Written by Lisa Allen, MD
Last night was a blast – despite the fact that you danced the Macarena and rediscovered why you avoid gin at all costs. And oh yeah, there was that awkward kiss with Drew from accounting. Maybe he’ll forget. But with two new messages on your cell phone already, that doesn’t seem likely.
While we can’t help you unmake last night’s decisions, but we can help you live with them today with some tips for looking your best even when you feel like you got hit by a truck. Welcome to Hangover Skincare 101.
Drink a glass of water. Repeat four times before you even think about coffee. Alcohol is perhaps the most effective dehydrator and you spent most of last night filling your body with it. Even this morning, it is still working against you and pulling every last drop of moisture out of your cells. And while you may not notice what your liver looks like today, you can clearly see the aftermath of last night staring back at you over the bathroom sink.
Depending on how much time you’ve allowed yourself to get ready for your day, a 5-minute hydrating mask can be a life saver. At the very least, have a good, light moisturizer on hand. If it’s perfume-free, all the better – depending on how you’re feeling, a strong scent could turn your stomach and cause even more problems.
Chances are, you haven’t seen your eyes this puffy since last allergy season. Funny to think that even with alcohol robbing every other cell in your body of moisture that there would be anything left in you to cause your eyes to puff out like that. But wonders will never cease, will they?
There are of course, the old standbys – cucumber slices or tea bags, but we’ve heard of another ingenious idea – spoons. Yes, regular teaspoons. But here’s the twist” leave them in the freezer overnight. Take them out and place one over each eye (lie down first). It will take care of that puffiness and revive those tired eyes at the same time. A good eye cream the night before would be a great help in this department if time and lucidity allow.
Your makeup is going to be a challenge. Very little on your face will be its natural color. Depending on how your skin reacts to alcohol, normally vibrant areas could look pale and dull or the opposite – normally calm areas could be inflamed.
The best strategy is to go with the less is more approach: a good foundation or, if you have the time, a sunless tanner or a tinted moisturizer could be the best way to start out. The sunless tanner could be a great way to blend the various colors of your hangover complexion together into one cohesive whole.
Another great tool to have on hand is a facial highlighting pen. It lets you hit those areas that need it quickly and accurately without using more makeup than you need. You’ll have enough going on physiologically anyway without feeling like you have three inches of makeup on your face.
And remember – no matter what – don’t forget your sunglasses and some aspirin for that headache.