7:00am Saturday 31st December 2011
Mirror your Christmas diet with festive-themed beauty products. Lisa Haynes looks at the delicious seasonal ingredients to stock up on.
It's the time of year to revel in plentiful supplies of good food, and thankfully the traditional Christmas menu has plenty of skin-loving properties.
But if you're not over-indulging, there's a Santa's sack worth of products inspired by seasonal fare to help feed, brighten and nourish your skin.
As Helen Ambrosen, co-founder and product inventor of Lush, explains: "We love to use beautiful ingredients in our products and find great inspiration from lovely seasonal foods such as cranberries and satsumas."
Whether you want to eat the real thing or indulge in the beauty alternative to save on Christmas calories, here's how to reap the benefits of your favourite festive foods.
Stocking sensations Traditionalists will always appreciate a stocking stuffed with time-honoured Yuletide treats.
Satsumas, usually found lurking in the toe of stockings, are a popular festive fruit celebrated for their refreshing and uplifting beauty properties. And let's not forget the oranges which spice up mulled wine.
Made with a blend of mandarin oil, try Lush's festive Satsumo Santa Bath Ballistic, £2.95 (www.lush.co.uk), to add some zest to your Christmas bathing.
If chocolate coins and candy canes are your stocking vice, give yourself a break from sweet treats and grab a handful of nuts instead, advises Fiona Hunter, Simple skincare's nutritionist.
"They're stuffed full of essential fatty acids and vitamin E to help improve skin elasticity, preventing fine lines and wrinkles," she says.
For a sweet stocking filler without the calories or dentist bills, try Philosophy's Gingerbread Girl Ornament, £7 (Boots).
Dinner table delights When it comes to sitting down for turkey and all the trimmings, you'll find plenty of beauty-friendly ingredients on your plate - including your meat feast.
"A 100g serving of turkey contains almost 75% of an adult's Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of protein," Hunter explains.
"Protein is important for the manufacture of collagen - the main structural component in the dermis, one of the lower layers of the skin and essential for keeping the skin toned and supple."
Don't even think about passing on the sprouts because they're packed full of vitamin C, which helps to stimulate collagen growth in the skin.
Pile those carrots high too. "Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A, which is important for the manufacture of new skin cells," Hunter says.
Enhance your see-in-the-dark superpowers with Yes To Carrots Eye Can C Clearly Now Eye Contour Cream, £12.25 (www.beautybay.com); or cheat your way to glowing skin with The Organic Pharmacy Carrot Butter Cleanser, £34.96 (www.theorganicpharmacy.com).
Festive treats Not many people can keep their paws out of the chocolate tin at Christmas. But if you want to indulge AND benefit your skin, go for the dark stuff.
Hunter suggests: "Satisfy your cravings with dark chocolate, which contains a group of phytochemicals called flavanols which can help protect the skin from damage by free radicals that are known to cause wrinkles and ageing."
Bathe in the stuff instead with N-Spa Indulgent Chocolate Waffle Bath Syrup, £3 (Asda).
Winter berries like cranberries and pomegranates are one to watch in the fruit bowl if you fancy a sweet treat that gives benefits in return.
"Berries are bursting in antioxidants which help to strengthen the walls of tiny blood vessels and can help prevent thread veins and keep skin looking radiant and youthful," says Hunter.
Slather your skin with berry goodness using Burt's Bees Bee Pampered Spa Set, £19.99 (www.burtsbees.co.uk), crammed with juicy cranberry and pomegranate extracts.
Seasonal selection box Try these Christmas beauty crackers to boost your regime for the festive season and beyond.
:: For the beauty equivalent of a winter warmer, cosy up in the bathroom with Origins Ginger Treats, £29 (www.origins.co.uk).
:: Figgy pudding might be better known as a line in a carol, but you can be a fruity beauty with Korres Fig Shower Gel, £7.50 (0870 850 3868).
:: No need for a second helping of pudding for a sweet Christmas. Go berry mad with Dr Organic Pomegranate Perfect Complexion set, £20 (Holland & Barrett).
:: Shake off festive stress by melting in the tub with Jo Malone's Nutmeg & Ginger Bath Oil, £38 (0870 034 2411/www.jomalone.co.uk).
:: Toast the New Year - and glowing skin - with LCN Golden Care set, £45 (www.beautyconcepts.co.uk), with luxurious Champagne Bath Nectar.
Tried & tested :: Celebrity Secrets home spray tan, from £15; mobile therapists available nationwide (0333 456 4678/www.celebritysecrets.co.uk).
With snow forecast, I was in serious danger of blending into the background with my pasty skin when I had Christmas wishes for the glowing skin of a Strictly Come Dancing finalist. Avoiding plummeting temperatures, I enlisted a Celebrity Secrets tanning therapist to come to me so I didn't even have to step outside the front door. The lovely Joanne Burke has a couple of The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE) cast on her books so I felt my glam tan was in safe hands. I cast aside tangerine visions with the news I can choose from six levels, ranging from subtle glow six to Caribbean-esque 16. Joanne recommends I try 12 for a convincing party tan, unless you're very pale, when it's best to play safe with an eight. Within a matter of minutes, a huge portable booth had been unfolded and I was being sprayed with the paraben-free tan in my smalls and assuming a range of positions. The benefits of a home tan are endless, especially in the winter when you don't have to trudge back in the cold/rain and avoid bulky clothes-induced patches. There's no deciding beforehand on tan-friendly clothing either because you can hang around in your undies or dressing gown without causing a scene! The final results are impressive with an even colour that lasted around five days with daily moisturising. OK, so I'm no Strictly finalist but this festive glow scores top marks for a party season makeover.
Buy it now Christmas beauty is experiencing the Midas touch. The latest transformation is Max Factor's best-selling mascara, decorated in limited edition gold tube. False Lash Effect Gold is available nationwide in Black only, £10.99, while stocks last.
Beauty bulletin :: Feet foe From woolly socks to stilettos, your feet certainly aren't celebrating the party season. One in five women suffers from blisters as a result of their choice of festive footwear, according to a new survey of 3,000 women by Micro-Pedi. Almost a quarter (22%) spend most of the night sitting down or kicking their shoes off due to their high heels but 98% of women admit to knowingly wearing party footwear that will hurt their feet. Pedis to the ready...
:: Recessionista alert It's the bumper beauty gift worth running to the shops for. The Soap & Glory Big Splendour is the latest Star Gift from Boots, priced £25 (was £60) and available for one week only until Friday, December 24 (www.boots.com).
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