December 27th, 2011 / posted by paularath

Okay, so I don’t look – or feel – like Emmy Lou Harris this holiday season. With deep, dark and saggy circles under my eyes, sallow skin from holiday neglect and rosacea kicking up from stress (and, ahem, red wine), well, I feel ugh and ugly. Just in case you might be feeling a little bit the same way, I found these helpful holiday beauty rescue ideas from Paula Begoun, aka The Cosmetics Cop.

Problem: Puffy, tired-looking eyes.

Culprits: Salty foods, alcohol, and late-night holiday parties.


• We all know it’s important to moderate your intake of alcohol, sodium, soda pop, and processed foods, but you also can mitigate the effects of overindulging by adding lots of anti-inflammatory foods to your diet, such as fruits, vegetables, salmon, and dry roasted nuts, and by drinking plenty of plain water.

• Apply an extra dose of a well-formulated moisturizer loaded with antioxidants around your eyes to combat dryness. Dryness contributes to swelling, and makes your eye area appear more wrinkled and tired. Just remember: There’s no need to purchase a product labeled “eye cream.” Slather on a brilliant, state-of-the-art moisturizer and you will see the difference overnight!

• Sleep with your head slightly elevated to help prevent fluid retention in the eye area. In the morning, follow up with a soft fingertip massage around the puffy areas to help relieve this kind of swelling.

• Use a gentle makeup remover at night to remove all traces of eye makeup. Makeup left on overnight can cause irritation, almost guaranteeing that you will wake up with puffy eyes.


Problem: Breakouts that would give Rudolph’s red nose a run for its money.

Culprits: Inflammation, hormones, and neglecting your normal skin-care routine.


• Gentle cleansing is a vital first step. Use a mild, water-soluble cleanser to reduce oily skin and acne without making your skin feel dry and tight. No bar soaps or bar cleansers!

• Exfoliate with beta hydroxy acid (BHA). BHA not only has potent anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness, but also kills acne-causing bacteria and exfoliates, removing built-up dead skin cells on the surface of the skin as well as inside the pore. The clearer your pores, the less likely you are to break out.

• Eliminate acne-causing bacteria. Benzoyl peroxide is considered the most effective over-the-counter choice for killing acne-causing bacteria. It penetrates into the pore to do its job of preventing inflammation and future breakouts.


Problem: Your wrinkles look more noticeable than ever!

Culprits: Wrinkles are caused primarily by sun damage, but stress, late nights, drinking, and sweets will make everything look worse, almost overnight.


• Start with sunscreen. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean there isn’t daylight, and daylight damages your skin if you’re not wearing sunscreen. The best defense against wrinkles is daily use of an effective, well-formulated sunscreen rated SPF 15 or greater, and greater is better if you think you’ll scrimp on application.

• Shed built-up layers of skin with a well-formulated AHA or BHA to truly improve the appearance of wrinkles, even out your skin tone, reduce brown spots, and create smoother skin overnight.

• Be gentle with your skin! The more you tug and pull at your skin, the more you break down its essential support structures, which can lead to increased wrinkling and sagging.

• Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. A well-formulated, state-of-the-art moisturizer (serum, liquid, or gel textures if you have normal to oily or blemish-prone skin; creamy lotions and creams for drier skin) can go a long way toward improving your skin’s texture, enhancing its radiance, and creating a smoother, more supple surface.

– Paula Rath



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Maude Lau
December 28th, 2011 at 9:43 am

Excellent advice however where
can I buy your beta hydroxy acid?

December 28th, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Paula Begoun’s Beautypedia is a GREAT source of info. I would also highly recommend the Clarisonic for your readers. It’s awesome!!! I saw the Mia model at Macy’s for $119. Hope you had a great Christmas.

December 29th, 2011 at 4:10 am

I love the Clarisonic. It’s the best for exfoliating gently and doesn’t even make my rosacea kick up.

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