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How to Avoid a "Complexion Hangover"

Alcohol Can Wreak Havoc on Your Skin, Too

'Tis the season…for eating…and drinking.

We’re all aware of the effects drinking can have on our health, but that doesn’t stop most of us from overindulging during the party season. What many people don’t realize is that drinking alcohol in excess can have a negative impact on our appearance, too. Alcohol dehydrates your body including the skin--and this happens every time you drink. Extra cocktails can be adding years to your face in the form of wrinkles, poor texture and  lack of radiance.

We reached out to Dr. Gretchen Frieling, a Boston area Board-Certified Dermatopathologist for her top tips for avoiding a holiday hangover...

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1. Stay hydrated.

Aside from giving up booze altogether, Dr. Frieling says it is possible to minimize the unwanted effects of alcohol by constantly staying hydrated. “That means drinking a full glass of water for every cocktail you have. Drink even more water before you go to bed to flush the alcohol out of your system so you wake up less dehydrated, puffy and flushed,” she advises.

2. Take care of your skin before bed.

Taking care of your skin before hitting the sack is also crucial. Dr. Frieling advises fully washing your face and then applying a moisturizer, like a hydrating serum before getting into bed. “Sleeping with dirty skin makes it prone to clogged pores and acne.”

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3. Prop pillows and use tea.

One of the best ways to minimize the eye and face puffiness is to sleep on two pillows, slightly propped up. In the morning, rubbing ice cubes all over your face helps, too. “One of the best ways to deflate eye puffiness and reduce the redness is to place cold tea bags over the eyes. The tannins in the tea help constrict blood vessels,” adds Dr. Frieling.

4. Cover up what you can’t cure.

To camouflage the redness in the face, use a green-tinted primer before applying makeup, which should help neutralize any redness. If you must use foundation, look for a lightweight, moisturizing formula. Avoid powders, as they are often more drying.

5. Consider lasers.

When at-home remedies aren’t making much of a difference. There are pricier measures you can take to minimize the effects of alcohol. “Certain laser treatments can reduce redness and spider veins on the face. It’s important to see someone who is well trained to administer the laser treatment,” suggests Dr. Frieling.

6. Choose your booze wisely.

If you are going to consume alcohol know that different alcohols have different effects on the skin, but as a general rule, the clearer, the better. Vodka, gin, and tequila leave your system quicker. “If you’re going to drink anything, drink vodka that doesn’t have a grain in it, like potato vodka. It’s a lot clearer and smoother, so it gets in and out of your body quickly,” says Dr. Frieling. Most dermatologists agree that although everyone metabolizes alcohol differently if you can remember to drink in moderation and stay hydrated, you can save your skin.

This is not sponsored post. Tips by Dr. Gretchen Frieling.

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