Don’t let post-party skin, hair and nails put a dampener on the festive season

The festive party season is upon us and while we love all that Christmas cheer as much as the next person, turns out eating, drinking and generally being merry can take its toll on our hair, face, skin and nails.

A slew of festive shindigs, late nights and early starts can result in not only our immune system and mental health needing a little extra support, but partied-out skin, frazzled hair and parched, tired limbs.

But don’t let your party-related beauty concerns or budget put a dampener on festive joy. Here, we ask the experts for their top skin-saving tips and put together an edit of some of our favourite after-party products for all your top-to-toe needs.

After-party hair products

"The party season can take quite the toll on our hair with increased styling potentially causing damage, dryness and breakage," explains Anabel Kingsley, brand president and consultant trichologist at Philip Kingsley.

"A hydrating hair treatment added onto your usual regime can help add lost moisture back into parched strands. When hair has lost moisture (usually due to the use of extreme heat), it becomes dry and brittle, causing the hair to snap more easily.

"Keeping your hair well hydrated could improve your hair’s stretch and retention to breakage. Plus, you get the added benefits of increased shine and reduced frizz," she adds.

To get the most from a hydrating hair treatment, leave it on overnight or, if you fear for your pillow, apply a thick layer, wrap hair up in a towel and leave on for up to 30 minutes. (For added zen, use this time to also pop on a face mask and calm your mind with some breathing exercises.)

Proper prep can create stronger foundations – and smoother results. "Always use a heat protector pre-heat styling," Anabel advises. "This will allow you to gently tease out tangles, reducing snagging and pulling that can lead to breakage and damage."

Another top hair health hack? "Never straighten wet or damp hair – the moisture inside the hair shaft can boil, causing the hair shaft to burst and form small nodules, which can eventually lead to breakage," warns Anabel.

And finally, feeding your hair from the inside out can help keep hair feeling strong and healthy looking, long after party season’s over. "Keep a check on your scalp health," says Anabel. "Fatty, sugary foods and alcohol can all exacerbate an oily scalp."

For reviving parched hair

Try: Garnier Ultimate Blends Glowing Lengths Pineapple & Amla Hair Food 3-in-1 Hair Mask

• Size: 400ml

• Vegan

• Cruelty-free

Whether you use it as a deep rinse-out conditioner, a three-minute mask or a leave-in hydrating treatment, the intense, yet lightweight nourishment and glow this pick gives dull post-party hair is only matched by its tropical pineapple scent that will transport you to sunnier climes.

For gentle cleansing

Try: Shea Moisture Moringa & Avocado Power Greens Shampoo

• Size: 384ml

• Fairtrade shea butter

• No sulphates or silicones

Perfect for weak, dull, curly, coily or coloured hair, this softening formula with Fairtrade shea butter and a power blend of moringa, avocado, kale, matcha and green algae, helps revitalise hair and delivers nourishing shine as it gently cleanses.

For repairing

Try: Philip Kingsley Bond Builder Lipid Shield Oil

• Size: 30ml

• Sulphate-free

• Gluten-free

• Silicone-free

Apply to towel-dried hair every two to three washes to help protect the hair’s cuticles against dryness and damage caused by external aggressors, such as UV and heat. It works by helping to replenish lost oils for smoother, softer-looking hair.

For calming a frazzled scalp

Try: Lee Stafford Scalp Love Surge of Moisture Leave-In Tonic

• Size: 150ml

• Suitable for vegans

Fuelled by protecting and soothing skincare ingredient, niacinamide, this moisturising tonic helps calm sensitive, irritated scalps and provide relief from itchiness. A blend of cactus, aloe vera and allantoin cools and helps hydrate hair from the root.

After-party skincare products

"As we head towards party season, spare a thought for your skin," advises consultant dermatologist, Dr Emma Wedgeworth. "The colder weather, indoor heating and lack of moisture in the air will already lead to increased dryness. 

"Heavy alcohol intake can increase dryness and sensitivity, too. This is exacerbated by sleep deprivation, which results in further dehydration and dullness, exaggerating fine lines. 

"To combat this, dial up the hydration in your night-time routine to help soothe skin overnight, leaving it looking refreshed in the morning, even if you’re feeling worse for wear."

For fighting dryness

Try: Kiehl’s Avocado Nourishing Hydration Mask

• Size: 100ml

• Fragrance-free

Hold the toast in the morning and instead serve the goodness of smashed avocado to your skin with this creamy, hydrating mask. Formulated with avocado extract, avocado oil and evening primrose oil, it leaves skin feeling nourished, while helping prevent water loss by sealing in moisture.

For mature skin

Try: Clarins Double Serum

• Size: 50ml

Late nights not only affect our concentration levels the next day, but our skin. This popular serum’s formula, containing 21 active plant extracts including turmeric, gets to work on everything from hydration to smoothness for a more rejuvenated and radiant-looking complexion.

For perking up partied-out skin

Try: Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Chamomile & Lavender

• Size: 118ml

Feeling foggy? Mist this restoring and balancing spritz onto a partied-out complexion or apply before your moisturiser for a treat for your skin and senses. A refreshing spritz of vitamin C, aloe vera, lavender and camomile will help brighten, soften and soothe skin, as well as clear the cobwebs.

For a deep cleanse

Try: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser

• Size: 100ml

• Cruelty-free

With so many awards we can’t keep count, this cult classic remains the most luxurious way to make sure all your make-up has gone before bed. The rich cream deeply cleanses to help remove daily grime, pollutants and make-up (even stubborn mascara) to leave skin feeling comfortable and clean.

For an uneven complexion

Try: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo+ Blemish Treatment

• Size: 40ml

• Non-comedogenic

A sweaty dance floor, late nights and eggnog aren’t going to help skin in general. This dual-action gel moisturiser features niacinamide to help minimise the appearance of blackheads and zinc PCA to mattify skin and control shine, while glycerin keeps skin feeling hydrated throughout the day. A great all-rounder.

For tired under-eyes

Lack of sleep, everyday stress in the lead up to Christmas and dehydration caused by central heating and festive tipples can be a sure-fire recipe for dry skin, puffy eyes and more pronounced dark circles.

As well as staying hydrated and trying to up our shut-eye where we can, there are some hard-working skincare swaps and quick fixes that can help take the edge off these classic signs of fatigue. Here are three of our faves…

For smoothing crêpey eyes

Try: Elemis Pro-Collagen Eye Revive Mask

• Size: 15ml

This smart 3-in-1 formula can be used as an overnight eye mask, a hydrating under-eye primer and a moisturising rescue balm to give tired peepers a bit of pampering. The bouncy gel texture feels cool and refreshing on the skin and instantly leaves the eye area looking smoother and revitalised.

For intense hydration

Try: Patchology Serve Chilled Rosé Eye Gel Single

• Single

Keep these little patches in the fridge for a fun little pick me up or for puffy eyes in need of some soothing coolness. Formulated with resveratrol, strawberry extract and hyaluronic acid for a megadose of hydration, they provide a much-loved pocket of bliss.

For an award-winning concealer

Try: YSL Touche Éclat Illuminating Pen

• Available in 12 shades

Winner of the Payday Treat category at this year’s Boots Beauty Awards, this clever concealer has garnered a devoted following for a reason. Illuminating and brightening, its fatigue-fighting formula is a stroke of genius when it comes to disguising tired eyes.

After-party body care products

It’s not just the skin on your face that needs a pep between parties – dry skin from the neck down as a result of cold weather and central heating, and brittle nails caused by seasonal manis can be a real bah humbug!

Whether you’re looking to smooth rough skin or limbs, we’ve got you covered.

For a body serum

Try: No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Moisturising Body Serum

• Size: 200ml

Proving that a serum isn’t just for your face, this formula is clinically proven to help smooth skin’s texture and hydrate. Slather onto chest, shoulders and arms for two weeks to see and feel the difference.

For shimmering hydration

Try: Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

• Size: 75ml

• Suitable for vegans

• Cruelty free

• Recyclable box made from 80% Forest Stewardship Council-certified recycled materials

Not only is the scent the stuff of legend, with notes of salted caramel and pistachio proving an irresistible combination, this award-winning, fast-absorbing cream softens, moisturises and adds just a hint of shimmer, while the caffeine-rich guarana and a Brazilian blend of skin-loving ingredients leave limbs smooth-looking and soft.

For smooth skin

Frank Body Original Coffee Scrub

• Size: 100g

• Suitable for vegans

• Cruelty free

Buff away rough skin – or simply massage into wherever needs a bit more TLC – with this famous coffee scrub rich in vitamin E and nourishing oils to help keep skin smooth and supple.

For strengthening nails

Try: Essie Hard To Resist Nail Strengthener

• Size: 13.5ml

Help create a barrier against everyday wear and tear with this nail-strengthening treatment. It’s also delicately pink tinted to give weak nails a healthy-looking glow and shine.

For dry, tired feet

Boots Coconut Oil Moisturising Foot Socks

• Size: 1 pair

• Suitable for vegans

Sit back with your feet up wearing this pair of vitamin E-enriched socks. With a luxurious coconut oil scent, this is as much about pampering yourself as it is about soothing and softening after your dancing shoes have done their worst.

Not sure on the right product for you? Try our skincare tool & find a personalised solution