As much fun as decking the halls during the holidays may be, with great partying comes great overindulgence in pretty much everything but sleep—and the combination of too much alcohol, too much sugar and too little shut-eye does not a raving beauty make.
“If there’s any drinking involved—and of course there will be—your skin can get very dehydrated,” says Nancy Reagan, licensed aesthetician and founder of Bella Reina Spa in Delray Beach, Florida. “Likewise, high sugar levels in the body can damage the protein fibers on which collagen and elastin depend to keep the skin firm, plump and without wrinkles,” she adds.
Compounding the effects of imbibing too much alcohol and sugar is the sleep you forfeited to have all that fun. Since much of the body’s repair process happens during sleep, sacrificing slumber to the party gods can interfere with skin cell turnover and repair. “This can lead to the new skin cells not being formed correctly,” says Nancy. “Lack of sleep also puts the body into a state of stress, resulting in the release of stress-related hormones that can cause inflammation, including breakouts.”
Face Masks to the Rescue
“No matter what your skin type,” says Nancy, “you will need to rehydrate and plump up those skin cells.” Luckily, there is a facial mask for every skin type that can jump-start repairs and help combat party-induced woes. “The secret is to always exfoliate the skin prior to masking,” says Nancy, who also recommends that you apply peptide serums with vitamins to the skin after exfoliation and before you apply your mask. “The mask will push the serums into the skin, and you will get the best possible results from the mask.” Below is a helpful breakdown of masks based on skin type so you can choose the best option for you.
1. CLAY MASKS
A restorative, moisturizing clay mask that naturally detoxifies as it hydrates without oil is a great option for normal and oily skin types. “Because they are occlusive (closing off the skin to the air), clay masks cause the brain to send down natural skin plumpers,” Nancy says, “and at the same time they are firming, detoxing and tightening.” If your skin is inflamed, look for a clay mask that also boasts clarifying enzymes and/or sulfur to treat breakouts and soothe redness.
2. CREAM MASKS
Normal to dry skin types will benefit from a cream mask, which is rich in oils and moisturizers that penetrate deeply and replenish dry cells. Masks that contain hyaluronic acid have the added benefit of attracting and binding moisture to plump up flat skin cells, while algae extracts will help tighten and firm.
3. GEL MASKS
According to Nancy, the soothing, cooling effect of a gel mask is great for dry and sensitive skin types that need hydration ahead of firming and detoxifying. “Gel masks are infused with collagen and antioxidants that help the skin with recovery,” she says, adding that they offer total rehydration of the skin.
4. SHEET MASKS
Although sheet masks work with all skin types based on the formulas they contain, they are particularly excellent for resistant skin types when paired with serums. “Just like we do in the treatment rooms, you will want to apply hyaluronic serums under it so that the occlusive nature of the mask can push the serums deep into the skin,” Nancy says.
5. ENZYME MASKS
As with any exfoliating masks, enzyme masks slough off dulling dead skin cells and purge deep-seated dirt in your pores. The difference? They do so with fruit enzymes—typically from papaya and pineapple—which are generally gentler on your skin than acids and physical exfoliants like scrubs. Aside from offering gentle exfoliation, fruit enzymes also have natural skin-brightening properties, which will give you that healthy, lit-from-within glow that you’ll see almost instantly.