I love to explore new cocktail bars in my neighborhood or grab drinks with my friends after a long work week to unwind. However, my body doesn’t tolerate alcohol like it did when I was in college. Now, whenever I have more than two drinks and go to bed late after ravenously devouring Shin Ramyun at 2 a.m. (I get hungry after drinking!), I inevitably wake up with a puffy face and a new pimple. Since I don’t want to quit drinking altogether, I had to find other solutions to combat my hangover skin — namely products that both soothe and rehydrate my face the morning after.
Before we get into the exact products I use, however, Dr. Camille Howard, a board certified dermatologist, shares why your face might look puffy in the a.m. after consuming your favorite margarita or spiked seltzers. “Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it causes more fluid to leave your body. There are many factors to consider: Increased urination triggers your body to hold on to fluid; alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate and increases fluid in your tissue,” she tells TZR. “With regard to skin, conditions like Rosacea can flare when you drink alcohol. All of this can make you look blotchy, bloated, or a little puffy.” Although I don’t have rosacea, I’ve noticed that drinking tends to cause the redness around my nose to be more visible the next day.
Additionally, Dr. Shereene Idriss, founder of Idriss Dermatology in NYC, and creator of the #PillowtalkDerm series on Instagram, shares that alcohol has high sugar levels so when you consume alcohol in excessive amounts, it increases your sugar level, causing a spike in your insulin level, which results in breakouts. “As alcohol decreases the protective cells in your body, bacteria like tiny pustules are more likely to pop up on your skin. Sugar is known to trigger inflammation, causing an increase in insulin levels, ultimately leading to an increased oil production.”
If, like me, you’re wondering how to resolve all the negative side effects of hangover skin ASAP, Dr. Howard shares that ice rolling can decrease puffiness while a hydrating gel mask or sheet mask can deliver the moisture your thirsty skin craves. “In addition to the above, hydrating and plumping products with hyaluronic acid and glycerin help skin to feel hydrated. Caffeine has vasoconstriction properties, which also helps to de-puff the skin,” she adds. Meanwhile, Dr. Idriss adds: “I personally have come to love Arnica as a de-puffing ingredient in skin care, which can help reduce inflammation and calm your skin the morning after.”
Read ahead to shop the products I rely on to revive my face after a night (or really, full weekend) of drinking, plus several of Dr. Howard’s recommendations. Your hangover skin will thank you.
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