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After a long holiday weekend, you may be feeling a little hungover, and your skin may not be looking its best. It’s not your fault—celebrations often encourage an abundance of sugar, salt, and alcohol, as well as later nights. Facial redness, dehydrated patches, and puffy eyes are dead giveaways that your night of fun did not have the best impact on your skin.

Fortunately, these influences don’t have to completely throw off your skincare routine. With an intentional approach and the right products, you can provide your skin with the support and nourishment necessary to overcome a hangover face and highlight your natural beauty.

What is a hangover face?

A hangover face happens when your skin loses some of its natural fullness and luster after overindulging in alcohol. You may notice that your skin is not as vibrant as it normally is when you wake up after a night of fun. In moderation, alcohol may not have too significant of an effect on your skin, but drinking too much can leave you feeling less confident in your appearance.

A hangover face can look slightly different for everyone, but there are a few key signs to look for. Common symptoms of a hangover face are:

  • Dull skin
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Skin redness
  • Inflammation or irritation

What causes a hangover face?

In short, a hangover face comes after a night of indulging in too much alcohol, but the direct link is a little bit more nuanced than that. Alcohol has several potential effects on the skin that can add up to create a hangover face, including dehydration, inflammation, and blood vessel dilation as some of the most significant contributors.

Some of the main causes include:

  • Dehydration – Alcohol is dehydrating and encourages your cells to expel water. Plus, when you drink, you are likely to forget to drink water. Combined, these factors can leave your skin thirsting for water. Dehydrated skin can appear dry and dull while lacking volume. Your body may also compensate by retaining water, leading to puffiness.
  • Poor sleep quality – An indirect effect of drinking alcohol on your skin is that it affects the quality of your sleep. When we don’t sleep well, it affects the pH levels of the skin, weakens the immune response, increases inflammation, and contributes to faster aging.
  • Inflammation – Consuming alcohol causes an inflammatory response in the body. This response can show up on your skin with swelling or puffiness.
  • Blood vessel dilation – Alcohol relaxes the blood vessels, causing them to dilate. When they get wider, it shows on your face and skin as redness.

Curing Hangover Face

Although it’s difficult to cure a hangover, you do have some control over a hangover face. If you’re experiencing a hangover face, you have several options for rejuvenating the skin, from in-studio methods to an at-home routine.

At the Studio, when a client comes in with these issues, the focus is on drainage techniques, massage, and anti-inflammatory LED light therapy. Red LED penetrates deep into the skin to combat “hangover face” by soothing the skin and boosting circulation.

If you cannot make it into the Studio, there are many things you can do at home that will help get your skin balanced and healthy.

Start your day by drinking a lot of water to rehydrate and balance your pH level. Then modify your regular skincare routine to include some of the following products and extra steps.

​​1. Start with a Gentle Cleansing Balm

To calm inflamed skin, start with a gentle cleansing balm. A good cleanser is crucial after a night out. However, trying to clean your face with the wrong product can lead to more irritation and dryness, only exacerbating your hangover face. A gentle cleansing balm will remove impurities without agitating or stressing your skin any further.

The Augustinus Bader Cleansing Balm and the Cosmetics 27 Cleanser 27 are two cleansing balms that use natural formulas to gently wash away pollutants and dead cells while promoting skin cell regeneration.

2. Follow with a Balancing Toner

A balancing toner can balance the pH of your skin while evening your skin tone and texture, which is perfect when a hangover causes discoloration and affects your complexion. A toner is also essential for providing the hydrating boost that a hangover face requires.

By balancing your skin’s pH, a toner can improve the ability of other products to penetrate deeper into your skin, making the rest of your skincare routine even more effective. Not to mention that a toner can supplement your routine by repairing the skin barrier and boosting the complexion’s resilience to stress, which is crucial if your night out involves a crowded venue.

3. Add a Soothing Serum

After a toner, a calming serum can help soothe redness and irritation. Serums provide an influx of vitamins and nutrients to your skin, allowing them to absorb into the deeper layers of the skin to promote a firmer texture, reduced redness, and a more even skin tone. 

Using a serum after your toner provides an extra boost to your skincare routine. Serums are great for introducing added hydration, boosting collagen production, and slowing the natural aging process. The Soothing Serum and The C+ Serum are two excellent options for soothing hangover inflammation and boosting your skin’s immunity.

4. Use a Hydrating Moisturizer 

Once you have cleansed and nourished your skin, use a hydrating moisturizer to seal everything in. Hydration is essential for restoring texture and volume, soothing inflammation, and flushing out any impurities weighing down the skin.

An effective hydrating moisturizer helps to attract moisture to the skin and lock it in throughout the day. You want to ensure your face has the crucial hydration it needs to maintain its volume, texture, and tone.

For advanced hydration, turn to The Balm or the Biologique Recherche Crème Masque Vernix.

5. Treating Puffy Eyes

After a night out, the lack of sleep and dehydration can leave your eyes puffy and inflamed. To hydrate and depuff the fragile eye area, try an eye mask. They are easy to use and offer instant results. 

An eye mask can be a great option for restoring life and energy to your eyes while reviving the lively contour around them. The Cryo De-Puffing Eye Mask uses cold therapy with a combination of peptides and vitamin E to support immune system function, drive out impurities, and firm the skin under the eyes.

For added cold therapy benefits, run ice or Biologique Recherche Cryo Sticks over the masks. ​​For even more benefits, try the Joanna Czech Facial Massager to improve circulation through your skin. Massaging your face is a great way to supplement a face mask by encouraging lymphatic drainage.

6. Don’t Forget the Lip Area

Dehydration from a night of drinking and not getting enough water can cause your lips to become dry and chapped. A hydrating lip balm is an excellent choice for locking in moisture, restoring hydration to your lips, and making them appear fuller. A lip balm will also provide a protective film to support your lips against the outside elements.

Choose from nutrient-rich options like the Biologique Recherche Biokiss Lip Balm, the Chuda Hydrating Lip Treatment, and the Omorovicza Perfecting Lip Balm to provide your skin with valuable vitamins, sustain hydration, and protect your lips.

7. Consider a Bath To Improve Circulation

And, if you have time, you can care for your hangover face by caring for your whole body. Decompress, relax, and rejuvenate your skin all at the same time with a bath in therapeutic mineral salts. Mineral-rich bath salts can help boost circulation to remove impurities and promote your body’s natural recovery process.  

Olverum Bath Salts features mineral-rich Dead Sea salt, sustainably sourced Kalahari Desert salt, and a blend of essential oils, providing magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Together, this formula helps to soothe the skin and relax the mind while also aiding you in getting more restful sleep so your body is better equipped to recover.

Cure Your Hangover Face with a Routine Refresh

A hangover face can dampen the mood after a great night, leaving your skin dull, red, and inflamed. Fortunately, you can tailor your skincare routine to manage it and restore your skin with a radiant glow. Using the right products goes a long way toward nourishing and hydrating your skin.

Pro tip: When you sleep, your skin absorbs product significantly better than it does when you are awake, so a proper bedtime routine is imperative, even if it is a quick one.

Avoiding a hangover face starts with building a skincare routine that provides all around support for your skin. Explore our complete collection of skincare products to improve your routine, rejuvenate your skin, and avoid the hangover face.