So it’s the morning after and you’re wishing you’d never had that last tequila shot. Sure, last night's dance floor moves were impressive, but they’re nothing compared to the scene unfolding within your cranium right now. Although nothing can totally “cure” a hangover apart from – well… not consuming too much alcohol in the first place – we have put together some tips to help you in your recovery.
Go easy at brunch
Fats are processed through the same metabolic pathways as alcohol, so filling up on a greasy breakfast after drinking will only slow down the movement of alcohol out of your system – your body simply can’t handle them both at the same time. Turn to clean meals (or smoothies if your stomach is still a bit delicate) of fresh fruits and vegetables to refresh your stock of vitamins and minerals. Kate Hudson is an advocate for drinking tomato juice the next day – which is a great choice as it’s packed with vitamin C and K for colon and pancreatic health, stress reduction, anti-inflammation qualities and antioxidant properties. Just go easy on the vodka. While a couple of Bloody Marys can dull the symptoms temporarily, they can dehydrate you even further and the hangover will eventually come.
Your makeup shouldn’t make it to the pillow
It might be the last thing you want to do when you get home, but waking up with your mascara smeared all over your sheets won’t be the worst of your problems if you don’t take off your makeup before catching some ZZZ’s. Leaving your makeup on overnight creates a breeding ground for bacteria, clogs your pores, sucks the moisture out of your skin, and disturbs the normal repair and regeneration of your skin that occurs while you slumber. Does that champagne induced pimple make sense now? Use a gentle but effective remover like Bioderma Crealine H2O and pack on a thick moisturiser like Antipodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream to keep those morning-after spots at bay.
Guzzle that H2O
We all know it; it’s just a matter of putting it into practice. Alcohol seriously dehydrates the system and one of the best ways to combat that dreaded post-party grogginess is to keep that water flowing – before, during, and after your night out. By adding a hydrolyte or drinking coconut water (extra potassium and sodium!), your body will be better able to hold onto the water you’ve just chugged back. You can also try knocking back a few hydration helpers like Hairy Lemon or specific B supplements like Hydrodol before bed. And remember, a coffee in the morning might sound and smell like a good decision but it will only dehydrate you more and since it’s a diuretic, it will not be kind to your tummy.
Stretch, baby, stretch
While it’s probably best to avoid intense activity due to the loss of fluids through sweating, a gentle pilates or yoga class can be one way get your metabolism working and your blood pumping to speed up the excretion of alcohol from the system. Alternatively, some simple full body stretches with a specific focus on the right side of the torso (where your liver lives) can be done without having to make yourself look presentable enough to leave the house. Reach for the sky. Touch your toes. Twist side to side. Lie on the floor and do what feels good. Don’t overthink it.
Indulge in a DIY spa day
Inviting your friends over the next day is not only a good way to recap anything you missed from the night before, it’s also fun to treat yourselves to a mini facial. Whip out those samples of brightening masks and hydrating packs you’ve been hoarding or make your own from equal parts oats, natural yoghurt and honey to cleanse and rejuvenate the skin. Puffy eyes can be treated with chilled damp teabags placed over the eyelids due to their anti-irritant properties, and cold spoons pressed just underneath your lower lashes or over the top of closed lids can also help tighten the skin and reduce inflammation.
Soak it out
Whether it’s before you even hit the sheets like Zoe Saldana or first thing when you wake up like Gwyneth Paltrow, a long relaxing soak in an Epsom salt bath is an easy and entirely luxurious way to reduce a hangover. Epsom salts help draw out toxins from the skin and can sooth that thumping headache by relaxing swollen blood vessels and relieving pressure from the head.
Be kind to yourself
If you have the luxury of time and energy in your day, try to keep yourself in some semblance of normality. Get up and have a shower. Wash the smell of last night out of your hair. Pick up the mess you made while stumbling your way to bed. Open the windows and let that fresh air in. Take deep breaths, fill your lungs right up and exhale everything out. If all you’re up to doing is staying in bed and sleeping / catching up on your favourite box set, do it and don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t add extra mental stress to your already vulnerable state. Laugh at all the funny and happy moments from last night – remember why the hangover was worth it in the first place.
Story by Jasmine Turvey.