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How To Deal With Tired, Hungover Skin

Skipping your zzzs is a one-way ticket to tired, dull skin. So, if you’re thinking of burning the midnight oil – perhaps with a little help from your vodka/wine/hard seltzer buddies – you’re going to need a few post-party skin tricks up your sleeves. 

It may seem like a great idea at the time, but no sleep, coupled with way too many cocktails, not only equals a banging headache and zero energy for the next 24 hours, but it spells disaster for the state of your complexion. We’re talking puffiness, dullness, dehydration, maybe even a little irritation if you’ve a) eaten your weight in fast food and b) finally rolled into bed without taking off your makeup.

Thankfully, there are many ways to cure your skin’s hangover and counteract all those nasty effects of a late night. In fact, if you’re smart you can even go so far as to take a few precautionary measures the night before. Don’t fret, you don’t need to be dramatic and avoid late, boozy nights altogether, but if you swap out high-sugar cocktails (one word: glycation) for hard seltzers, or alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water this'll go a long way to preventing your skin from looking lousy the next day.

Too late for that? Then here are five of the most effective, post-party skincare must-dos – and trust us, we’ve tried them all ;)

1. Cleanse & Detox BEFORE Bed

You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it again: DO NOT go to bed without first taking off your makeup. Overnight is when your skin goes through its most important healing and regenerative phase, but clogging up the surface with oil, bacteria, sweat, makeup and goodness-knows-what-else ruins your skin’s chance to renew itself. Makeup also clogs up your pores – especially if it contains oil or silicones – and you all know what clogged pores leads to (*cue Jaws music)…

So, before your head hits the pillow, wash your face and neck with a gentle, but deep cleansing face wash like Skin Clearing Charcoal Face Wash which also helps detoxify your skin and draw out impurities. And if you really are too beat, at the very least grab a biodegradable cleansing cloth. Just this once, of course.

Finish with Vitamin C Deep Hydration Night Cream to help hydrate and moisturize your skin as you sleep and come the morning, that old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ will never be more true.

 

2. Massage Your Skin

The next morning you might want to do little more than lie on the sofa with just Netflix and coffee for company, but if you can face it, a cleansing massage will do wonders for depuffing and reenergizing your skin by boosting circulation and promoting lymphatic drainage.

First, grab a brightening cleanser like our Vitamin C Daily Facial Cleanser (side note: vitamin C also helps reduce damage from alcohol-induced free radicals) and apply this to damp skin, using the pads of your fingers. Press your fingers into the brow area and slide them up to your forehead a few times, then concentrate on your cheeks and work from each side of your nose, out towards the hairline. Do this a few times, then do the same over your chin and jawline before smoothing your fingertips up your neck. Just a couple of minutes doing this in the shower will really boost your glow. Promise.

3. Reduce Redness

Alcohol causes your blood vessels to dilate which is why drinking a tad too much often results in red, flushed skin. To balance tone and reduce inflammation look for soothing ingredients in your morning-after skincare. Our Daily Facial Rose Water Toner is a great place to start, followed by Niacinamide Facial Serum. Niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is awesome for reducing redness and blotchiness. It also strengthens your skin’s barrier function to reduce moisture loss as an added bonus.

After cleansing, spritz your face with Rose Water Toner, then immediately apply a couple of drops of Niacinamide Serum all over your skin. Applying serum before your toner dries helps lock in moisture and counteracts the dehydrating effects of alcohol, fast food, zero zzzs and so on.

4. De-Puff Your Eyes

A big night out inevitably results in dark, puffy circles under your eyes. Why? Because all that bad stuff causes the blood vessels under the thin skin around your eyes to dilate, increasing blood retention and causing darkness and swelling. Lack of sleep also makes your levels of cortisol – the ‘stress hormone’ – go sky-high, altering the salt balance in your body and forcing it to retain water and cause unwanted swelling.

A great pep-up for your eyes is to pop a couple of cooled tea bags over them for five minutes. This might sound like an old wives’ tale, but caffeine has been proven to narrow blood vessels to help reduce swelling and dark circles. To further de-puff, brighten, moisturize and reduce redness, follow with Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream. For an extra cooling boost, you could even stash it in the fridge.

5. Most Important Of All, Rehydrate

Dehydration is the biggest issue for your skin (and in fact, your whole body) after pulling an all-nighter, and when your skin is dehydrated it looks dull, sallow and so much older (hello fine lines and wrinkles).

Drinking plenty of water is a great move for your internal hangover, but it’s not going to immediately benefit your skin. Dang. Instead, douse your face and neck with a serum containing humectant ingredients to draw water to the surface of your skin like a sponge. We love Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum which has been formulated with three super effective humectants: glycerin, aloe and hyaluronic acid. It also contains green tea, plus vitamins C and E to help reduce oxidative stress from damaging free radicals.

Finish your post-party-pick-me-up routine with Vitamin C Brightening Moisturizer to seal in all that goodness and add a final boost of radiance… and bam. Late night, what late night?

About Georgia Gould
Georgia is an award-winning beauty writer who has been in the business for over 20 years. British-born, she began her career as a magazine beauty editor in London before moving to San Francisco, CA in 2012 where she now continues her love as a freelance writer and editor. As well as her editorial work, Georgia has created content for many high-profile beauty brands, including Clarins, L’Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Simple and TRESemmé. Her passions include retinol (obviously), golfing, skiing and walking her beloved Schnauzer, Dave.