Written by Alice Henderson.
Freshers’ week this year is extra special because it’s the first since the start of the pandemic. We imagine that, just like us, many plan to go all out. However, it’s all fun and games until you wake up, look in the mirror, and find yourself facing your hangover face.
Let’s be honest. Alcohol will never be good for the skin. Nor will the lack of sleep that normally comes with it. However, there’s a couple of things you can do to minimize the damage.
Let’s look at the science first: the two main problems caused by alcohol are inflammation and dehydration. When the body metabolises alcohol, a toxic by-product is released. This dehydrates skin tissue, and can in turn lead to enlarged pores, loss of elasticity and dullness. It also dilates the skin’s capillaries, causing puffiness and discolouration.
Although these are inevitable when drinking alcohol, there are still some ways to minimise the appearance of hungover skin.
It goes without saying that sleep and water should be your first port of call. Drinking alcohol reduces the amount of time spent sleeping, and the quality of sleep. Both of which are damaging for the skin.
Try downing a pint of water before going to bed after a night out, but failing this, make sure you’re well-rested and stay hydrated the following day. Drinking fluid will kickstart the regenerative cycle your body needs as it rests.
You probably slept in your makeup, so start by taking that off. We’d recommend double-cleansing to make sure you have a clean base for any products you put on. (The first cleanse breaks down makeup on the skin. The second is needed to complete this, as well as treat for any targeted skin concerns.)
Suggested cleansers include The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser, which treats for oil production and blemishes, and the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, which has a formula focused on conditioning the skin.
More products for hangover skin:
A caffeine solution or caffeine eye cream – minimises the appearance of blood vessels below the skin, which cause blue-ish discolouration. Our top pics include The Ordinary caffeine solution and The Inkey List Caffeine Eye Cream.
Some Vitamin C serum or moisturiser – encourages collagen growth and brightness to target dullness, and overall promotes healthy skin. Try The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA.