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Along with the cookies and cakes and puddings and pies, the holidays are notorious for a modern-day version of hibernation. It’s a time of year when you think you’ll get to relax a bit, however the stress can show…on your face.

There Goes the Sun
Even in beautiful Florida, the amount of sunlight in a winter’s day is less. Since our skin tone tends to be lighter this time of year, we can look older because those tiny blood vessels in the under eye area appear more prominent.

During the holiday season we also tend to indulge in food and sometimes additional cocktails; the alcohol can have a bloating and drying effect on the skin.

To top it all off you add in the shopping and merry making and working against the crunch of the holiday milestones and your face may not necessarily be looking its most rested and festive.

Vitamin D and Sunlight
Overall, as we are indoors a bit more (celebrating and shopping!) we are out of the sun more than usual. Since the pituitary gland in our brain is stimulated by sunlight; a decrease in sunlight results in an instinctive urge to build up fat stores and be a little lazier. This is supported by the decreased action of leptin, the hormone that tells our brain when our stomach is full — it is a response to a decrease in sunlight.

So if you have been acting more sluggish and feeling more ravenous than usual and notice that your face is filling out a bit, you can cut yourself a little slack; it’s not all your fault. It seems we are wired this way. You’ll have to just put down the eggnog, step away from the mall and make an extra effort to talk yourself for a walk after dinner or a run outside in the morning. It’s a wonderful way to get some holiday color back in your cheeks!