The Best Ways To Cure A Hangover
If you simply must embark on a seasonal bender, here’s how to do it right – and avoid “hangover face” the morning after.
As author and hardened boozer Sir Kingsley Amis put it in Lucky Jim, there are some mornings when you wake up feeling like your mouth has “been used as a latrine by some small creature of the night, and then as its mausoleum”. On such occasions, while solid evidence of what actually happened the previous evening may be thin on the ground, there are many ways your body will helpfully remind you, from the classic (shooting pains in the liver) to the less often discussed (sallow, dehydrated skin).
While we would never have the gall to suggest that to avoid such a predicament you employ the virtues of moderation or restraint, we would encourage you to do some damage control (if not for the sake of your mind or soul, at least for your face). To that end, we’ve compiled a list of essential remedies to help offset the effects of that vengeful hangover and ensure you end 2015 with a deceptive look (if not feeling) of sobriety.
THE REHYDRATION PILL
Alcohol is a powerful diuretic, which means it zaps moisture from the skin and fluids from the body, leaving you weak, lethargic and, well, hungover. If you’re going to drink, it’s therefore important to replace the essential salts that have been pushed out of your system, especially potassium and magnesium. You can do this by making sure that your very last shot of the night consists of some H30 Night Repair by Rejuvenated, a hypotonic rehydrator (in tablet form) that laughs in the face of Lucozade. This includes an abundance of electrolytes as well as a “wonder antioxidant” called astaxanthin. As an added bonus it also packs in 10mg of skin-plumping hyaluronic acid per serving, so your face isn’t too drawn by dawn. Failing that, a banana and as much coconut water as you can swallow should do the trick.
THE EYE-BAG SAVIOUR
Puffy eyes and dark circles are part and parcel of what in the UK is referred to as a “successful” night out. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest anywhere on your face, so it goes without saying that the evidence of a bender is most noticeable around your peepers. Rather than spend the day hiding behind your Oliver Peoples like some dreadful music-industry type, look to high-tech grooming brands such as Lab Series, Natura Bissé and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. Instant Fix Eye Lift Gel by Dr Sebagh will nicely firm and deflate the eye area. This will not only make you look more temperate but younger to boot.
THE PRE-TOX COCKTAIL
After a heavy night, your liver will still be working overtime the following morning – and possibly well into the afternoon – in an effort to metabolise whatever colossal amount you managed to put away. Give this poor organ as much assistance as possible in the form of a vitamin B6 supplement and a couple of drops of milk thistle, a miraculous herbal remedy that assists detoxification and regenerates liver cells.
If your binge drinking isn’t entirely spontaneous, you can take all of the above as a pre-tox cocktail before you head out for the evening. Faust’s Awake Potion is a worthwhile preventive measure because it contains, among other things, N-acetyl cysteine, an amino acid that neutralises acetaldehyde, the by-product of alcohol metabolisation, which is 30 times more toxic than alcohol itself.
THE PARTY-MONSTER MOISTURISER
A run-of-the-mill moisturiser isn’t going to cut it at this time of year, especially if you’re gearing up for a long night. In fact, you’re going to need something that will keep on working well into the wee hours to keep your face from shrivelling up and shrinking, Beetlejuice-style. Malin + Goetz SPF30 Face Moisturizer will help drive moisture back into your skin and lock it in place. If you have the time to slap on a mask before you go out, then reach for Aesop’s Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque, a formula that will help to draw out any impurities and also includes aloe vera to boost hydration and soothe the skin.
THE BEAUTY SLEEP
Your night-time skincare routine probably won’t be at the top of your list of priorities when you stumble home at 4.00am. But taking the time to cleanse and rehydrate before you crash will make your reflection considerably less alarming by morning.
Moreover, your skin will be more receptive to creams and serums during the wee hours because it’s not busy trying to fend off environmental aggressors. Allow the peptides, antioxidants, vitamins and omega fatty acids in Grown Alchemist’s Regenerating Night Cream to restore elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while you snooze. Alternatively, raid the Ms’ bathroom cabinet for Midnight Secret by Guerlain, a cult product known among night owls and insomniacs as “concentrated sleep” on account of its magical oxygenating effect.
THE NUTRITION PLAN
Alcohol can cause a severe dip in blood-sugar levels. This might explain why you’re prone to the shakes or erratic mood swings after you’ve been drinking. Since your liver is overwhelmed with jobs to do, it will have neglected the fact that it needs to pump out more glucose to bring you back to the land of the living. Even though you can’t stomach much with a hangover, attempt to eat little and often. Avoid fry-ups in the hope that they will “mop up” the booze and, instead, opt for a low-GI option such as wholemeal toast and a fruit smoothie.
THE PRESSURE POINT
Impromptu bouts of nausea can make that morning meeting a little harder to navigate. A quick and easy way to relieve the desire to pebble-dash the boardroom is to use acupressure, the healing art based on the same points used in acupuncture. Pressure point Neiguan (P-6) is located on your forearm and is known to treat upset stomachs, motion sickness and headaches. Position your hand with the palm facing up and find the sweet spot located about three fingers’-width down from the heel of your hand. Gently apply pressure with the thumb of your other hand for a good three minutes. Then swap hands.
Illustrations by Mr Davide Bonazzi