Press | Is Your Skin Hungover?

Approx 8 minute read |

This article was written by Emily Cleary for Belle About Town and does not belong to WOW facial®. Read the original article on Belle About Town.
After a rather bleak December last year, we’re ready to welcome Christmas party season 2021 with open arms! Sparkly outfits and free-flowing Prosecco? Yes please!
We’re less excited, though, about the after-effects of said free-flowing fizz… because long after a bleary head has cleared, our skin can betray us big time as a result of drinking.
Studies by Drink Aware found that almost two-thirds of drinkers over-indulge with alcohol over the festive season… with one in five admitting this is the time of year where they typically suffer more hangovers, so our skin is about to be hit hard!
We asked our team of experts about the impact alcohol has on the skin, and the treatments/skincare products we can take advantage of to fix hungover complexions!
How Does Alcohol Affect Our Skin?

Alcohol dehydrates the skin and depletes it of vital nutrients, making it appear duller with enlarged pores. In the long-term, it can cause your skin to sag too, as it stops effective collagen production.

“You might notice that drinking alcohol can cause your face to look bloated and puffy,” says Dr Kaywaan Khan, Aesthetic Doctor and Medical Director of Hannah London. “This is because the body is dehydrated. Your skin and vital organs try to hold onto as much water as possible, leading to puffiness in the face.”

Drinking can also cause other skin issues (such as acne and rosacea) to flare up because the skin barrier is compromised, making it most susceptible to these & other issues. And that rosy glow we get after a few glasses of wine? Well, this is due to the fact that alcohol promotes the opening of blood vessels in the skin, which leads to increased redness Dr Kaywaan explains.

And we’re not quite done yet! In addition to the above, alcohol also disrupts our sleep… meaning your skin has less time to rejuvenate overnight, which can lead to premature ageing. Plus we might be less inclined to perform our skin regime if we’re a little worse for wear (hands up who else is guilty of falling asleep with a full face of makeup after a few too many?!) – all contributing to unhappy skin.

Are All Drinks As Bad As Each Other?

They all cause some damage, but certain beverages are worse than others. “I hate to break it to you, but red wine is one of the worst offenders because it’s a histamine releaser, which promotes redness and flushing. This makes it the worst drink for the skin, particularly if you’re prone to redness, or suffer with rosacea,” warns Dr Kaywaan.

How Can We Help Hungover Skin?
1. Drink water. Plenty of it!

All of our skin experts said the same thing here. Hydrate! “Drink plenty of water – and drink water in-between drinks on a night out,” says Claire Williams, founder and CEO of the WOW Facial.

Oksana-Georgia M, Aesthetic Practitioner & Skin Specialist at Skin+IQ, explains why the age old advice of drinking water between alcoholic drinks is so vital. “It helps minimise the harmful effects of alcohol on the complexion by hydrating the skin’s tissue – and the skin itself,” she tells us.

2. Use hydrating skincare

The products you apply to your skin can help with the effects of a hangover too. These are the at-home skincare hits our experts recommend:

Must-Have Hydrating Face Mask: The Mask by WOW Facial. Claire Williams, founder of WOWFacial, suggests hydrating your skin with this mask pre-party, then putting it in the fridge and using it again the morning after. You can learn more about the WOW Facial range of WOW At Home skincare products here.

“Hungover skin will drink up the hyaluronic acid, stem cells and peptides as it tries to rehydrate itself – whilst the coolness of this chilled mask will reduce bloating,” says Claire. “It also has eye covers to help reduce puffiness and dark circles. Think of it as a pre-party prep and a post-party perk up all in one packet.”

Must-Have Hydrating Serum: Mesoestectic HA Densimatrix, £69.99

“Apply a hydrating serum and moisturiser to combat the dehydration,” advises Dr Kaywaan, who personally recommends this multi-molecular weight, water-gel serum.

“This particular serum absorbs immediately to hydrate and fills lines,” he says. “It contains plant extracts, potent antioxidants and a complex that help to protect skin against environmental aggressors that cause ageing and stressed out skin, which leads to the reduction and degradation of skin’s natural hyaluronic acid reserves.”

Must-Have Hydrating Moisturiser: The SKN Rehab SKN Therapy Moisturiser, £65.00. Shop it here. The hero product of the SKN Rehab collection, this beautifully packaged moisturiser can be used pre and post party to boost gloominess & hydration in the skin. It doubles up as a primer pre-makeup application, as well as a lavish drink of hydrating goodness post-party.

SKN Rehab co-founder Lucy Hilson says, “Our SKN Therapy Moisturiser has multiple benefits to the skin – it’s the perfect consistency to be used day or night, and also doubles up as a primer; leaving your skin smooth & hydrated. Formula wise, its blend of skin-transforming antioxidants and peptides protect your complexion from environmental aggressors, whilst the inclusion of our super-ingredient Prohib8 helps prevent signs of lines, wrinkles and general skin ageing.”

We also love SKN Rehab’s SKN DRENCH Hyaluronic Acid + Serum (RRP £35) when it comes to targeted skin hydration (shop it here) which deeply nourishes skin via potent active ingredients – and is also sold as part of an at-home dermaroller kit, to ensure better absorption of the serum.

3. Try in-clinic treatments

If at-home skincare isn’t clearing the tell-tale signs of a few heavy nights on your complexion, opt for professional treatments to nurse your skin back to health. Here’s our experts' picks:

The Personalised Facial: The WOW Fusion Facial

This facial addresses issues caused by inflammation and dehydration as a result of drinking alcohol, which hamper the body’s ability to produce collagen.

“Your practitioner will make up a bespoke skincare solution that is suited to your skin,” explains Claire Williams, CEO of WOW Facial. “This will consist of anti-inflammatory hyaluronic acid, multivitamins and powerful antioxidants to encourage your skin to regenerate and get back to health. A good facial will always help, but look for one that is hyper personalised to ensure you get optimal results.”

The WOW facial can refresh dull and tired skin for a fresh glow throughout the party season
The WOW facial can refresh dull and tired skin for a fresh glow throughout the party season

For Deep Rehydration & Extraction Of Blocked Pores: Hydrafacial at Skin+IQ 

This multi-step facial (recommended by Skin+IQ’s Aesthetic Practitioner & Skin Guru Oksana) cleanses, exfoliates, extracts and hydrates… plus it also infuses the skin with antioxidant protection to ensure your complexion looks clearer, radiant and glowing – like you’ve never even seen a glass of wine!

During your Hydrafacial, dead skin cells are lifted before the skin is deep cleansed & then infused with a potent, glow-giving cocktail of nourishing ingredients; for a soothing, decongesting treatment with immediate results (and no downtime!)

For Glowing Skin: Hydradermie Facial Treatments at Hannah London. 

Dr Kaywaan’s treatment of choice deep cleanses the skin, re-hydrates the deeper layers and speeds up cellular renewal; leaving your complexion cleansed, toned and glowing with health.

“This treatment uses an effective combination of the latest technology, soothing manual massage and personalised plant extracts,” he says.

“It has visible lasting results suitable for all skin types. The skin is cleansed and exfoliated, then a gentle galvanic current carries the active plant-based ingredients deep into the skin. This is followed by high frequency to oxygenate and boost cell renewal. A facial massage and mask that leaves the skin fully cleansed, balanced and glowing. Each treatment takes around 80 minutes.”

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