Skincare Tips for Hangovers

Having consistently clear, healthy skin requires balance—and it shouldn’t be so hard to maintain. Here are some easy skincare habits for men.
Skincare Tips for Hangovers

If you had the best night of your life—and, let’s say, one or ten drinks too many—then it’s possible you might look your absolute worst the next morning. You know: Dull, splotchy skin, sullen eyes, the works...

follow these tips if you’d rather cover up any overt evidence of the debauchery, rather than answer questions from nosy coworkers, roommates, partners, etc...

1. Detox the skin

Before you do anything else for the day—besides make some coffee, obviously, and maybe pop an Ibuprofen—you want to wash your face. And we’re talking a deep clean, to pull out any excess toxins, grime, and oil in there.

Since that alcohol did a number on your liver, some of those toxins might have rerouted to your pores. Add to that, the fact that alcohol dilates the pores and increases the chances of blackheads, whiteheads, and inflammation… you really could use a major clean. If you have time for a deep-cleansing clay or charcoal mask, we’d highly recommend one. However, it’s best to start the morning with a gentle but deeply effective cleanser, like one with clay. This will extract anything lodged deep within the pores to help purify the skin, without compromising natural moisture levels. (Though the alcohol already did a number on those.)

Some hydrating sheet masks double as detoxifiers, too, depending on their ingredients (Cardon’s Bamboo Charcoal Sheet Masks, for example). It’s necessary still to cleanse the skin before use; in this case, the hydrating mask also helps cover the next step of the superficial hangover recovery.

If you’re worried about covering a lot of bases with your regimen—like sun protection, post-shave soothing, overnight recovery… then pick products that have clear, multiple benefits. For example, you need to apply SPF daily. Many people keep their SPF and moisturizer separate, requiring two products. So why not combine them and only buy daytime moisturizers with SPF already packed in? (And with an SPF 30 or higher, no less.) This saves you time, shelf/dopp space, and money. Another example: You need to cleanse your face at least twice daily, but you also heard about the pore-clearing powers of clay face masks. But did you know you can simply get a clay-based cleanser, and let it handle both tasks at once—all without overdrying your skin? (Which is what many cleansers and clay masks do on their own.) By finding products that promise more, it’s easy to build a minimal skincare routine with maximized benefits.

2. Give skin a moisture boost

Alcohol is extremely dehydrating for the skin. This is why, after a bender, you can wake up with some of the dullest, most discolored or dry skin you’ve experienced. So, after you cleanse, use a toner to re-balance pH levels, and then it’s time to pump some serious moisture back into everything—and to calm some of that booze-induced inflammation.

We always tell guys to start with a hydrating mask. These are terrific for “emergencies” like this, as they work like a spa treatment to concentrate a ton of ingredients into your mug all at once.

No two masks are alike, though, so you want to pay specific attention to the ingredients. For instance, our Cactus Sheet Masks utilize soothing cactus extract and cica grass to calm inflammation and redness; they follow with antioxidant-rich niacinamide to help mitigate the pore dilation that the alcohol did, and to tone down sebum production while providing a host of anti-aging benefits. Or, with a detox-focused option like Bamboo Charcoal Sheet Masks, you get the same soothing + toning powers of cactus extract and niacinamide, along with the perks of charcoal’s deep-pore suction.

However, the easiest and fastest way to pump moisture into freshly cleansed skin is with a super-charged moisturizer, like Hydro Boost Gel Moisturizer. (You can follow a hydrating mask with a moisturizer.) You’ll recognize the ingredients in this one: soothing cactus extract, defensive and toning niacinamide, plus the addition of ultra hydrating rosehip oil. You want a densely concentrated but lightweight moisturizer like this in order to quickly revive (and preserve) moisture and nourishment in the skin.

3. Target the Eyes

The eyes tell everything. The swell. They go dark. They are the reason people ask you whether or not you’re doing OK. So, target the eyes. Use an eye cream or serum that is loaded with ingredients that quickly firm and plump the skin there, in order to reduce the dark circles (caused by blood vessels appearing behind the thin eye-area skin); and to help firm the skin in the area, which will elevate sunken fat pads and evict fluid buildup (and thus, reduce the puffiness). You can do this with ingredients like caffeine or hyaluronic acid (the latter of which is a hero ingredient in Dark Circle Eye Rescue).

4. Conceal the evidence

Never has concealer been more your friend than right now. OK, OK, there have been a few unsightly pimples that it helped hide, too, but hangovers are the concealer’s prime time to shine. As long as yours matches your exact skin tone, dab a tiny dot underneath and around each eye. If you feel a breakout forming from your late-night pizza run, you can also opt for a pimple patch to help cover and treat it before it grows.

5. Stay cool

One way to boost circulation and really make your body wake up—including making it look woken up—is to start with a cool/lukewarm shower before doing any of the above steps. You can even do an ice cold shower for a minute if you want to significantly jump start your circulation and alertness. Secondly, you can store your eye cream in the fridge in order to keep it cool, which will doubly help the product reduce swelling. Or, you can put a couple ice cubes in a plastic bag or under a clean cloth, and apply it to swollen eyes to help target the area with the came circulatory rule of thought.

6. Massage the hell out of your skin

Rarely would we advise you to touch your face so much, since it’s a habit that can clog pores. But, if you promise to wash your hands and your face, we give you permission to go to town on your mug with a massage. This will also boost circulation, which helps get some liveliness and nutrients back into your face. Doing so after a healthy breakfast will especially help you on the nutrients front. (Or, we’d even recommend running a face roller across your forehead and cheeks after doing your face mask, to help massage in the nutrient-dense serum and boost circulation simultaneously.)

7. For God’s sake, eat something!

If you forgot to pound a glass of water before bed, then pair one with an ample breakfast in the morning. Prioritize simple proteins, like those in avocados and eggs, since they’ll be easier on your stomach. Bananas are also easy on the stomach, and their high potassium content can help restore your stamina and strength quickly. One wild card is prickly pear cactus—the same ingredient Cardon uses in all of its products—as it reduces liver inflammation and helps counter any headaches or nausea.

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