Holiday Stress Has No Place on Your Face

Tips & tricks from Dr. Murad for keeping skin healthy through the holidays.
Effects-on-Holiday-Stress-on-Skin Skincare Library

The holidays are looking a little different this year, but the stress we feel may be familiar: the pressure to get the perfect gift (and give it on time), how to gather safely with loved ones, making the perfect side dish, to travel or not to travel.

While we feel the effects of stress, many aren’t aware of the visible effects of holiday stress on your skin. Fortunately, Dr. Murad, founder of Murad Skincare and master of navigating the holidays, is here to talk about the biggest effects of holiday stress on your skin, and share his tips for easeing some of that holiday stress off so you can focus on what matters most.

Lack of sleep
“Lack of sleep tends to compound during the holidays because we put high expectations on ourselves to host the perfect party or give the perfect gift,” says Dr. Murad. We also tend to over-schedule ourselves, which leads to disorganization, frustration, stress, and not enough hours dedicated to rest. The effects of holiday stress on your skin combined with lack of sleep can lead to under-eye circles and bags, dehydration, fine lines, dullness, and acne breakouts.

Creating a gift-giving list, a shopping list, and a to-do list are three easy ways to combat holiday stress. Using a planner to keep track of your holiday to-dos can help tremendously so you'll never miss a beat.

With so many different effects of holiday stress on your skin, it’s important to take out some time for selfcare. Try setting aside time to wind down before bed. Engaging in a skincare regimen can be part of your ready-to-rest regimen and will support your skin’s overnight recovery process. You can also try reading a book or journaling to shift your thoughts away from tomorrow’s to-do list.

Over-indulging
Holiday-themed sugary treats and alcoholic drinks are part of the holiday festivities, but over-indulging can also cause dehydration throughout your body—and that includes your skin. “The interconnectedness between skin and internal body is largely forgotten,” says Dr. Murad. Forbidding yourself from having these treats isn’t the best idea either. In fact, it could cause you more stress in the long run. Follow Dr. Murad’s 80/20 rule: “80% of the time, commit to eating a healthy diet; the other 20% of the time it’s ok to splurge on holiday foods or desserts.”

Abandoning exercise
Whether in person or via Zoom, holiday gatherings can distract from your daily exercise. Exercise is critical to minimizing the effects of holiday stress on your skin—and your mind and body—as it helps manage feelings of stress and helps promote circulation and increased blood flow, which helps carry away harmful free radicals. Dr. Murad recommends “moving your workouts to the morning, when the day's events have kicked in to disrupt your schedule or wear you down.”

With so many different effects of holiday stress on your skin, it’s important to take out some time for self-care.