How To Repair Your Skin When You’re Hungover & Beyond Dehydrated

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hungover skincare

Getting in a lot of holiday cheer? In addition to a pounding headache, over-indulging in alcohol will severely dehydrate the skin, resulting in tightness and puffiness the next morning. Here are my expert skin care tips to get your skin looking and feeling better in no time.

Wash your face and perform your morning routine

Depending on what time you got in last night, there’s a chance that you may have not washed your face. If you didn’t, do so now as your skin will get instantly refreshed when it’s clean. Plus, your eyes will feel so much better when your sticky, clumpy mascara is removed. If you have any of the Renée Rouleau Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel, use that to cleanse your skin. The mint botanicals not only brighten sluggish skin by stimulating circulation, but the natural combination of rosemary, spearmint, and peppermint is proven to provide clarity and alertness to a less-than-awake brain. Don’t have Luxe Mint Cleansing Gel? No problem, get some peppermint, spearmint or eucalyptus essential oils, and add a few drops directly into your cleanser. (Make sure your cleanser is gentle and listed as ‘sulfate-free’.

Perform a cold ice water splash to reduce facial puffiness

Step 1: Fill your bathroom sink with cold water and toss in 15 ice cubes.
Step 2: Pour 1/3 of a cup of natural witch hazel into the water. Try to use one that is alcohol-free such as Balancing Skin Tonic.
Step 3: Dunk your face (yes, dunk, don’t just splash) in and out ten times. How does it get rid of puffiness? Cold temperatures shrink capillaries and stimulate drainage while witch hazel has natural anti-inflammatory, puffiness-reducing properties. It also might provide some relief for your headache. (If you don’t have any witch hazel on hand, then just dunk your face into the cold ice water.)

Use hydrating ingredients to deliver water back into thirsty skin cells

When their skin is parched, most people tend to reach for a rich moisturizer and slather it on, but the focus needs to be about putting water back in the skin not oil since alcohol depletes mostly water. Hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate and sodium PCA are all great ingredients to drench thirsty skin cells and restore them to a healthier state. You can find these in water-based products like serums, alcohol-free toners, gel masks and sheet masks. Use any and all of them. Your skin can’t get enough hydration today. Skin Drink Concentrate is a super hydrating serum that works really well. Rapid Response Detox Masque has been referred to as “topical Valium” for the skin for its soothing, anti-puffiness and healing benefits. It’s a great way to completely reset the skin.

In the video below, you can see a before and after of dehydrated skin. There is a difference between dry and dehydrated skin and you really should know what it is.

Massage the under eye area

Tired, hungover eyes will usually appear puffy and have dark circles. Dab a small amount of eye cream and using circular motions with your fingertip, massage the entire under eye area. This will stimulate stagnant blood flow that can contribute to darkness and reduce excess fluid. If you have Renée Rouleau Vitamin C Eye Brightener handy, use it— it works miracles to brighten tired, puffy eyes.

Rehydrate the body with vitamin-enriched water

Drinking alcohol not only depletes water out of the skin and body but essential vitamins, too. Rehydrate the body by drinking water all day and add fruits into your glass for a boost of antioxidants as well as taste.

My favorite make-your-own water recipes include:

Strawberry + mint + lemon
Lime wedges + fresh cilantro + a couple of jalapeño slices (I’m in Texas. We put jalapeño’s in everything.)
Blueberries + raspberries + strawberries
Watermelon + lemon + orange

Ideally, you would prepare this ahead of time and have all of it ready to go in your fridge.

You can also drink pressed juices for a much-needed nutritional replenishment. I’m a big fan of the Whole Foods store and they have more than enough options for you to get liquid vitamins.

For next time, re-think your drink of choice

To help prevent a hangover, choose your drinks wisely. A bartender once told me that the healthiest drink is to have vodka with flat water and a few lemons squeezed in to give some flavor. She believes that cocktails with less sugar (and in this case, virtually none, other than from the lemons) may result in less of a hangover. She said that sweeter drinks tend to mask the alcohol’s flavors, causing taste buds to need more, which inadvertently encourages you to drink more. Regardless, less sugar in drinks means fewer calories and technically you’re hydrating the body with water, right? It’s my go-to drink when I go out. In addition, I try to follow every drink I consume with an 8 oz glass of water to mitigate unnecessary morning dehydration.

Wishing you a quick recovery, but these tips should get your skin on the mend soon!

Aside from the occasional hangover, here’s more information to learn how alcohol is really affecting your skin even if you don’t drink excessively often.

Speaking of dehydration, airplane travel doesn’t do the skin any favors either. Here’s an experiment I recently did on a plane to show how dehydrating it really is. Yikes!

Renée Rouleau

Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”