Fashion Week’s Stay Beautiful Tips! (Glam Slam)

All the beautiful people are gathered here in New York City for the Spring 2014 fashion shows. Nearly 90 designers from over 30 countries will present their collection.

Style-obsessed celebs like Katie Holmes, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj are just of the few of the A-list names spotted on the runway’s front row.

For a lot of models, trend-spotters and style insiders, fashion week is non-stop. It’s a constant treadmill of back to back show, after-parties and tons of schmoozing. And, of course, it’s the fashion world, so the pressure is on to look your best, always! Unfortunately, all the stress of fashion week can wreak havoc on your skin.

Former model and NYC dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe shared with Glam Slam, some basic skin-saving tips to survive fashion week or anytime!

Pack your own cleanser and moisturizer. Don’t ever fall into the trap of using hotel products—they’re often drying and loaded with fragrance, causing sensitive skin to become flaky, or worse, break out.

Never fall asleep with makeup on. Even if you’re exhausted after a long day of back-to-back shows, make sure to either lather up with a gentle but effective cleanser such as Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleanser, or just keep some makeup-removing wipes by your bed so you don’t even have to make it to the sink.

The brain and the skin are closely connected. Stressful events such as keeping up with back-to-back shows and after-parties can increase stress hormones such as cortisol and substance P, and these molecules have been shown to trigger acne and rosacea flares (think pimples, pus bumps, red patches). In fact, the oil glands in the skin are lined by stress hormone receptors, and respond to stressful events by pumping out more oil and clogging pores. Try to find just a few minutes each day to unwind, de-stress and lower your cortisol levels. Listen to some soothing music, take a few deep breaths, relax in a hot bath with lavender-scented candles. Your skin will thank you.

When I was around seven years old, I remember being in a runway show and overhearing two adult models talking about prepping their skin before shows. One swore by a yogurt mask that she applied the morning of any big show (she smeared the yogurt all over her face, let it dry and then rinsed it off 10 minutes later). Now, as a dermatologist and scientist, having done years of research on healthy bacteria found in yogurt (probiotics), I understand the science behind her yogurt mask ritual! Probiotics have been shown to decrease inflammation in the skin, preventing breakouts and helping to repair the skin moisture barrier.

Sometimes acne can be caused by things you would never suspect, like hair product residue. With the constant styling and re-styling in preparation for a packed schedule of Fashion Week events, you want to be sure to thoroughly clean skin when washing hair, especially the chest and back, where styling product runoff and conditioner residue can sit on the skin and clog pores.

You may also be more reliant than usual on cell phones during the shows to stay connected as you’re running around town. Beware – bacteria can quickly accumulate on your phone. This accumulation of bacteria – combined with the friction of the phone against your face – can lead to breakouts. Whenever possibly, try to use a hands-free device instead.

Refined carbs, such as white bread, pretzels, chips and white pasta, have been linked to acne flares. While it might be tempting to grab a quick muffin or a handful of crackers backstage or while running between shows, avoid the urge and reach for fruits, veggies and proteins instead. Skim milk has also been shown to trigger acne flares, so try almond, soy or coconut milk as an alternative.

-- Terri MacLeod

(Glam Slam’s Ryan Patterson is on maternity leave)

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