Look after your skin
Late nights, tons of booze, and smoky atmospheres all take their toll on your skin. Here's how to stay looking your best.
Your skin reflects your general health. To keep it in good condition, you need a healthy balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and veg, regular exercise, enough sleep, and plenty of water. It's really easy to let all this slip during the party season, but by the end of January you'll be glad that you made the effort. If you can't keep it up, at least take a good multivitamin and mineral supplement and get out for a walk in the fresh air at lunchtimes.
No matter how drunk you are when you get home from a party, remember to wash your face and have an extra glass of water. If you're wearing makeup, never go to sleep with it still on. You might look OK the next day, but soon you'll have blocked pores, sore eyes and a breakout of zits.
They are pure evil. These blemishes seem to know when you're about to go to the party of the year or out on a hot date. They just pop up out of nowhere, often on the end of your nose, when you wake up on the morning of the big day.
Although it's tempting, wherever possible try not to squeeze them, this only makes the inflammation and redness worse. It can also leave you with an oozing crusting mess in the middle of your face. Dab the spot regularly throughout the day with something that will shrink it down, like tea tree or lavender oil. Or, if you don't have to go to work or college, dab a little blob of face pack or even toothpaste onto it every hour or so and let it dry before washing it off.
Concealer is your best bet. Go for a good brand that doesn't contain pore-blocking lanolin, and has anti-bacterial properties. This will help to heal the blemish while it hides it. Some concealers come with a little side order of green cream. The idea of this is that green is the opposite of red, so it will make the spot less noticeable by balancing out the colour. Blend the green cream in with the other one on the back of your hand before applying it. This will make sure it matches your skin tone, and is mixed in properly.
Under eye bags
With some of us, under-eye bags and dark circles are genetic, and we can't do much about them. For most people they're temporary, and caused by tiredness and irritations. Take down puffiness with a specially designed cool mask for eyes (keep it in the fridge), slices of cucumber, or used and cooled tea bags. Don't be tempted to apply ice straight to the face; the eye area is too delicate to tolerate it.
There are also several eye creams and gels that claim to be able to shrink eye bags and remove dark circles. They often take weeks to have an effect, and don't expect miracles. If it's an emergency and you need a one-off quick fix for puffiness, you can dab a tiny tiny amount of pile cream around the eyes to shrink it temporarily. Just don't rely on it regularly; it can be very irritating to the skin.
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