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How to deal with your ‘morning after’ face in four easy steps

Former Blue Peter presenter and ageing expert Stuart Miles shares his tips for keeping fresh-faced.

By Will Stroude

Ever looked in the mirror with a hangover to be greeted by a ghostlike image that partly resembles your face, had you been dug up and hit with a shovel?  

You feel all kinds of grim inside and your face really tells the story. You may feel rubbish on the inside but what you need is a quick fix for your skin in the morning. That way you can face the world looking, if not feeling your best!

Why you need an effective morning after skincare routine:

Alcohol causes dry puffy redness to our faces. The problem is it dehydrates us which causes the body to store water in the skin and around the face which is why you look puffy.

Areas around your eyes and in particular your upper eyelid will be affected. We try to slap on miracle creams to our face and around our eyes, desperate for a morning after quick fix.

The thing is, alcohol affects our lymphatic system, the major cleansing and irrigation system of your skin, so what we actually need to do is really get that moving so the body can detoxify the skin from the inside.

Meanwhile, we need to be gentle and nurture the skin from the outside which will have been under stress. A kickstart from the inside and a gentle nurturing from the outside will help your skin recover in the quickest time possible.

What to do for a skin hangover:

This is my simple 4-step morning-after skincare routine to reinvigorate your skin.

1) When you first wake up you need to improve the flow of lymph fluid and a really simple way to do this is by using a hot steaming flannel. Heat the flannel by dousing it in really hot water and then when it is steaming apply it directly over the face for a minute.

2) Next, apply an intensively moisturising face mask for sensitive skin for 5 minutes. 

A single night of overindulgence with alcohol can leave your skin excessively dry for days on end. When hungover your skin is also more sensitive to irritants it would normally resist so it’s important to treat it gently. 

Look for a facemask that says any of these key words-natural, organic, soothing, nurturing and gentle. Don’t go for a deep cleansing facemask as they could be too harsh for your skin which is already stressed and reddened from the night before. Rinse off whilst you shower.

3) When you have finished showering douse a flannel in really ice-cold water and lay it on the face for another minute.

This will improve the blood circulation and kick start your lymph fluid to help reduce puffiness. It will also trap the moisture in your skin so the effectiveness of the face mask will last. This ice-cold flannel will also help de puff your eye area.

4) Finally, take a cotton wool pad doused in an eye lotion containing some witch-hazel and other soothing ingredients to tone and revitalise your tired eyes.

You may have your own favourite eye product but make sure to use a tightening gel or liquid and not a cream first thing. This will help start the lymph drainage to further reduce puffiness.

So no need to hide away in dark glasses and a baseball cap after a heavy night anymore. This kick start to your morning skincare routine will leave your skin revitalised and fresh and allow you to go about your day knowing that your skin is looking your best, despite what’s going on inside.

Stuart Miles is the founder of and the UK’s leading ageing expert. Follow him on Twitter @Stuart_Miles.