How the Holidays Might Affect your Skin

Snowflakes and sleigh bells and Santa are all on their way. In fact, there are murmurings of sightings already! As we lean into this holiday season, we are prepared to bask in the reverie of the hustle and bustle. There is really no way around it, so why not make the most of the shopping and cooking and wrapping and singing? Oh, and the eating; we can’t forget the eating.

Holiday meals can be festive and fanciful, and they can also be loaded with ingredients that could move us closer to the signs of aging, or move us farther away. We’re all about maximizing our efforts, so we have developed this little list of holiday fare to enjoy. We have also thrown in a few items you want to watch out for.

Our Cup Runneth Over

Two of the favorite holiday beverages, coffee and cocoa, have been praised for certain skin-enhancing benefits. So we say, fill your cup!

  • Coffee has a number of compounds that have a beneficial effect on the body. Where these compounds come into the area of dermatology is in their capabilities to protect us from certain types of skin cancer. According to research, we gain 10% from nonmelanoma skin cancers after our very first Cup of Joe.
  • Cocoa has a specific flavinoid, epicatechin, that is good for circulation. In particular, this nutrient feeds the skin with adequate blood flow.
  • Pumpkin. Oh, the reasons to love pumpkin! Real pumpkin, that is. Sure, that pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread may have some sugar in it; but it also has loads of vitamin C that protect the skin from collagen breakdown at the hands of all those free radicals. This fruit can also pamper sun-damaged skin with all of its carotinoids.

Indulgences with Consequences

With the various activities (shopping!) on our plate this season, many of us barely have time to sleep, let alone eat a home-cooked meal. This could lead to some unpleasant consequences.

  • Processed foods and fast food items tend to be high in sodium. While a good portion of them do not taste overly salty, they raise our sodium levels. This can leave us looking puffy and unhealthy.
  • Sweet treats are hard to avoid, but keep in mind that refined sugar negatively affects collagen. We don’t want those collagen strands breaking down before their time!

We wish patients of Westport Dermatology & Laser Center a joyous holiday season.