Post-Holiday Skincare Recovery Essentials

Post-Holiday Skincare Recovery Essentials

By Kate Limond
10/02/2024 | Read time: 5m

Ways to revive your post-holiday skin blues!

Without doubt, I overindulged in December – I’m impressed if you didn’t! But in case you’re like me, it might be a good idea to consider what you can do to help your skin recovery.

When I’ve eaten rich foods, drunk sugary drinks and generally not consumed healthful things, my skin shows it. Especially if I’ve also skimped on my routine because I’ve been out celebrating or slumped on the sofa in a food coma.

The first things I notice is that I’m getting more pimples, whether those skin coloured bumps or full on angry looking spots that look like they want to be squeezed, ugh.

I also look more tired and my fine lines are more visible. And by the end of January, I know my skin needs some TLC!

In this article, we’re not focusing on damaged barriers but skin that’s not at its best and needs some TLC. If you think you might have a damaged barrier, read Safina’s article for more information about this.

Solutions to stressed-out skin

Supporting your skin is the first priority and there’s a variety of ways you can do this.


Dehydration can make fine lines more prominent as well as making your skin feel uncomfortable.

There’s a lot of different ways you can get hydration into your skin, although toner often feels like it’s the most effective with it’s watery texture.

Isntree’s Hyaluronic Acid range are totally focused on hydration and highly effective.

However, if you’re acne-prone, you might prefer something with green tea that will seriously hydrate and add some skin moisturising benefits without heaviness. Innisfree’s Green Tea Hyaluronic Skin Toner is on my wishlist ever since I discovered the brilliant acne-combating effects of green tea!

If you have plenty of toner but are low on serum, Mary & May’s Marine Collagen Serum is super hydrating and could help fine lines longer term too.

Key ingredients to look out for


If you have an excellent hydrating routine that’s worked really well for you but you’re feeling a bit dehydrated, you might need some ceramides.

Ceramides are a something that every skin type could do with for helping your skin recovery which has been a bit undernourished.

Whilst moisturisers tend to be the main way to get ceramides, like the classic Illiyoon ATO Ceramide Concentrate Cream, you will find ceramides in every type of product, not only thicker creams.

Check out ANUA’s Peach 77 Niacin range with their Essence Toner and Conditioning Milk for some lightweight ceramide products. This range also has niacinamide to strengthen your barrier and give your skin some glow!


Products with extracts that are high in antioxidants will contribute to refreshing your skin and helping it get back on track.

Antioxidants are in so many different product types but you’ll find concentrated amounts in serums.

There are so many amazing products that I find it hard to pick a few! Here’s a link to information about antioxidants so you can read more about what antioxidants can do for your skin in this review and this study.

If I absolutely had to choose some antioxidant-rich serums, it would be Beauty of Joseon’s Light On Serum Centella Vita-C and Mary & May’s Blackberry Complex Serum.

There are of course so many other options that are full of antioxidants – snail, propolis, green tea and rice.

And you can get antioxidants and anti-inflammatory actions from oils, too!

Given the beautiful oils in the Waphyto Regena Facial Milk, that could be a very good choice for antioxdiant rich option, especially as they are combined with some serious extracts.

Gentle Exfoliation

I’ve put this under the ingredients heading as a little AHA and BHA can do a lot for your skin if it’s a little worse for wear.

I’d suggest shelving the stronger exfoliants and considering something like the Beauty of Joseon Green Plum Refreshing AHA + BHA Toner or one of the more gentle Cosrx toners so you don’t overdo it.

What else can you do?

An obvious answer is add a more nourishing moisturiser and UNBLEMISH has just started stocking cult favourite, Belif, with two highly rated moisturisers. More products for my wishlist!

Don’t overlook two underrated categories for to help stressed-out skin: eye cream and sunscreen.

Eye cream

I’m only a recent convert to eye cream – the Beauty of Joseon Revive Eye Serum Ginseng + Retinal was my first ever eye product! Read about it here.

I did used to think that you don’t need a separate eye cream and maybe some people don’t. But everyone can benefit from it, which Bianca has written about here.

It’s not just about fine lines, either. I just got the Mary & May Tranexamic Acid Glutathion Eye Cream which has a beautifully light texture and should help with my dark circles when I don’t get enough sleep. I’ll write a review once it’s had time to work!


Don’t forgot sunscreen! Even in winter, your skin can be affected by visible light and that can make repairing your skin much more difficult.

There’s so many great sunscreens for all skin types and you can easily boost the comfort of your skin by adding a moisturising sunscreen, regardless of your skin type. Protection is the first line of defence for skin recovery.

If you have oily skin, you may find that a moisturising sunscreen is better than light moisturiser and sunscreen in winter. Always worth considering!

And some sunscreens are glowy which is a great shortcut to having beautiful looking skin whilst you’re working on longer term skin recovery. Read more about winter glow here.

Final Word

There’s so much you can do to help your skin bounce back after a bit of over-indulgence and Korean skincare is an ideal way to encourage your skin back to dewy goodness!