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How To Fix Your Hungover Skin

Komal Basith

Between Diwali around the corner and entertaining colleagues from out of town, I’ve been going out a lot recently. A cocktail or two is sort of inevitable when you’re out, but the only problem is my skin’s really suffering as a result of all the extra drinking! The worst is when I have to go in to work the next morning. What do I do when I’m hungover and my skin looks terrible? 


It’s always a good idea to lay off the drinking as you get older, because not only do hangovers get worse with age, they get way longer, too. Sadly, I haven’t learnt any of these lessons yet, which means that I am especially well suited to answer your question. 

First off – you want to hydrate, not just for your mental well being but for your skin (and the sake of what you see when you look in the mirror). Dehydration is what causes that awful splitting headache, and it’s also responsible for hungover skin – dry, uneven, puffy and blotchy. If plain old water doesn’t do it for you, try and get your hands on some Gatorade.

Then, exfoliate. I understand that the last thing you want to be doing is going at your face with something rough, so go the gentle (and far less damaging) way with Dermalogica’sGentle Cream Exfoliant. Lie back and rest your aching head for fifteen minutes while you’ve got this on, then gently wipe the mask off with a soft, damp cloth. Your skin will instantly look and feel better.

Next, you need a sheet mask of some kind. In fact, if you’re feeling really poorly, you can skip the exfoliating and head straight to the mask – it’s a bit of a cheat in that it’s not as effective as combining the two, but hey. Just make sure you’ve taken all of last night’s makeup off first.

For a brightening effect on the cheap, Neutrogena’s Fine Fairness Mask can’t be beat. MaskerAide’s I Don’t Wanna Grow Up is another surprisingly efficient find, delivering intense amounts of hydration via Vitamin E and argan oil. Just keep in mind that argan oil is comedogenic, so if you’re prone to breakouts, you might want to give this one a miss.

Meanwhile, the absolute gold standard of sheet masks is SK-II’s Facial Treatment Masks. They’re seeped in the brand’s famous Facial Treatment Essence, deliver instant brightening, pore minimizing benefits, and leave your skin glowing after a single use. They’re not too runny, so you don’t have to spend your 15 minutes horizontal if you don’t want to (I’ve got one on as I write this!).

They’re not cheap, sure, until you consider that they make you look like you’ve spent a day at the spa when really you’ve been at home eating greasy takeaway (another great hangover cure, if you can manage it) and watching reruns of the Real Housewives of New Jersey. I’ve always got some with me to pop on when I’m on a plane, after a big night out or anytime I need a bit of a pick me up.

There you have it! Hangovers might feel like hell but with this little routine, at least you won’t look it. Happy holidays!


I’ve been hearing a lot about the Clarisonic and have been thinking of getting it for a while now, then I read your review of it on Jossbox and decided to take the plunge. I’m just wondering if it’s OK to use it everyday. I know that they say once a week is enough but I have a lot of dry, flaky skin in some bits and open pores on other parts of my face, and I hear the Clarisonic is really effective for that. Now that I’ve bought it I’d really like to put it to good use.


First off, thanks! I’m so glad the review helped you decide. Secondly, I totally get why wanting to use the Clarisonic everyday might sound like a good idea; you use the brush a couple of times, see how quickly your skin starts looking like a Disney princess’s, and so you figure more Clarisonic = better skin, but sadly this isn’t the case.

Your skin isn’t meant to be exfoliated daily, and a deep clean only benefits it when it’s done every once in a while. Overdo it and you risk aggravating your skin, which is what I found out the hard way. Whether you’re prone to sensitivity, redness or acne, you can bet there’s be lots of it to go around if you use the Clarisonic too often, so stick to the instructions – once a week to start with, and then, depending on how your skin reacts, every other day at most.


What’s a good, gentle eye makeup remover that’ll work on waterproof makeup without making my eyes sting?


I’m a huge fan of products that multi-task, and I’ve been using Shu Uemura’s Porefinist Anti-Shine Fresh Cleansing Oil for ages to take off my makeup and to cleanse my face every night. It’s gentle enough to use around the eyes without drying the skin out, but somehow effective enough to take off waterproof mascara, and the best part of it all is that it doesn’t sting like most other cleansing oils.

I’ve also had great success with Lancome’s Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover, although it can leave a bit of a film around the eye region if you’re not thorough about wiping it off. Alternatively, L’Oreal’s Dermo Expertise Lip and Eye Makeup Remover is made by the same company and is similar to the Bi-Facil but with none of the greasiness. 


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