‘Tis the season to let your hair down (both figuratively and literally, to protect your nape from the chill) and schlep around the snow-laden city to indulge your hedonistic sensibilities and lifelong love of Christmas festivities. Fires will crackle, baubles will be strung, and there’s a good chance at least several champagne flutes will make their way into your mittens.
According to me, champagne is great for many reasons: it makes your brain fizz happily and your heart glow merrily, it has an astonishing ability to jazz up small talk at work-related events, and there is nothing in the world more satisfying to the ears than the sound of a champagne bottle being popped open. It is not without its downsides, though, one of which is the havoc it can wreak on your (likely now dry and parched) skin.
According to Dr. Ariel Ostad, a New York-based dermatologist and exactly the kind of person you should be listening to, "Alcohol is a notorious dehydrator, and many of your hangover symptoms are a direct result of a lack of fluids, including your skin's appearance. The dehydration associated with hangovers can make skin appear dull, dry and puffy." Yikes!
Whether you take your bubbles in Prosecco or champagne form, we’ve put together a list of pre and post-drinking tips so you can have your Christmas cake and wash it down with champers, too. Even if you dislike any form of sparkling wine, or are not yet of the legal age to know where you stand on the matter, winter itself can have the same dehydrating effects, so this also applies to you, too!
Before you imbibe…
It’s annoying advice, I know, but you really should be drinking more h20 if you plan on having an adult refreshment. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it’s best if you head into a festive evening as hydrated as possible. Also, make your belly happy with a healthy meal packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Om, nom, nom.
While you’re at it…
Bet you thought you’d had enough water? Think again! Keep up your water intake throughout the night, matching each alcoholic libation with a glass of the good stuff (water, that is).
Before you slip into ZzZ’s…
(One word: WATER!)
Okay, enough with the h20 evangelizing. What comes next is very important for ensuring your skin is as moist as your mom’s Christmas pudding!
Remove your makeup. According to Dr. Eric Schweiger, "Sleeping in your makeup can result in unnecessary exposure to the free radicals in the environment, which the makeup holds on to." These pesky free radicals cause collagen breakdown, which assists the ageing of skin (i.e. wrinkles and sagging). Wash your face with a gentle cleanser—this will provide immediate relief for irritated or uncomfortable skin. Stay far, FAR away from artificial fragrances, colors and parabens, and instead look for natural ingredients like chamomile extract instead.
If you are a sweet baby angel who is really committed to the cause, apply a hydrating gel mask before you go to bed—it’s even better if you've put it in the fridge to cool—and leave it on for 10 minutes. Follow this with a hydrating mist, a hyaluronic-based serum and a lightweight moisturizer. Now, get to bed.
The next day…
Hello, and welcome to your (hopefully) very mild hangover, thanks to all that water slurping you did last night. Your journey towards plump skin isn’t over yet, pals.
A gentle chemical exfoliation the next morning will rid your mug of sallow, alcohol-damaged skin cells. This will make room for you to add as much hydration to your new cells as is humanly possible. Didn’t quite get around to popping a face mask last night? This is your chance! Hyaluronic acid, aloe and rosewater are great for sensitive and dehydrated skin, Vitamin C is perf for dullness, caffeine is your dark eye circles’ BFF, and salicylic is the ingredient you should reach for to treat inflamed pores and acne.