While drinking those seemingly endless cocktails was fun at the time, the hangover the next day is definitely not. Not only can we feel the effects of a hangover on our body (hello headache!) it can dramatically affect our skin too.
From looking dry, dull, lifeless and with wrinkles seemingly more visible, our skin is a visible reminder of how much alcohol we consumed. Here are my top tips to help your skin recover from a hangover.
1. REHYDRATE INSIDE AND OUT: This is the first point for a very good reason – alcohol can severely dehydrate the body, leading to dull, dry and lifeless skin. Therefore, rehydrating your body (and your skin) from the inside out is crucial. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to replenish lost fluids, improve overall skin hydration and of course help to ease things like headaches.
But don’t just stop there. There are also plenty of foods that have high water content like lettuce, watermelon and cucumbers which can help aid the internal hydration. Then, look at ways that you can rehydrate your skin topically, such as Biologi’s Bio Cellulose Sheet Mask Hydra Calm, which can revive your skin in minutes! Loaded with rejuvenating phytonutrients that nourish and protect the delicate skin barrier without increasing the toxic load on the skin, the extract of Snowflower leaf contains a restorative combination of phenolic acids, and flavonoids are confidently chosen to hydrate the skin and give you back your glow.
2. APPLY A COLD COMPRESS OR HAVE A FACE ICE BATH: If you have puffiness or redness, which is often a result of a hangover, you can apply a cold compress or ice bath to help reduce inflammation and soothe the skin. Ice baths for your face are gaining popularity and for good reason, helping to de-puff and calm the skin. Without needing to go full Wim Hof method, a face ice bath involves dunking your face in a sink or bucket filled with cold water and ice cubes.
The idea is that the cold water will tighten up your pores and reduce any puffiness. Loved by celebs, an ice bath will help to tighten your pores because it promotes blood circulation but will also de-puff the skin and literally wake up your face! Most people report that their skin looks better overall after an ice bath, improving colour, vitality and brightness. However, be careful to only dunk your face one to three times as too much cold water for a prolonged period can be too harsh on the skin.
3. GET MORE SLEEP: Skin can work wonders for the skin, especially when it’s looking particularly lacklustre thanks to the hangover. During sleep, the body undergoes a process of cellular repair and regeneration, allowing your skin cells to any repair. This repair process helps to maintain the skin's barrier function and promotes a healthy complexion.
Furthermore, a good night's sleep ensures optimal collagen production, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, plus helps to improve blood flow (also giving benefits to the skin). Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep to support the recovery process, or if you can’t try to sneak in a good nap!
4. PROTECT YOUR SKIN: Most people don’t realise that alcohol consumption can potentially make your skin more sensitive to sun damage. While alcohol itself does not directly increase sensitivity to the sun, it can have certain effects on the body that can make your skin more vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. One of the biggest reasons is because of the way alcohol dehydrates the body, which in turn affects then skin.
When your body lacks proper hydration, your skin becomes drier and less elastic. Dry skin is more prone to damage from sun exposure, and it may be more susceptible to sunburns, peeling, and premature ageing caused by UV radiation. Even if you're planning to spend your hangover indoors, still apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to shield your skin from harmful UV rays (that sneaky sun can still get to your skin through glass)!
5. AVOID SMOKING AND EXCESSIVE CAFFEINE: While a coffee might be the one and only thing you want on a hangover, unfortunately it can further dehydrate the body affecting the skin too)! Unfortunately, substances like coffee and smoking can contribute to further skin damage due the dehydrating nature. If you can, minimise or avoid these kinds of substances during your recovery.
Remember, these tips can help your skin recover from the effects of a hangover, but it's essential to address the underlying cause by practicing moderation or avoiding excessive alcohol consumption. If you have persistent skin concerns, it's always a good idea to consult a dermatologist to gain a better understanding of your skin on a deeper level.
Lucy Kuper is Co-Founder of Australian skincare brand Biologi, which is revolutionising the industry with their unique range of serums, offering the only 100% active, water soluble plant extract range in the world.