin a hand.

I know this is particularly difficult for teachers. Do what you can, when you get a break.
Nurses: keep a water bottle on your station and keep it filled. (And as a side note, you are both saints. *doffs cap*)

* Drink hot water and lemon. Insanely good for you, replace every other cup of tea/coffee with this and you'll see and feel a difference really quickly.

Product/Routine-wise:
  • Stay away from foaming. Yes I KNOW I say this all the time anyway - but it's particularly important when your epidermis already resembles a prune. Stick to oils/balms. Help plump up your skin and help it retain moisture from your very first step. Using a foaming cleanser on a dry, parched, dehydrated skin is akin to skin torture and is a skincare crime of the highest order. I don't care what dermatologists recommend. Most of them are paid (a lot) to endorse products *sweeping generalisation klaxon*, but you get my drift. Please bear that in mind whenever you see the term 'recommended by' or 'approved by'. Derms don't do that for free. Someone is getting paid. Whilst I'm talking about dermatologists, this is also a time to step away from the electronic facial cleansing brushes. See previous comment re: endorsements.
    (Sorry to momentarily rant, but I am frequently met with 'But Dr so-and-so says it fabulous!' when it was announced a few months prior in trade journals that 'Dr so-and-so is now an Official Spokesperson for' that brand. I'm not interested in calling people out personally, or starting arguments on social media - so I'll just put it on here and be done with it. :) Obviously I'm not suggesting that anyone who has ever made an endorsement did so just for the money - I'm just saying don't believe 
    everything you read at first hand.)
  • Acid. Keep up with the acids. Dehydration means more build-up/shedding (eeww) so help it along with our trusty exfoliating toners.
  • Spray florals. This is key and your best friend. You'll be using these liberally over the next few days. Layer moisture between every step to give the feeling that your skin is hydrated. Fake it til you make it.
  • Oils. I tend to only use oil-based serums or full facial oils when my skin feels dry/dehydrated. Silicone-based serums tend to roll more and don't feel like they are doing their job. Wait a week or so before introducing them. (The easiest way to tell if your product is silicone based without the aid of the ingredient list is to apply half a pump to the back of your hand. If it absorbs immediately it's silicone, if there is residue on the skin and the product seems to spread all over your hand, it's probably oil-heavy.)
  • Spritz again.
  • Moisturiser. This is not a time for oil-free. You need it. Think of the top layers of the skin as a sponge that is emerging halfway out of a bowl of water. The top part is drying out and exposed. 

A common mistake is to apply a thick layer of moisturiser. This is akin to applying a think layer of cold butter to cold toast. It won't penetrate, it will sit on the surface and/or roll off. Don't waste your product.
Apply just enough moisturiser on top of your oil/serum to give comfort to your skin. Wait a little while, spritz again, reapply a little moisturiser.

In scientific terms you would normally apply oil last as the molecules are bigger than those in moisturisers. However, for ease of wearing makeup and a non-sticky feeling on the face, I like to apply my moisturiser last. (See Routines Cheat Sheet here.) And in this case it's nice to seal in the oil/serum.

If you're still fortunate enough to be off work today/for a few days and don't need makeup, or don't wear it, you can repeat thin layers of moisturiser throughout the day. Cleanse as per usual in the evening and do your normal routine. Repeat tomorrow.

Lips: include your lips in your entire routine when they're dry. Just be gentle...
Cleanse them, use your acid pads over them, even if it's just around the edges, (if they are split it will sting like a mofo, go with your own feeling. And a warning - I have yet to taste a nice acid - eeww - again), use your oil on them, and use your moisturiser on them. Reapply a little oil on them as needed throughout the day. Between that and the increased water intake they'll soon improve. 

Thanks for reading. I wish you a happy, moisturised, plump, glowing skin for 2015. Now go drink a pint of water. 


38 comments:

  1. Great post as usual. I drink a shed load of water but my lips never seem moisturised, despite my best intentions with scrubs and balms...one day they will be gorgeous, I'm sure...

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    Replies
    1. try Yu-Be cream (it's a multi-purpose cream like an alternative to 8hr cream) so so great on dry lips!!!

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  2. Happy New Year, Caroline! I stick to the 'scientific' approach and apply oil last. I try to maintain my skin the best I can so I don't need to use foundation, that's why oil on top doesn't bother me so much. I don't use mineral oil or silicones on my skin. I treat silicone based moisturizers/ serums as make up primers, if that make sense.

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    1. Can I ask why you think this is the scientific way? Just curious.

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  3. I'm a teacher... Bless you, you wonderful woman! x

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  4. Happy New Year!! Lang may yer lum reek!!! X

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  5. Brilliant post, and really helpful as per. Thanks Caroline! xx

    Beauty Soup || UK Beauty Blog

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  6. Can´t stop laughing...
    It seems like you know me or that you can guess what is going on with my skin!
    Yes, used and abused sugar and salt (3 Kg already...)! Yes to champagne and red wine!
    And yes...working a lot, working today (1st of Jan.2015)...at the hospital (doctor)...
    And I read your post...and immediately grabbed a bottle of water...drinking away as a misbehaved child... :)

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  7. What are some spray florals you would recommend?

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    Replies
    1. Not very floral but Caudalie grape water is great.

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    2. Floral spritz- on Twitter, Caroline has answered someone's same Q with a recommendation for Melvita Floral Waters. I've just ordered mine from FeelUnique- they have £££ off right now!x

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    3. La Mav Hydrating Mist is lovely

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  8. As a nurse I do try to have water at the station, but have to hide it from the infection control dragons, as we are not technically allowed any food or drinks at the nurses station! 😔

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    Replies
    1. And the ministry dragons ;). Our bottles are all lined up together with our names on them at the station. It's like our impenetrable wall. We are a rural hospital in a sub-arctic dry region. We NEED our water.

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  9. Add retail workers to your list. Although we might not be on a saintly mission we sacrifice our skins so that everyone can enjoy their presents on Christmas morning and do it all again for the Boxing Day sales. We end up looking like we're hungover wizened insomniacs without having any of the fun involved to get us to that state. Looking forward to a few days off and some much needed skin TLC. Your post was perfectly timed.

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  10. I feel like I can see every food sin on my skin these days... Runs to get out the face masks and the water bottle.

    LindaLibraLoca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

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  11. Thanks for this, I really need it! Will have a pamper session *including bath* tonight and grab a pint of water RIGHT NOW

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  12. Hi Caroline, Happy New Year to you! Thanks so much for the great cheat sheet, just in time! I live in Australia, are there any products you can recommend that still do the rich/moisturising job, but perhaps are a little lighter or a little more suited for 35 degree climate :) thanks so much

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  13. Yes I agree with an above commenter - what would be good recommendations for floral sprays? Are we just talking about the usual moisturizing toner versus acid toner, or are you thinking something specific when you say floral spray? I know rose water is popular, but I've never been quite sure how helpful that really is. Other recommendations? HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND YOURS!! xoxo

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  14. Happy new year brilliant post just ran to bedroom spritz/ moisturised 😃was just wondering used indeed labs retinol zelens facial oil then caudaile recovery cream this morning is that to much layering xxx

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  15. Floral spritz- on Twitter, Caroline has answered someone's same Q with a recommendation for Melvita Floral Waters. I've just ordered mine from FeelUnique- they have £££ off right now!x

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  16. Hi, would appreciate your advice, for Rosacea skin with acne, Kate Somerville or Chantecaille? X

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  17. Is there any ingredient in skincare or makeup that a pregnant woman should avoid?

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  18. Wow - the skin goddess is back with a massive dose of great advice! Happy new year and thanks

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  19. I would apply oil after moisturiser, not the other way. The moisturiser cannot penetrate the oil

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  20. I'm pretending that we're great friends and you've typed this out just for me (old chum). sending links to all my nurse co-workers...

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  21. You're officially my idol!! There's no one post I read from yours that I do not laugh... And heck this is not even meant to be humorous! Keep it coming Caroline the skincare guru!

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  22. Great post on something that I have been struggling with since beginning of this winter. Thank you!
    BTW, women working in a hospital are not necessarily nurses, some of them are doctors who also run around like crazy and spend hours under hot surgical lights... ;)

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  23. Thank you for this! It's like you read my mind on what I can possibly do for my parched skin. Not surprisingly, winter in my part of Canada promises to keep things horribly frigid and dry.

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  24. Hi Caroline,

    Seriously thankyou from all teachers! I have indulged too much over the festive season, been drinking water all day and can't stay out of the toilet! Christmas is over, back to work next Monday - bloating be gone! Kathryn :)

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  25. Thank you for this post. Question-- Argan oil as a moisturizer? I am guessing you will say no. I am having a difficult time finding moisturizers i like that are some what good for you ( without parabens for example). Options? Thank you,

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  26. Thank you from nurses everywhere! I love that nurses (and teachers) go hand in hand with parched/weather worn skin. The hard truths of life! Plus every time I think of a question you answer it eventually. In this by explaining your rational for oils the moisturiser. It all becomes clear!

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  28. Caroline Hirons acknowledges you as a saint = instant ego boost on a crappy night shift when you feel (and look) like a walking, shriveled zombie-raisin.

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  29. I try to drink loads at work but it's hard in A&E, I literally don't get time for the loo and it's not great waking around with a bladder full of pee! Haha. But I WILL make a serious effort to drink plenty of water to get my skin out of this funk. Thank you caroline, you're the true Saint :) x

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  30. On the topic of nurses, I can't seem to figure out how to look good when I do nightshifts. If I keep with my night time skin routine, I end up looking like I have smeared butter on my face, but if I do my day-time routine, I have super oily/gross-feeling skin by the end of the shift because of that dry hospital air. Unless there isn't supposed to be a difference between the two? I'm new to this blog/experimenting with skincare products (as I've discovered my skin being sensitive to fragrances...), so maybe I just haven't found the right products yet? Have any of you nurses out there have a special routine for night shifts?

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  31. Sorry for dredging up a post from 6 months ago but only reading it now! Your spot on with this. I live in the Highlands of Scotland where we do get four seasons in a day so can empathise that it's hard to predict what the day will bring skin wise. I go through mountains of lip balm and an often guity of slapping on vaseline to my whole face! And often deny the fact that I need SPF!! Then go home to a massively heated house where I dry out and become dehydrated again which leads to round 2 of the fight against cold. If anything the acids go a long way to combatting these effects. Thanks for this post it really makes sense and helps me realise I'm not going crazy hehhee xx

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  32. I get horrible dry patches where the skin becomes flaky and quite sore... Is there anything you can recommend to help? I try to keep my skin as hydrated as possible, I drink copious amounts of water etc. thanks!

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