The hangover. The dreaded post-celebration disorder; which involves a slow and painful death typically incurred by excessive consumption of alcohol and a bad sense of judgement. An ailment; which is at high risk during the festive period and can leave many people crawling their way into the new year in hopes for a clean slate. Symptoms usually involve sore heads, unquenchable thirst, insatiable desire for junk food and an extreme lack of mobility. Those who partake in Christmas celebrations often ignore the signs and further indulge in another glass (or bottle), because getting sloshed is pretty much what Christmas is all about.
It’s times like this that I look back at my youth and wonder how I was able to consume that much alcohol without the slightest glimpse of a hangover. Now that I’m in my thirties – that shit takes me two days, a constant flow of trash tv, a full body massage, a mental breakdown, an overdosing on pain killers and a large pizza with extra cheese. If only I could turn back the clock to a happier time. A time when life was simple. A time when everything made sense. A time (just before I ordered my last shot) when I can just walk away…with the tiniest bit of dignity. Unfortunately, that’s never going to happen and neither will my sense of judgement be improved so for now I’ll live with the fact that I turn into a a raging lunatic when it comes to Christmas.
It’s the general consensus that doing any kind of manual labour during the period of a hangover is simply not on. Many women would shudder at the thought of a full beauty routine when they feel as though their lives are hanging on by the last strand of tinsel. Normally I would agree, but I’ve learnt that a little bit of TLC can cut my hangover time by half. I’m not talking full spa days or bikini waxes. I’m talking a slight bit of pampering to scrape off the remnants of last night’s makeup and make you feel SLIGHTLY human again. Of course – trash tv and engaging in any sort of human interaction is at your discretion.
Here’s my non-strenuous routine…
Taking off the cake face
When I’ve stumbled into the house, greasy kebab in tow, the last thing I think about is taking off my makeup. I know I come across as a complete skincare advocate, but once in a while I give myself a break and enjoy the prospect of waking up with lipstick smeared across my forehead. Sounds awful to hear, but if it’s not a regular occurrence who cares?!
To rid myself of last night’s shame I turn to Hard Candy’s Take It Off makeup remover and Garnier’s Micellar Cleaning Water. The makeup remover literally ‘melts’ off my makeup (even stubborn waterproof mascara). It certainly beats scrubbing away at my face with a makeup wipe or going in with a facial brush. Garnier’s Micellar Cleaning Water is a lazy girl’s best friend when it comes to cleansing. I soak a cotton pad with the solution and swipe it all over my face and neck after I’ve removed my makeup. The micellar water literally ‘sucks’ out the dirt from your pores and removes anything the makeup remover leaves behind. Your skin feels fresh and clean without having to go through a huge skincare routine.
Scrubbing away the dirt
My most strenuous, yet satisfying part of my routine. Exfoliating, for me, means ridding myself of the toxins, dirt and shame from the night before. It makes me feel new again, like I’ve shed a layer of skin. Sounds like an awful analogy, but putting in that little bit of effort to exfoliate your skin will make you feel whole again.
Soap and Glory’s Smoothie Star Breakfast Scrub has been a permanent staple in my bathroom for quite some time. It’s perhaps not the best scrub to use considering that I’m sensitive to smells during a hangover, but I absolutely love the texture. I pop myself into the bath, dampen my skin slightly and scrub away the grime from the night before.
Float in the bath
Experts say that a good soak in the tub does wonders for your overall health and wellbeing; such as lowering blood pressure, reducing stress, improving blood circulation and so on. That’s a statement I certainly agree with and when I get the opportunity, I plonk myself in a tub full of bubbles and let the world drift away. When I’m hungover, a good soak in the bath can do wonders for releasing the toxins and relaxing your muscles that, quite frankly, have been abused the night before. A nice, warm bath allows your mind, body and soul to unwind and de-stress; which sounds ridiculous when you think about it, but excessive drinking can cause mayhem for your body so relaxation is exactly what you need.
Being a bit of a bath enthusiast I have an array of relaxing smellies; which get me in the mood for drifting away. Molton Brown’s Relaxing Yuan Zhi Bath and Shower contains Yuan Zhi, a wild plant from the southern region of China; which is traditionally used to balance your Chi (energy). It contains moisturising and soothing properties to combat stress, promote relaxation and ease tension – perfect for washing away the booze from the night before.
Add the moisture back into your skin
You know, I know, my next door neighbour knows, and their cat knows that I LOVE coconut oil. For me, my home is not complete without a jar of this stuff. Coconut oil has a multitude of uses, all of which are too lengthy to list individually. However, when it comes to hangovers, coconut oil is your best antidote.
Oil pulling, in particular, is one of the best natural hangover cures out there. A tablespoon swished around your mouth and through your teeth draws out the harmful toxins from your body and removes the impurities ingested from the night before. Lathering your body in coconut oil, fresh out of the bath, can also do wonders for your hangover. Excessive drinking causes dehydration; which is greatly visible in your skin. Adding moisture back into your skin is essential for re-adding that youthful bounce and you can’t get more moisturising than coconut oil. Unlike many moisturisers on the market, coconut oil also absorbs quickly into the multiple layers of the skin; which means less time getting ready and more time lounging around being a slob.
Don’t be particular about the coconut oil that you use, any will do provided that it’s 100% organic and unrefined. My current favourite is Vita Coco Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil; which I get from Amazon.
Add a sheet mask for instant hydration
The skin on your face should never be treated as same as the skin on the rest of your body. The skin on your face is far more delicate, far more sensitive and requires far more attention than the robust skin on your body. However, like I mentioned earlier, I’m not up for strenuous routines when I’m hanging. In situations like this, a sheet mask is a life saver.
Much like my bath products, I have a collection of sheet masks to choose from. Most sheet masks are used for intense hydration so picking which one to use isn’t a difficult decision. However, on a recent trip to Boots, I noticed that the Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Masks were reduced down to 99p! I quickly gathered a couple (10…I got 10) and added them to my collection for days like these when I really need some deep moisturisation. These masks promise to add intense hydration in just 15 minutes, just enough time for you to get your Dominos order in. They’re slightly thinner than your average sheet mask, but the amount of serum that is included perhaps exceeds the amount which you really need for one use. Nevertheless, this mask is exactly what you need to add a bit of life back to your face, because let’s face it – none of us look particularly delightful after a night of drinking. Excessive alcohol draws out moisture from the skin, adds deep pigmentation around the eyes and exaggerates fine lines and wrinkles. Once you remove the mask, pat in the remaining serum around your face and you’ll feel like a new person by the time that delivery guy rings the doorbell.
Add some more coconut oil
You would think by now that I would’ve left the coconut oil alone, but alas, I’m not done yet. Upon a recent trip to TK MAXX (TJ MAXX for my American readers), I discovered the Pearlessence Coconut Water Facial Mist. I absolutely loved scouring the shelves of TK MAXX to find little beauty discoveries; which aren’t as widely available in the UK. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to locate the facial spray on the internet so I have no link to share with you, but I suggest heading down to your local TK MAXX, where you will find it in abundance.
When I’m hungover, I bundle myself in a blanket, crank up the heating and wallow in my own self pity. Whilst that sounds like complete bliss, it’s also very bad for the skin. I keep a bottle of this facial spray on hand so that I continuously add moisture back into my skin; which can dry out due to excessive heat. It’s not greasy by any means and despite its moisturising capabilities, it’s actually quite absorbent.
Veg out and chill
We finally made it! I know my routine looks lengthy, but I promise it takes me no more than 45 minutes to complete.
It’s now time to put your feet up, veg out with some junk food, put aside any important tasks you needed to complete and switch off until you’re ready to do it all again. Oh how I love Christmas!