An evening’s bar-hopping comes at a price – the next day. Waking up with palpable dread after a ‘post-work beer’, and having to stagger into the office with baggy eyes and whisky breath is the last thing you need ahead of wooing a potential client, or an appraisal with your boss.
But is there a solution beyond the usual, thoroughly unhelpful “don’t get drunk in the first place”? Well, yes. Next time you’ve got a case of the ol’ delirium tremens, deploy a few of these face-saving hacks to stay (or at least look) alert and refreshed at the office.
Rehydration Is The Key
Grooming is a lot like chess: to beat your problem, you’ve got to understand it. In the case of a hangover, knowing what’s happened to your body helps us understand which quick fixes to apply.
“The main cause of a hangover is ethanol, which is a toxic chemical,” says Dr Sarah Jarvis, medical advisor to Drinkaware. “It’s a diuretic, which means it makes you go to the toilet more and you can become dehydrated as a result.”
Breaking the seal during a night out, so to speak, is a direct harbinger of a hangover to come. The fix once it arrives? Lots of water and rehydration salts like Dioralyte.
Dioralyte Blackcurrant (6 Sachets), available at Boots, priced £3.79.
“Mild dehydration occurs when we lose about 1 per cent of our body weight in water,” says Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of Nutrition and Dietetics at King’s College London. “Losing 2 per cent or more actually reduces cognitive function.”
When you’re staring aimlessly at the screen in work, it means you’re a few shades lighter thanks to all the water lost. That’s why the most common advice to get one up on a hangover is to drink lots of water; to replenish that weight lost from your skin and internal organs.
While the water’s working its way round, try swapping your second coffee for peppermint tea, as Northumbria University found peppermint boosted both short- and long-form cognition – not to mention helps mask the whisky breath.
(Birthday) Suit Up
Severe dehydration hits the skin hardest, causing your birthday suit to age prematurely and depriving it of vitamins and minerals needed for healthy-looking skin.
According to Sanders, spots, blemishes, crow’s feet and puffy eyes are the unfortunate visible results over time. For a temporary fix the morning after, fight back with a rehydrating moisturiser like Lab Series Water Lotion.
Lab Series Water Lotion, available at Lookfantastic, priced £26.
Catch A Cold
Once the moisturiser’s soaked in, try this quick, cheap pre-work skincare gambit. To freshen up your face, subject it to icy temperatures by applying freezing cold water or ice packs.
Just as a hot shower opens up your pores, cold water snaps them shut, temporarily tightening up the skin and consigning puffy eyes to the afternoon. It’s enough to get you through that 10 o’clock, at any rate.
Instant Ice Packs, available at Amazon, priced £13.29 for 20.
Sweat Hot American Summer
When you hit the booze too hard it can increase the body’s temperature, leading to decreased blood pressure and sweating. It usually impacts during the night, but it’s not uncommon for the beer sweats to carry on into the workday.
Ethanol is absorbed by the whole body if enough alcohol is consumed, which is why your hangover perspiration will often carry a distinctive, tell-tale reek as you sweat out the sauce.
Lighter, summer fabrics such as linens or seersuckers should help regulate your body temp during the day, as they hang loose and away from the skin. A generous dose of antiperspirant spray should take care of the rest.