12 days of Christmas, 12 rescue remedies; each with the expert seal of approval to help you look and feel your best should you find yourself burning the candle at both ends and suffering from festive burnout before the big day even arrives.
From hangover cures to immunity boosters, on-the-go makeup management to solutions to re-balance both body and mind, here is your essential emergency It-kit for staying both healthy and happy this Christmas and beyond.
The energy booster from natural health specialist and co-founder of Victoria Health, Shabir Daya
“The three biggest challenges people face during the festive season are low energy, over-indulgence and stress.
“As far as low energy levels go, I would recommend the use of Sibergin , £15.49, a high potency Siberian ginseng supplement that stimulates the adrenals to produce their energising hormones and enzymes. For the majority, energy enhancement is experienced very quickly and often within a couple of hours.”
MORE GLOSS: How to cope with Christmas overwhelm
Hangover cures from nutritional therapist, Libby Limon
“I would say raw coconut water and green tea are my two go-tos. Raw coconut water is high in electrolytes, especially potassium, to effectively rehydrate, and polyphenols to help protect against cell damage. Mighty Bee does completely virgin, frozen organic coconut water , £19.
“Green tea, such as Clipper Pure Green Tea , is helpful in terms of supporting liver detoxification and again, to rehydrate. Plus, it gives you a slow and sustained energy release to help you through the day. They are fairtrade and the teabags are unbleached, avoiding chemical processing.”
The immunity booster from Dr Anita Sturnham
“To get my body ready for the winter months, I use Superdrug’s Echinacea Cold and Flu Tablets , £3.49.
“Echinacea is a traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and influenza type infections, so I find this really helps to get me back up and running when I have been ill.”
MORE GLOSS: Download GTG’s free healthier Christmas guide here
On-the-go makeup tips from makeup artist, Caroline Barnes
“Concealer is the staple that can be applied over makeup any time, any place, anywhere, to perfect skin without worrying about total all-over reapplication. I love the new double-ended Estée Lauder Perfectionist Concealer , £25.65, in particular. One end is light reflecting, with a formula that contains the brand's Perfectionist serum in it. It’s very luminescent, so when applied under the eyes and over the cheekbones, it gives a lovely hydrated glow to the skin which isn’t sparkly or shimmery. The other end contains an opaque concealer to use for touch-ups and has a consistency like butter - really soft and silky. I did an Instagram video on it and I’m obsessed. It has a great shade range and it is also really good for layering over existing makeup when you’re on-the-go.”
MORE GLOSS: The 10 best concealers for olive and dark skin tones
The unmanageable mane tamer from hair stylist, George Northwood
“ Pureology Smooth Perfection Frizz-fighting Serum , £16.90, is the go-to product for unmanageable, dry hair. It does exactly what it says - delivers smooth hair which is easier to style. It’s lightweight so it can be used on fine and thick hair - you can’t go wrong with it.”
The breakout busters from cosmetic dermatologist, Dr Sam Bunting
1) “Treat active spots with an anti-inflammatory acne preparation. The only ingredients that work once you actually have a red, angry spot are those containing salicylic acid (look for 1-2%) or benzoyl peroxide (no need to go higher than 2.5-5%).
“Try Medik8 BetaGel Blemish Gel , £31, which contains a combination of azeleic acid, niacinamide and salicylic acid to target active spots and dark marks. Benzoyl peroxide is hard to get hold of in the UK however, Obagi does one called Cleanziderm , £28.53, (comprising of 5% benzoyl peroxide preparation).
“Apply to the offending areas after cleansing with a gentle, non-foaming non-comedogenic cleanser and allow it to dry. Then apply moisturiser if needed as anti-blemish preparations tend to be inherently drying.”
2) “Cover with concealer. I like Vichy Dermablend Corrector Stick , £15, (which is non-comedogenic and provides industrial-grade coverage), or NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer , £19.80, which has a super range of shades.
3) “Then – and this is key – divert attention away from the trouble zone. So if the spot is on the chin, work a mesmerising smokey eye. If it’s on the forehead, rock a red lip. Remember to assess your face from what I call conversation distance – a good 1m away from the mirror (absolutely NO magnifying mirrors); remember, no one ever inspects you as closely as you’d like to think.
“If you have been tempted to pick and it’s red and raw, it’s important to interfere as little as possible to reduce the risk of pigmentation and scarring. This is especially true if the spot has not come to a whitehead and formed a pustule. Until the erosion has healed over, it will be almost impossible to get makeup to adhere and it may well cause secondary infection. Wipe with a gentle antiseptic like witch hazel and apply light pressure for a minute. Then apply an anti-inflammatory acne preparation that will form a film over the area and leave it be. Don’t apply makeup until the skin has healed properly.”
MORE GLOSS: Is your makeup clogging your pores? 10 non-comedogenic makeup switch-ups
The overindulgence remedy from nutritionist, Amanda Hamilton
“If you've overdone it a little on the rich foods and fine wines over the festive season, it might be worth spending a little time being extra kind to your gut. Luckily, it's now easy to do so in the form of drinking Rhythm Coconut Kefirs. Kefir is a traditional fermented yoghurt rich in beneficial bacteria. The Rhythm range contains the same tummy-friendly qualities, but is dairy, cholesterol and added sugar free and is 100% naturally nutritious, packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals like potassium and magnesium.
“The coconut kefirs are available as booster shots, £1.69 ( natural , mango or pomegranate ) or as juice blends, £4.99 ( Field and Orchard Greens or Beetroot ). They also have a more powerful Life Shot 200 programme , £125, containing 200 billion beneficial bacteria in one shot - that's an entire tub of probiotics! If you are looking for amazing results, you can even try the full three , £188, or five day cleanse , £320, which includes raw coconut water that contains naturally occurring electrolytes - a delicious way to rehydrate!”
Stress management from yoga teacher, Nadia Narain
“I always carry my Rescue Remedy Drops , £9.99, with me. It gets so crowded everywhere and there’s always so much to do, so I take a few drops if I feel panic coming on.
“My best tip is that I make sure I have 5-10 minutes each morning to meditate and gather myself! This time of year is so stressful in good and not-so-good ways. It’s important for me and my attitude to meditate.”
Nadia Narain teaches at www.triyoga.co.uk , www.nadianarain.com .
Follow us @getthegloss and Ayesha @Ayesha_Muttu .
Like this? Sign up for our newsletters to receive similar content to your inbox