How To Prevent Skin From Holiday Hangover Damage

There are so many great things to look forward to this time of year, and holiday parties are undoubtedly one of them. But the problem with sipping on all of those Candy Cane Martinis and Hot Buttered Rums is the havoc the alcohol could wreak on your skin. So before you start your holiday party-hopping, make sure you know some of the ways to prevent your skin from hangover damage. That way, you can enjoy your drinks (and the party) stress-free. To find out some of the best ways to keep your skin healthy and hydrated all holiday season, I emailed with an expert.

Toni McKinnon, Director of Health & Science Education and R&D Clinical Research Nurse for USANA Health Sciences, Inc., let me know that while the only way to truly prevent a hangover and hangover damage is to not drink at all, there are still other methods that will help mitigate the effects of alcohol on your skin. After all, nobody wants a side of dry and inflamed skin with her holiday cocktail. So you don't have to give up your favorite party drink in favor of smooth and hydrated skin, here are four ways to prevent damage to your skin from a holiday hangover:

1. Drink More Water

According to McKinnon, alcohol is a diuretic, which means it is dehydrating. Drinking enough water will therefore not only minimize your hangover symptoms but also keep your skin hydrated so you won't have to worry as much about post-drinking breakouts or flaky skin. "A good rule of thumb," McKinnon says, "is to have a glass of water in between every drink." If you can also manage another glass before going to bed, your skin will be in much better shape come morning.

2. Supplement Immune Support

USANA Proglucammune, $49, Amazon

When you drink, flush toxins are constantly bombarding your system, explains McKinnon. So the effects of these toxins in your body don't show up on your skin, she recommends taking supplements that boost "healthy liver function and digestion to help support your body's detox system." Because when your immune health is on point, so is your skin.

3. Use Nourishing Skincare

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, $22, Amazon

McKinnon reminds that skin is the largest organ in the body, and drinking alcohol can leave it dehydrated. When your skin becomes dehydrated, it can also become dry, red, or bloated, she explains. So to help reintroduce some moisture into your skin after a night of drinking, McKinnon recommends washing your face and using a nutrient-rich, hydrating moisturizer before going to bed.

4. Change Your Drink Of Choice

If forgoing your holiday-party drinks is not an option, how about switching it up? As sad as it is, McKinnon reveals that those fun cocktails inspired by your favorite treats like s'mores, gingerbread, and apple pie tend to have extremely high sugar content, which actually makes you more prone to having a hangover. What's more is that those mixed drinks that contain refined sugar can actually cause glucose levels to spike and thereby increase inflammation. And that inflammation comes with a whole host of other issues.

She explains, "The inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin that over time may contribute to sagging skin and wrinkles. It can also exacerbate skin conditions like acne and rosacea." Yikes. So if you're trying to keep breakouts and redness under control, limit your sugary cocktails and try to stick to other options like dry wines and straight liquors.

Because even though you don't necessarily need to give up your holiday-party drinks to save your skin, taking these precautions will help you enjoy your cocktails without having to worry about your complexion. And that's something I think we can all drink to.

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