Mar 16, 2019
Whether you’re celebrating an event, celebrating one of the many holidays where drinking is seemingly mandatory (St. Patrick’s, Spring Break, Memorial Day, NYE, the list goes on), or just celebrating, say, a Wednesday, make sure your skin doesn't pay the price for your pub crawl. Just follow a few of these drinking skincare hacks before, during, and after, so you don’t wake up with any regrets.
St. Patrick’s Day undoubtedly ranks as one of the top 10 holidays for drinking in the United States. Traditionally, the day is a Catholic observance in honor of the saint it is named after, but it has taken on a new form in modern times. In most cities, it is a day for lots of viridescent food and drinks, shamrock accessories, and vividly green outfits, with plenty of fun to be had.
If you’ve imbibed a teeny bit too much in the past, you know very well that the aftereffects of alcohol are not quite as fun as the actual drinking itself. In addition to the headache, light sensitivity, and queasy stomach, alcohol also wreaks havoc on your skin, causing inflammation, breakouts, and dehydration. But have no fear! I’ve got some drinking skincare hacks that’ll make you look and feel a lot better the morning after. Come along now!
Personally, I like to do a hydrating sheet mask before I head out for the night because I know that when I return, I’ll probably be too tired to do more than take off my makeup and put on a moisturizer. The 23 Years Old Rose Gold Mask and the Papa Recipe Bombee Black Honey Mask are two great choices. Each is chock-full of humectants and ceramides and are a good way to make a preemptive strike against the dehydration to come.
To shore up your skin against the moisture-depleting effects of alcoholic beverages, make sure your routine also includes products with moisture-replenishing active ingredients. Try the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner under your mask to balance out your skin’s pH and provide a dose of hydration.
Bonus tip: Drink some Pedialyte before you leave the house. The balance of carbohydrates and electrolytes will replenish vital fluids lost from the diuretic effects of liquor.
While you’re partying away
Carry along a facial mist like the Sulwhasoo Hydro-aid Moisturizing Soothing Mist or the SanDaWha Camellia Flower Hydrating Mist, and spritz your face every time you take a pee-break. Not only will regular misting keep your makeup from looking cakey and cool you down from all the energetic dancing, it’ll also give you a healthy, dewy glow and revitalize your skin. (The SanDaWha mist is a personal fave and a lifesaver. I left mine behind in a bar bathroom one of the last times I was out, and I’m still devastated.)
Alcohol inhibits the antidiuretic hormone vasopressin, which helps the kidneys retain and reabsorb water, so when you pee a thousand times during the course of a night out, you’re not only losing fluid but your body is also failing to replace it. So drink as much water as you can between your alcoholic drinks. You’ll be thankful to your past self in the morning.
Another measure you can take against dehydration is to choose certain kinds of drinks over others. The severity of a hangover is determined by the level of congeners present in your choice of spirits. Congeners are molecules produced during fermentation and are responsible for the color, taste, and aroma of distilled alcohol beverages. Clear liquors like vodka and gin have lower levels of congeners than, say, rum or whiskey. Bourbon is purported to have 37 times the amount of congeners as whiskey. 😱
So by sticking to drinks with vodka or white rum, you’re likely to have a less brutal hangover. Stay away from drinks with sugary mixers as well, as the spike in blood sugar levels can trigger inflammation, which could then lead to breakouts, among other things.
Phew, you’re home!
Some of us come home from a night out and are type A enough to clean up all the clothes hastily strewn about from our pre-party dress-up montage and do a 10-step routine. And some of us can barely get out of our clothes and into bed, let alone complete cleanse, mask, and moisturize. No matter which group you fall into, here are tips to make sure your skin gets the love it deserves.
After doing a first and second cleanse, use an all-in-one product like the COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad, the COSRX Green Hero One Step Calming Pad, or the Purito Centella Green Level All-in-One Pads. Then follow with a rich moisturizer like the Earth’s Recipe Moisture Bound Cream and/or a sleeping pack. And voila! You’re ready to swan dive into bed.
While you wait to fall asleep, drink some more water, Pedialyte, or some honey and lemon in warm water. That, plus all the water you’ve been drinking throughout the night, means you won’t wake up like this:
The morning after
Congratulations! You made it! If you’re lucky, thanks to all your hard work, you don’t have a splitting headache nor do you look like the Crypt Keeper.
To continue all your good work, make sure you wash your face and put on your AM skincare. Lavish your skin with products rich in hyaluronic acid, peptides, and ceramides. Add in some prebiotics, too! Alcohol depletes the good bacteria in our gut and on our face, upsetting the balance of our microbiome internally and externally. An imbalance in the skin’s microbiome can lead to skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and more, while in the gut it could spell trouble in the form of gastrointestinal disorders, autoimmune diseases, and more.
Prebiotic skincare will help to rebalance the skin microbiome, while foods and drinks rich in probiotics will do the same for your gut. Try some asparagus, sweet potato, kombucha or kefir. You could even take a page out of the K-drama drinking handbook and have some haejangguk (hangover soup) with a side of kimchi.
Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig ort (blessings of Patrick’s Festival upon you)! Have fun! And be safe!
What do you always make sure to do before and after a hard night of drinking? Share your drinking skincare hacks with us in the comments below!
Karachi discovered K-beauty in 2015 and fell wallet-first into the fray. When she’s not binge-watching a TV series or losing herself in a book, she’s creating wish lists of new stuff to try and reading posts by her favorite bloggers. Learning has been a lifelong hobby for her and she truly enjoys geeking out about the amazing things different ingredients can do for skin.