How to Support Your Skin After You Drink Too Much

March 17, 2022 (updated August 18, 2022)

You’ve been there, I’ve been there, we will probably be there again…and it sucks. You wake up after a night of indulgence and not only is your face so dry it could hold a five-day rain, but your eyelids are also the size of Montana and your skin is so red, it has the New York Times green with envy. It’s the after effects of alcohol on the skin—and it ain’t cute. Here’s what we can do about it according to two experts. 

woman spraying her face with skincare mist

By: Lisa Fennessy


IN THIS POST:

I personally love indulging in a glass of wine (or two), a craft cocktail or some champs, but what I don’t like is how my face looks the next morning. Puffy, inflamed, angry. UGH….and I know I’m not alone (although I will say, I can drink a glass of natural wine and have zero visual impact on my skin). So I was excited to connect with both Dr. Cassie Wilder and esthetician Hayley Wood to get the 411 on what we can do both internally and externally to get our skin to bounce back faster. Let’s start with the external…


Lisa applys face oil to her skin while smiling in the mirror.

Treating hangover skin from the outside in

Hayley Wood says, “The best thing you can do for your skin after a night of drinking is focus on replenishing your hydration and reducing any inflammation. The most beneficial approach includes working from the inside out, but oftentimes we can skip the skincare or even do too much in the aftermath of a night full of cocktails. [I recommend] 3 productive, actionable steps you can take to benefit your skin without the excess work.” 

1. Avoid excess heat

Hayley continues, “A warm shower or a hot bath may feel ideal to help recover after a night out drinking, but consider doing some cold therapy to the skin instead. Ice rollers, gemstone rollers or an ice mold can help reduce puffiness in the skin while helping you wake up. It’s also known to soothe the nervous system, so you can get a restful recovery.” 

TOG recs for cooling skin

2. Lay off the actives 

Hayley explains, “If our skin is reflecting blotchiness or even appears to have gained more pigmentation overnight, it is a natural instinct to run to harsh exfoliation. However, we have to remember that your skin state changed as a result of your body communicating that it needs more support internally. Instead of doing an acid scrub or mini extraction session, give it a few days to balance out on its own. There is no way of erasing a night out from our skin, but patience can help even things out over time.”

3. Layer on the hydration

Lastly, Hayley says, “Both internally and externally, your need for hydration goes up during a hangover. Focus on moisture magnet ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, as well as nourishing omega rich oils like prickly pear seed oil or argan oil.”

TOG recs for über skin hydration

Here are our top picks for mists that are rich in hydration boosting ingredients, as well as moisturizers that feature prickly pear seed oil and argan oil. 

RELATED: The best foods to add (or avoid) for skincare.


Lisa holds a supplement in her mouth, smiling.

Treating hangover skin from the inside out

When we’re talking about how to support our bodies from within, we wanted more than the usual “drink more water” recs. So, we talked to an expert with way more knowledge of how our bodies work than we have as journalists. Dr. Cassie recommends a combination of things like food, supps and teas to help skin bounce back after overindulging. 

Eat

She says, “You want to eat a good mix of fats and proteins before and after drinking. More than likely you just got a lot of carbs and sugars from the alcohol. 

The purpose of eating more fats and proteins before drinking will be to slow down gastrointestinal (GI) motility, allowing more time for your liver to process what you’re about to consume. If your GI motility is slower, the alcohol won’t immediately be available in your bloodstream, causing more of a trickle of alcohol into your system. 

Eating after drinking is to stabilize your blood sugar and provide nutrition for your body to recover. High sugar and carbohydrates from alcohol will make your blood sugar go on a roller coaster, and on top of that, the alcohol takes more energy to process through the liver. You’ll need to eat fats and proteins for both blood sugar stabilization as well as the actual nutrients from the food (think B vitamins, amino acids, etc.) to help the liver process.”

Metabolism hacks 

Dr. Cassie explains, “Metabolism is going to probably be done by middle of the night so from a medical perspective doing anything [to boost it] in the morning is a moot point—but I see the allure.” 

She continues, “Try activated charcoal internally the night before bedtime to help bind the alcohol up and decrease hangovers. And to aid liver metabolism, try amino acids, milk thistle, NAC and a good B complex.”

Recs for post-drinking supplements

Reduce puffiness

Alongside that ice mold Hayley recommended, we can also help to reduce puffiness from the inside out. Dr. Cassie says, “Use electrolytes and minerals in your water to pull water from the tissues back into the lymph system. And try a lymphagogue tea like dandelion, corn silk, red clover or cleavers to help promote lymph production and/or lymph flow.”

TOG recs for reducing puffiness from the inside out

We like recommending Traditional Medicinals because it’s USDA certified organic, Fair Trade Certified, B Corp Certified, NON GMO Project Verified and sourced with high standards.


cheat sheet of tips to support your skin after drinking

Do you have any hangover remedies to help your skin (and body!) recover after a night of drinking?

Xo, lisa in cursive

TOG Team Note: This article contains affiliate links. TOG uses affiliate links as a source for revenue to fund operations of the business and to be less dependent on branded content. TOG stands behind all product recommendations. Still have questions about these links or our process? Feel free to email us.

By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of This Organic Girl. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Julia

    What’s your opinion on RMS makeup. Just tried new foundation
    Thanks

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      I love RMS. They just got acquired last year or the year before so I’ve been meaning to keep an eye on their formulations to see if there have been any changes! xo, Lisa

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.