Let's face it: hangovers are the WORST. The night before was so fun, but the next morning? Hateful. The pounding headache and the incredible nausea are bad enough, but what it does to your complexion is just really rude: dullness, dryness, sallow and sunken skin. You look like you feel, and it's not cute.
That hungover appearance is a result of your body entering survival mode from all the toxins coursing through your system. "Basically, having a hangover is akin to having a bear chasing you when it comes to what happens to your body, particularly your skin," explains Mona Gohara, M.D., a licensed dermatologist in Danbury, CT. "All that alcohol triggers your body's stress response into "fight or flight" mode where all the functions that aren't keeping you alive cease. Once your stress hormones are elevated, blood and hydration are routed to the heart, lungs and eyes, which results in water retention around certain organs — like the eyes — and the tell-tale signs of dehydration in the skin: dry, sullen, sunken skin, lack of color, rough texture and tone." Also, it can cause acne in those prone to the condition. "Cortisol levels increase as the stress response happens, and cortisol levels drive acne. You're also sleep deprived, and that also drives cortisol levels up. Both of these things can cause acne to flare up," Gohara says.
Now that you're aware of what causes that less-than-stellar appearance after a bender, let's talk about how to put yourself back together. Gohara says the key words here are "cooling" and "hydrating" — you want to soothe that inflammatory response and replace your moisture loss ASAP. Whether you've got a day to recover or a short window of time before you have to be a person in the world again, here are the best beauty product hangover cures — including hair because you have to handle that, too.
The last thing you might feel like doing the next morning is washing your face. This powerful, unique blend of oils, based on ancient herbal ritual oils, is rich in minerals and antioxidants and can remove leftover makeup, dirt and grime while it calms your irritated skin and delivers much-needed hydration. Its soothing blend of safflower, apricot kernel, jojoba and sunflower oils are also gentle enough for inflammatory skin conditions like acne, redness and eczema.
You might need a small attitude adjustment throughout the day with dry skin and a pounding headache, so keep this calming mist with you at all times to help soothe your sensitive skin. A combination of Brazilian coconut water and calming aloe vera will keep sensitivity at bay and will keep you looking refreshed and calm, even if all you want to do is go home.
Keep these hydrating eye patches handy: they contour to the delicate area around your eyes to undo the damage from the night before, deliver cooling, nourishing, brightening and depuffing action to reduce puffiness, dryness, and dark circles. They also take care of those little fine lines that are extra visible this morning.
If getting your swerve on last night left you with an acne outbreak, Gohara says products containing benzoyl peroxide are the way to calm the condition and keep future outbreaks at bay. This product cleanses while it gently heals acne outbreaks (more isn't better when it comes to acne ingredients, contrary to popular opinion), absorbs excess oil and unclogs pores.