THE last thing anyone wants is to look terrible during summer, so here’s a list of the Top 13 mistakes women make and how to avoid them during this Christmas and New Year break.
- BAD DIET
When most of us think of Christmas we think of food – and lots of it! For some reason even when we have been on our best behaviour during the year we tend to relax the rules come Christmas time. An extra cheese plate here, another pound of stuffed turkey there…pretty soon the waistbands on our pants and skirts are getting tight and we are carrying around the evidence of our overindulging for all to see.
- If you know you are going to eat at a function only snack lightly beforehand.
- Remember the 80/20 rule. It’s fine to indulge occasionally but it’s a disaster waiting to happen if you do it every day. So pick which parties or occasions you plan to give yourself more freedom food-wise and which you will simply have to limit yourself a bit.
- Exercise! Burn off some of those extra calories!
2. DRINKING WAY TOO MUCH ALCOHOL
Just as there is an overindulgence of food during the festive period the mere increase of Christmas parties and summer get-togethers means that we have numerous more opportunities to drink and be merry. And drink we do! However more often than not excess drinking equals hangovers, headaches and regret. We won’t even begin to mention the physical toll it has on your skin and body.
- Have a plan. Once again the 80/20 rule applies here. It’s fine to indulge occasionally but a recipe for disaster if you do it time and time again. Decide when you plan to enjoy a glass or two and when you may prefer to refrain.
- If you must drink make sure to alternate each alcoholic beverage with a tall glass of water to stay hydrated.
- Go to bed early. A hungover is automatically made worse when you add a late night to the mix.
3. TRYING NEW SKIN PRODUCTS THE DAY BEFORE A SPECIAL OCCASION
So you’re excited, you got yourself an early Chrissie present – a new skin product you have been dying to try. Well hate to be the bearer of bad news but now is not the time to test it out, especially if you are off to a new party or get-together unless you want to run the risk of a breakout.
- Be patient. It won’t kill you.
- If you are dying to test it out ask for a sample a month before your special occasion. That should give you enough time to see if you will have a reaction.
4. LEAVING SKIN PROCEDURES TOO LATE
Once again the day before a big party is not the time to book in your waxing, microdermabrasion, anti-wrinkle injections or fillers. Skin treatments like this need time to settle before they look your best.
- Plan your time better. If you know you need to have it done before a party book it into your diary with time to spare.
5. FORGETTING YOUR SUNSCREEN
Just as some become more relaxed with their food and alcohol intake during summer they tend to become lazy too with their sunscreen. Not good! Your fake tan will not protect you from the sun! You will get sunburnt without it! You will get wrinkles! And yes you do need to actually REAPPLY it regularly. No other points are required.
- Keep your sunscreen on hand. In your bag, car, bathroom, anywhere so that you can reapply it as per need.
6. USING TOO MANY PRODUCTS
For those who think the more skin products you use the better your skin will be I have some bad news to share – this is simply wrong. Some of these products are simply doing the same thing and you do not reap the benefits, instead you are shelling more money for the same thing. In the case of skincare simple is better.
- All you really need is a good cleanser, good sunscreen with a moisturizer and a form of an anti-oxidant such as vitamin C.
7. WEARING MAKEUP TO THE GYM
This is the biggest no-no of all! Are you there at the gym to work out your body or suffocate your skin under a layer of makeup while you sweat? Sweating while wearing makeup may cause acne or skin irritations. Not to mention the fact that you will most likely look ridiculous with your panda eyes and makeup rolling down your skin.
- Keep your skin bare.
- If you must go with something use tinted moisturizer, mineral makeup or pale lip-gloss.
8. SKIMPING ON SLEEP
Face it – you are human and you will eventually run dry if you don’t get a decent amount of sleep. Not only does a lack of sleep make you feel bad it also makes you look bad on the outside too. Chronic lack of sleep leads to sallow skin and dark circles under the eyes. It also deprives our skin the opportunity to renew itself. When you miss out on crucial sleep your body releases more of a stress hormone called cortisol. In excessive quantities cortisol can break down collagen, which is the protein that keeps our skin looking smooth and elastic.
- Aim to have approximately 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
- Remember early to bed early to rise makes a person healthy wealthy and wise. Get to bed before midnight to maximize your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
9. EXFOLIATING TOO MUCH
Exfoliating your skin too much is a common mistake women make. We think we are doing our skin something good when in actual fact we are causing it more harm than anything else. Exfoliating your skin too often strips our skin of its natural oils and exacerbates skin conditions, making it more prone to sensitivity and flare ups.
- Ideally once or twice a week is the maximum amount you can exfoliate your skin or body.
- It is not a replacement for removing makeup or cleansing. If you have sensitive skin you should not exfoliate more than once a fortnight.
10. RETANNING TOO OFTEN
We get it – you want to look tanned and glowing during summer. But there’s a big difference between tanned and orange.
- Get a good professional tan no more than once week.
- If you must do it yourself make sure you purchase a good quality self-tanner and have someone help you if you need it. Nothing worse than the trace of a handprint left marked across your back.
- Finally make sure the other tan is completely removed before applying a new one.
11. LETTING YOURSELF GO
Some people tend to become a little too relaxed during Christmas and before you know it bed-hair looks more like a birds nest, nails become chipped, leg hair grows back and eyebrows are desperately in need of waxing. How can anyone look or feel great during summer if they haven’t even got the basics under control?
- To look your best it’s always best to be prepared. Two simple tips: keep your hair freshly washed and blow-dried and your nails painted. This will give you an automatic head start. Also it’s summer – keep some deodorant and mints in your bag.
12. DRESSING INAPPROPRIATELY
Summer is not the best time to wear tight-fitting clothes if you are planning to indulge, unless you want to end up like me (story to illustrate the woes of this: one year after indulging in a massive feast my Spanx become so uncomfortable I had to remove it. Only problem was I couldn’t put my dress on afterwards.
- Dress comfortably!
- If you must wear high heels make sure to pack a pair of flats as well for when your feet need a break.
- Query the dress code and dress accordingly. No quicker way to dampen your mood than being obscenely overdressed or underdressed for an occasion.
13. LAST BUT NOT LEAST NOT REMOVING MAKEUP &/REAPPLYING MAKEUP ON TOP
We know; you’re tired; all you want to do is jump straight into bed. We understand, we really do – the only thing is this so-called luxury of avoiding a two minute task comes at a price: terrible skin. Just what you want for summer – NOT!
- Don’t be lazy. Cleanse and moisturise your skin every night, no matter how late the hour.
- If you can’t help it and insist on being lazy have some makeup wipes ready at your bedside table. This isn’t the most ideal way to remove makeup but it is better than nothing.
- Finally NEVER EVER commit the cardinal sin of adding makeup on top of your day-old makeup. Trust me people will know. Worse still you will know that you were too lazy to do something as simple as cleansing your face. Fresh makeup = a fresh look. Old makeup simply makes you look OLDER.