In time for the New Year celebrations
By Jenny Cook
Not only do hangovers make us feel rubbish on the inside (headaches, nausea, anxiety – the list goes on…) but to add insult to injury, they can also make us look a little worse for wear on the outside by making our skin appear dry, puffy and red.
However, if you’re suffering this season and want to get your skin back on track in time for the New Year, there are some simple steps you can take to brighten up your look. Here, some top experts explain all.
No, we’re not talking about alcohol. Helen Bond, nutritionist on behalf of The Harley Medical Group, says that not drinking enough, or drinking too much alcohol, will make you dehydrated and this will quickly be reflected in the condition of your skin.
“Alcohol is not only high in sugar but can be very dehydrating which can cause the skin to look tired and dull. A build-up of toxins can also take its toll on the liver and our ability to cleanse. This can show up on our face making it less than radiant looking. Hydrate by drinking 6-8 glasses of water or try warm water with a little fresh lemon juice added. Other healthy options include coconut water, herbal teas and green tea rich in skin protective antioxidants”
Don’t forget that we get 20% of our fluid from food, so eat at least five portions of water rich fruit and vegetables each day.
Scrub away dull skin
Exfoliation is really important for bright skin and is also perfect for prepping it for makeup. Corinne Morley, in-house expert at Triology, says:
“Polishing away old skin cells encourages cell turnover and reveals new skin underneath – it’s essential for restoring a radiant glow. Trilogy’s Gentle Exfoliant (£23.98, Amazon.co.uk) which doesn’t contain rough, sharp bits as these can irritate and scratch the surface of the skin, but instead uses Jojoba microspheres to gently buff away surface impurities and dead skin cells.”
You are what you eat, so it’s not wonder that that late-night pizza or greasy fry-up isn’t doing your skin’s hangover much good. Helen says:
“My advice is to try and balance your diet in the days leading up to a party. Vitamins A, C, E and K are essential to healthy skin and can be effective when applied topically as well as including them in your diet. Vitamin C can strengthen blood vessel walls so include berries, cranberries, leafy greens. Orange, vitamin A-laden fruits and vegetables such as papaya, mangoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots, butternut squash can promote strong, firm skin. Vitamin K strengthens capillary walls and often broken capillaries leak deoxygenated blood to form dark circles. So, include leafy greens, kefir, yogurt, prunes and leeks which are all good sources of vitamin K.”
Get an early night
Make sure you get a good amount of shut-eye in the days leading up to your big night out, as this will help your skin regenerate and ensure you aren’t starting drinking on the back foot. Dr Justine Hextall, consultant dermatologist on behalf of The Harley Medical Group, says:
“A lack of sleeps leads to dark circles, and skin often becomes dull, dry and often more sensitive. We all know how much better we look after a good night’s sleep. This isn’t an illusion, skin really does regenerate at night. Sleep enables the body to reverse everyday free radical damage through cellular renewal. As you sleep, your body naturally enhances its ability to fight environmental and natural damage, which translates into a better and brighter complexion. A good night’s rest can increase the efficiency of special growth hormones that repair and regenerate collagen-producing cells, which are responsible for skin’s elasticity and tightness.”
Remove your makeup
Your skin will not thank you for going to bed with a face full of makeup, so always be sure you give your face a good wash before you fall asleep. Dr Hextall says:
“When we are up all night partying having fun, what does that do to our skin and how can we help? Use a gentle skin wash. DermaQuest’s Essential Daily Cleanser (£29, Harleymedical.co.uk or Amazon.co.uk) will not strip your skin barrier, party make up can be effectively removed but the skin will remain soft and hydrated. Lack of sleep and alcohol, leave skin dry and sometimes inflamed. It is vital therefore that the skin regime is ultra-gentle to protect the skin barrier, our first line of defence.”