How To Get Rid Of A Skin Hangover

If you’ve ever woken up, looked in the mirror, and wondered when, exactly, you got bit by a zombie, you’re not alone. Happy hour — or drinks with a friend, or that house party of a friend of a friend — can lead to a very sad morning. That’s because alcohol can seriously mess with your body from head to toe. “Excessive alcohol consumption affects virtually every organ in the body, including the largest organ, the skin,” says Y. Claire Chang, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology. “Alcohol affects the skin in a number of harmful ways, including redness, swelling, inflammation, and dehydration.”

Before you swear off Moscow Mules, again—because we all know how that goes—consider these tips to get your skin back to glowing, definitely-slept-eight-hours status.

Tip 1: Cleanse Your Skin Before Bed


We know, we know: You’re tired. But staying up an extra 30 seconds to scrub your face trumps five days of trying to obliterate a breakout. “Any residual makeup and dirt on the skin can clog the pores and further increase the risk of breakouts,” says Dr. Chang. “Along with increased inflammation and hormonal imbalances from alcohol, clogged pores can significantly increase the risk of acne breakouts after a night of drinking.” Suds up with Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Cleanser, which melts away grime and gently exfoliates, lowering the likelihood of clogged pores. If you just can’t, at least sweep the Harumada One-Step Cleansing Foam Pad all over your face. It acts as a double-cleanse in one swipe.

Tip 2: Slather on an Overnight Mask


Consider a night out to be a skincare S.O.S. Translation: Pull out all the stops, like using an overnight mask. “A quick way to get significant rehydration of the face is to throw on a mask at night or the morning after drinking,” says Dr. Chang. Apply one that’s deeply hydrating, like Glow Recipe’s new Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask, before you pass out. It nourishes skin while you snooze with four types of avocado — avocado fruit, avocado extract, avocado oil, and avocado butter — and soothes inflammation with manuka honey. Pro tip: If you still need an a.m. perk-up, use the Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask as a traditional mask (a.k.a. apply and then rinse it off after 10 minutes), or do the same with the Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask. It’s a double whammy of some desperately needed skin TLC.

Tip 3: Clear Out Your Pores


One margarita, two margaritas, three margarita — breakout? “In addition to increased inflammation, alcohol causes hormonal imbalances, which activates oil glands and increases the risk of acne breakouts,” Chang explains. Send rogue zits packing with a swipe of a Whamisa By Glow Studio Charcoal Chai Tea Pore Refining Glow Pad, which buffs away dead cells and dry flakes (which can pile up in pores, clogging them) and simultaneously hydrates skin with chai tea.

Tip 4: Start Hydrating


When you finally muster enough strength the next morning, drag yourself and your aching head to the bathroom and take a few minutes to do the 7 Skin Method. It involves patting on seven layers of your usual essence toner to give skin the maximum hydration possible — which your skin needs now more than ever — without feeling greasy or heavy. “Alcohol is a diuretic that forces the body to lose water more easily,” explains Dr. Chang. “This causes dehydration of the skin, leading to a dull complexion, worsened appearance of fine lines, and enlarged pores.” Thanks, but no thanks.

Tip 5: Add in Antioxidants


Antioxidants are key to counteracting the effects of alcohol on skin, according to Dr. Chang. Not only do they repair cellular damage, but they also protect cells from external aggressors. Plus, certain ones can brighten up the inevitable dullness the morning after. “Look for serums or moisturizers that contain ingredients like green tea, vitamin C, and niacinamide,” she says. Try Liz K Super First C Serum Pure Vitamin C 13%, which contains 13% vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that brightens and soothes skin.

Tip 6: Moisturizer, Moisturize, Moisturize


Just like you need to chug water when you wake up, the same goes for your skin — you need to add a mega moisturizer into the mix. Pat Blithe Gold Apricot Pressed Serum into skin for another hydration boost; infused with 31% apricot oil, it’s a brightening serum and intense moisturizer in one.

Tip 7: …and Moisturize Some More


Pack a water bottle and a hydrating mist before digging up your biggest pair of sunglasses and venturing into the *wince* sunlight. “Alcohol stays in the blood for up to 14 hours, and alcohol metabolites can be detected in the urine between 12 to 48 hours after drinking,” says Dr. Chang. “Unfortunately, dehydration and dullness of the skin can last longer, especially if you do not rehydrate your body and use proper skincare.” So re-upping your hydration during the day is essential. Spritz on Ausome Whamisa Mini Hydrating Double Layer Mist, which pairs soothing botanicals with nourishing oils, throughout the day — and then consider an early bedtime, sans nightcap, because you and your skin could probably use it by now.

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