5 Ways to Fight a Skin Hangover
One too many glasses of bubbly can leave your skin looking less than stellar the next morning. Here, how to treat your complexion when you need to counteract the effects of a late night out.
That final cocktail seemed like a great idea last night...not so much this morning. And even if you have your coconut water–breakfast sandwich–two aspirin hangover cure down pat, how you treat your skin the morning after may be a little more unclear. So we asked Annie Chiu, M.D., a cosmetic dermatologist in Hermosa Beach, CA, to share the best ways to revive and refresh your complexion. (Psst: Try these 12 beauty products for gorgeous winter skin.)
1. Hydrate, Hydrate
"The number one thing alcohol does is dehydrate your entire body, including your skin," says Chiu. "When skin is dehydrated it looks sallow, fine lines are more noticeable, and pores become obvious." Basically, dehydration is the main reason your skin looks terrible when you wake up. While drinking water is obviously a good move, the effects of that internal hydration won't immediately show up externally, notes Chiu. For a fast fix, she suggests a sheet mask that contains hyaluronic acid, a molecule that draws moisture to the skin. One to try: Karuna Hydrating + Face Mask ($28; sephora.com). Stash it in the fridge (the cool temperature will also help combat puffiness) and pop it on while you do your hair or get dressed-you'll score a heavy hit of hydration in mere minutes.
2. Reach for Caffeine
Grab an extra-large coffee, then give your skin a little caffeine boost, too. Caffeine helps constrict blood vessels and is a good option after a night of drinking, since alcohol dilates blood vessels. "This can make the area around your eyes look puffy and bloated," explains Chiu, who recommends keeping an eye cream with caffeine handy. Our pick: Klorane BB Eye Cream with Soothing Cornflower ($26; kloraneusa.com). Gently massaging it in with your ring finger can further help flush out some of the excess fluid and tamp down unwanted swelling.
3. Hit the Kitchen
No, not for a greasy breakfast, but for yogurt, says Chiu, who advises slathering it on as a face mask (make sure it's plain, not some crazy flavor). Because it's anti-inflammatory, it will help soothe redness, another side effect of drinking too much, especially for those who have rosacea, she notes. Leave it on for five to ten minutes before rinsing. Another option: A face cream that contains niacinamide, like CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM ($14; ulta.com). The ingredient, a form of vitamin B, also helps with redness, says Chiu. (P.S. These are the best face masks for every skin condition.)
4. Start the Night Before
Three simple steps can help ensure that you don't look quite so frightening in the morning. One, take off your makeup. While it can be super tempting to skip the sink and fall right into bed, if nothing else, at least use a face wipe. Sleeping with makeup increases the likelihood of clogged pores (hello, breakouts) and no one wants to wake up to a fresh set of pimples. Two, slather on a face cream that contains ceramides. They strengthen the skin barrier and minimize how much moisture evaporates from your skin overnight, which is especially important when skin is already dehydrated to begin with, explains Chiu. Try: Boots No7 Beautiful Skin Night Cream Dry/Very Dry ($15; walgreens.com). Three, grab an extra pillow. "Sleeping on your back with your head slightly elevated promotes fluid drainage so you don't look as puffy in the morning," Chiu says.
5. Consider the Long-Term Effects
"Alcoholic drinks have a high sugar content, and we know that sugar leads to inflammation in the skin," explains Chiu. "Overtime that can cause breakouts, and even start to break down healthy collagen." Point being: Regular hangovers are no good for your body or your skin. So if you need a little added incentive to pass on that last glass of eggnog, remember that doing so will not only help you feel better the next morning, but look better, too.