Whether you have an actual hangover from over-indulging in summer rosé or are just zapped from late nights at work, the dry, red, breakout-ridden complexion that comes with bodily stress is something I like to call a skin hangover. Because skin is your largest (and most visible!) organ, any stress that you put your body through is bound to show on your face. Whenever I’m feeling rundown or have been spending a lot of time on airplanes, I rely on these five simple steps to bring my skin back to a healthy equilibrium.
Re-Balance Your Bacteria
When your skin is stressed, its natural bacterial balance can suddenly get out of whack. Bad bacteria = bad breakouts, so it’s important to help rebalance it as soon as possible. I reach for my TCA Multi-Acid Face Peel to help out. Gentle acids like salicylic help kill acne-causing bacteria and and dislodge clogged pores. Regular exfoliation with multi acid peels will prevent dryness, breakouts, and irritation. Plus, the peel helps your skin shed dead cells, leaving you with a brighter, healthier look.
Flush it Out
What’s your first instinct when you wake up with a hangover? That’s right—reach for the water. Your skin needs a dose of hydration, too. While you should absolutely guzzle some H2O to replenish from the inside out, you should also flush your skin externally. To saturate your skin with moisture, steam it! This is a technique we use in facials to help soften the skin, melt sebum, and infuse the complexion with moisture. If you don’t have a steamer, gently simmer some water on the stove and then transfer it to a heat-safe bowl. Drape a dishtowel over your head and place your face over the steaming bowl for a minute or two. Be careful not to get too close—the steam should feel warm but not super-hot. After steaming, immediately apply my HA Hydrating Serum to prevent trans-epidermal water loss and add additional moisture.
Double Your Serum
Your serums are precious, but if there’s any time when you should do double duty, it’s during a skin hangover. I especially recommend a hydrating serum and one with growth factors like my EGF Activating Serum. Simply apply a normal dose, and then apply another light layer. In some cases, more really is more.
Get the Blood Flowing
When you’re rundown, a trip to the gym may be the last thing you want to do, but boosting your circulation is critical to battling a skin hangover. Try a gentle yoga class or brisk walk to ease yourself into it. Another easy way to boost the blood flow? A gentle facial massage. I like to use serum to massage my face so that I’m not creating a lot of friction that can cause redness and broken capillaries. Not sure what to do? This facial massage tutorial is a good start.
Green Your Diet
Even if you haven’t overindulged in alcohol, if you’re experiencing a skin hangover, chances are that things aren’t quite their best internally. Until your skin gets back to its natural state, cut out inflammatory foods like dairy, alcohol, and gluten. These foods can cause breakouts, redness, and inflammation, so it’s best to leave them out until you’re feeling great again. Instead, chow down on lots of greens, raw fruits, and veggies to help your skin recover. I also add an extra dose of anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon into my morning smoothies to help my skin get its glow back.
Do you have a special tip for battling a skin hangover? Share with me and other StackedSkincare fans in the comments section below!