Because no one wants to accessorise their party dress with a blemish as red as Rudolph's nose...

It's always the way: You're enjoying the social whirl of the season, powering through the Christmas shopping – and then suddenly a spot the size of Mount Etna looms large on your face.

Tiredness and stress – which can also be the result of high spirits and excitement – show on your skin. So here's how to tackle those pimples before they even rear their ugly heads (and what to do if they do appear) for flawless party-ready skin...

1. Do your laundry: Take preventative measures and wash your pillowcases. Dead cells and excess oil collect here overnight, worsening the problem if you're prone to breakouts.

2. Consider cutting out dairy: Sorry skinny latte – but dairy has been linked to clogged pores and acne. Try almond, rice, oat or coconut milk instead.

3. Do not pick, squeeze or generally punish your skin further! As tempting as it is, you'll only spread spot-causing bacteria from your fingers and nails, and worsen the eye-catching redness.

4. Open your kitchen cupboards: Dab a little Manuka honey on a spot at night as it is known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

5. Go pro: Elemis S.O.S Emergency Cream soothes and de-sensitizes blemish-prone skin – fast. Dab it on morning and night or whenever you can feel a spot brewing.

6. Cleanse twice daily: Always, always remove your make-up – no matter how late you come home from that Christmas party. Leaving the day’s dirt, grime and debris – as well as old make-up – to clog pores, is a recipe for more breakouts. Be sure to cleanse in the morning as well, as oil builds up on the skin overnight.

7. Pick a gentle cleanser: We know it’s tempting to use something super strong to “kill” that spot, but doing so will only trick the skin into thinking that its lacking in oil – so needs to produce more. Instead, pick a gentle cleanser that will restore order such as Elemis Balancing Lime Blossom Cleanser.

8. Apply oil: As counterintuitive as it sounds, sometimes applying an oil to oily skin can help re-balance its natural sebum production – making spots less likely. Elemis Superfood Facial Oil contains a potent cocktail of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory ingredients. Getting into a routine of using facial oils before party season will help reinforce your skin’s moisture barrier and hopefully stabilise it in good time.

9. Choose your concealer wisely: Whilst we’d love to tell you to keep your spot make-up free and give it a fighting chance to heal, we know it’s unrealistic. So pick a concealer that’s oil free and if possible, contains spot-busting salicylic acid. A mineral concealer will also help absorb excess oil and reduce redness.

10. Create a distraction: If all else fails and your spot still hasn’t vanished, treat it with the right skincare, cover it carefully – then create a diversion. A statement smoky eye is perfect for the celebratory season with a nude lip (a bright lip colour will bring out the redness of spots). It’ll draw others’ eyes to yours and stop you feeling self-conscious about your face, making that spot fade into the shadows.