As we come into December the season of merrymaking is upon us and plans are made for this month long season of festivity. With all the office parties, Christmas drinks with friends and festive get togethers, the amount of alcohol consumed can begin to take its toll, not least on your skin…
I got my first hangover the morning after my 31st birthday. Despite many a night on the tiles before then, I was lucky not to suffer from them. Having somewhat learnt my lesson I always try to alternate between my preferred tipple and a glass of water if I’m on a night out – and try to remember to drink a pint of water when I get home. It doesn’t always work but it certainly seems to reduce the likelihood of me feeling worse for wear the following morning.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with a hangover (a veggie fry up and a can of full fat coke is generally what works for me although I am little loathed to admit it) but even if you manage to combat the head pain, your skin generally suffers for much longer.
Dehydration is one of the key reasons that we feel like we do the morning after an over-exuberant night. It can make skin appear dull, dry and puffy and the face can take also on a sallow or washed out appearance. These symptoms are often accompanied by dark under eye shadows and red, puffy eyes. In short: Hungover skin is a sorry thing indeed.
Assuming you aren’t having to face work the morning after the night before, then once you have consumed half a pack of paracetamol, drunk a litre of strong coffeee whilst watching mid morning television and moaned repeatedly to the cat in the vain hope you will get some kind of sympathy, it’s time to get your skin back on track.
So where to begin?
Rehydrate & Spritz
We all know that alcohol dehydrates the body and so it is important to replenish the system and drink plenty of water. Although drinking lots os water won’t cure the headache (apparently only time will do that), it will give your body much needed (non-alcoholic) fluid and speed up your skins recovery.
You can also give your skin some much needed moisture directly with a regular spritz of a hydrating facial mist; keep a bottle to hand and spritz whenever the mood takes you. If possible choose a spray which contains the super hydrating hyaluronic acid. HA occurs naturally in the body and has an important role in retaining moisture – one molecule alone can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water!!
There are loads of facial mists on the market, some of my favourites include: Daily Defence Moisture Mist from Evolve (£20.00) and Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence (£62.00) which contain hyaluronic acid. Alternatively try one of the Jane Iredale Hydration Sprays (D20 is my favourite) which are priced at £24.00 but if you are looking for something that costs a little less, then check out the cheap but cheerful Caudalie Grape Water (£6.00/£10.00).
Facial Scrubs and exfoliators are a great way to help to stimulate the blood flow and bring a little colour back into your cheeks. If you skin is looking a little less than peachy then use an exfoliating scrub to re-energise the skin and remove any dead skin cells which dull the complexion.
I am not a huge fan of harsh exfoliators as I have quite sensitive skin however I know some people who swear by them. Green People Fruit Scrub (£14.00) is a great one which really feels like it is removing the skin debris. It can be a little hard on sensitive skin but if you can handle it it’s worth a go!
If you want something less abrasive then Kale Enzymatic Exfoliator (£18.00) from Nourish is a good option, as is the lovely Oskia Micro Exfoliating Balm (£49.50). Powder scrubs are another more gentle way to exfoliate the skin; Skin and Tonic Gentle Scrub (£18.00) and May Lindstorm’s The Clean Dirt (£68.00). Both of these can also be used as/considered a face mask which moves us nicely on to just that.
Dehydrated skin will really benefit from a hydrating face mask. After you’ve scraped away all of the debris with your exfoliator, don a mask (or two!) and lie back and relax and let the hydrating properties work their magic.
Hydrating masks are the best for skin which is feeling a little parched – save your heavy clay masks for another day. My favourite hydrating face mask is the Pai Rosehip Bioergenerate Rapid Radiance Mask (£30.00), I use it about three times a week – I kid you not! Super nourishing, it makes your skin look fantastic and glowing (I leave it on at least 15 minutes but I’m not sure you’re are actually meant to do that…). Another couple of goodies are the Josh Rosebook Advanced Hydration Mask (£38.00) and Youth To The People Superfood Mask ($44.00 -only available via Sephora in the UK).
Don’t forget about your lips either! When we are dehydrated we often lick our lips more frequently, consequently they are prone to becoming a little chapped – which goes perfectly alongside the flakiness caused by the dehydration. As I have mentioned on more than one occasion I utterly adore the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26.00 – via Sephora), which is incredibly hydrating and leaves lips free of flakes and dry bits. Another lip treatment is the Hyaluroil Lip Treatment (£28.00) from Twelve Beauty but if all else fails a slather with a good quality nourishing lip balm will do the trick – it may just take longer.
Antioxidants, Oils and Serums
I know they are not the same thing but I’ve put these all in together as everyone has their own take on what they like to put on and what works for them. Athough they can be stand alone products, antioxidants are often found in serums and oils so don’t panic that you are missing out – the chances are you aren’t!
Odylique Superfruit Concentrate (£33.00) is one of my all time favourite oils. It contains organic rosehip oil, sea buckthorn and pomegranate which are all great for cell renewal and hydration. If you want something for oilier skin then try Balanced and Beautiful by Angela Langford (£20.50), a lightweight but nourishing omega rich oil.