By Janis Graham
'Tis the season...for colds, flu, stomach bugs, and all those other ills that spread when people come together — whether by choice (at holiday parties) or circumstance (on airplanes). But don't start calculating your sick days just yet. This year you can do more than wash your hands and cross your fingers. Recent research, some of it sparked by the scary H1N1 influenza pandemic of 2009, has uncovered new steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. Most...
“If you don’t get adequate rest, the body produces a stress hormone called cortisol, and this can show in the skin,” says New York City dermatologist Ariel Ostad, MD.
Here are some tips for tackling the effects that cold-induced lack of sleep can have on your skin.
Defy Dark Circles
Congestion, lack of sleep, and feeling under the weather can make dark, puffy under-eye circles worse. Dilated blood vessels and congestion make the circles show up more.
Give your eyes a break. After drinking a cup of hot black tea to soothe your sore throat, cool the steeped tea bags in ice water and place them over your eyes. The cold and caffeine will constrict your blood vessels.
A cough or fever keeps you from resting. That can cause stress, which prompts your skin to make more oil, leading to breakouts -- the last thing you want when you're already feeling low. Over-the-counter or prescription products with retinol can help keep acne under control, but they could worsen skin that's already red and raw.
No matter what your skin type, extra moisture is a good idea when you're fighting a cold. If you tend to break out, you may want to avoid heavy moisturizers. Look for oil-free formulas, especially those with ceramides. They're good for acne-prone skin without making blemishes worse.