No judgement — do your thing and enjoy it. But if you’re not into the puffy, sallow, dehydrated look that comes with it, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve all been there. You’re having the best night ever and then suddenly it’s morning. You’re hungover, there’s an empty pizza box on the table and maybe your face looks like you ran into a wall a few times. No judgement — do your thing and enjoy it. But if you’re not into the puffy, sallow, dehydrated look that comes with it, we’ve got you covered.
Here are a few ways to take care of hangover face that require barely any movement or brain power, because we know both are in low battery mode right now.
Embrace the Cold.
Before you leave the house, stick a couple of spoons in the freezer and make sure your ice cube trays are full. When you’re feeling puffy and less-than-great the next day, reach for those cold spoons and gently massage them over your face, especially your eyes and under-eye area. (This can also help with headaches and pressure.) For an extra boost, apply a hydrating mask first and then use your spoons.
For a real polar bear plunge situation, fill your sink or a large bowl with cold water and 15-20 ice cubes to create an ice bath for your face. Pull your hair back, plug your nose and dunk your face in 10 times. (Yes, for real!) No dainty splashing! Really get your face in there.
Why the cold torture? It’s like a circulation jumpstart—your blood will get moving, which will help your skin de-puff and regain its natural, healthy coloring. The icy water will also shrink capillaries (tiny blood vessels) to de-puff skin.
Massage Your Face.
Part of the reason you may not be looking your freshest is a backup of lymph, the fluid that circulates through the lymphatic system. Since lymph is made up of fluid collected from body tissue and is continually changing, after a night of drinking it’s bound to be full of whatever you put into your body.
To get the stuff moving again, drain excess fluid, relieve puffiness and help skin recover faster, put your fingers to your face. Not sure where to start? Check out this 10-step facial massage. For a super-simple routine you can handle even with the foggiest brain, gently massage along your nose, up under your eyes, to your temples, just inside your ears and down your jaw and neck in a circular motion. Applying an anti-inflammatory, calming serum or oil before will go a long way in helping with the puffiness.
Water, that is. The main thing alcohol does to your body is dehydrate it, and that includes your skin. You know how great you look the day after drinking a gallon of water? Now imagine the exact opposite. Yeah, that’s right. Show all your organs some major hydration love to reverse the sallowness and lines you’re probably seeing more of the day after you drink.
In addition to drinking water and other fluids, a sheet mask packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and calming ginseng and mugwort will pump your face with moisture from the outside-in.
Visit Your Fridge.
And no, not for typical hangover food. If you have plain yogurt on hand, slathering some on a clean face can help with any alcohol-induced inflammation and redness thanks to its lactic acid, which brightens and hydrates. You can mix some honey in, too, for a soothing boost.
Photo by Jana Kirn.