PARTY PROOF YOUR SKIN FOR CINCO DE MAYO
Cinco de Mayo commemorates the spectacular May 5, 1862 victory of the Mexican Army over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. Short version: Mexico crushed France in a matter of hours, although the Mexican troops were wildly outnumbered. Even if your knowledge of the historical events ends there, Cinco de Mayo makes for a pretty irresistible occasion to hoist a few salty margaritas, icy cervezas, mind-bending mezcal, or a flight of powerful tequila shots. Good times, but if you overdo it – especially if you blend all of these bevvies--your skin and head won’t love you in the morning.
No reason to be a party-pooper, as long as you’ve got a designated driver lined up. In that fun-loving spirit, here’s how to conquer the evidence of a hangover after even the loudest, longest fiesta.
DRINK WATER to restore your hydration
Alcohol is notoriously dehydrating. The fact that bar-snacks are always super-salty adds to the problem. One way to prevent your skin from shriveling to a post-party crisp is to drink water while you’re slamming down those south-of-the-border cocktails. Ideally, pace yourself one-to-one—one glass of water for every stronger beverage-- as the night goes on. Doing this also helps prevent the cottonmouth and skull-pounding headache that linger long after the mariachis have warbled Buenas Noches. After the fact, sip water throughout the next day as the alcohol leaves your system. Sports- or energy-drinks containing electrolytes replace lost minerals, but skip brands that contain caffeine. Skip coffee for the same reason, since caffeine is a diuretic that will force more fluids from the body.
CALM INFLAMMATION with cleansing and cold
The dawning of May 6 may find your skin feeling hot and puffy, and maybe even looking a bit red because your capillaries are working double-time to flush out those high-test toxins from last night’s cantina-crawl. Alcohol kicks up an inflammatory reaction, slowing down the ability of cells to release the waste-products that have collected in your tissues, so you feel and look sluggish.
In Mexico, the traditional hangover cure is a nice, big, steaming bowl of menudo (tripe stew) at daybreak. Hmmm, not so much? To put your skin back on the road to recovery, start by washing your face. Sleeping in your makeup is always a no-no, and Cinco de Mayo is no exception.
Try a foaming liquid cleanser that de-toxes with antioxidant Green Tea Oil, and also gently exfoliates with a botanical Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) like Apple Fruit Extract. Whisking away shed cells, sweat and grime from the surface of your skin will allow those plugged pores to release their cache of built-up toxins, helping skin recover from the Cinco-assault. Cleansing and exfoliating can also help prevent blemishes from popping up a day or two later.
After cleansing, ice down your face to de-puff your eyes. Newsflash from the frozen food aisle: a big bag of frozen peas works wonders as an emergency ice-pack, since the bag becomes flexible after a few minutes as the peas begin to thaw.
COMPENSATE FOR LOST SLEEP with a sheet-mask
Happy Hour Trivia: the word “groggy” comes from “grog”, the watered-down rum rations of the British Royal Navy.
Alcohol is a trickster. Throwing back a few strong ones may make you sleepy enough to hit the futon pronto, but when you’re catching some Z-Z-Z-Z-Z-Zs under the influence, your Rapid Eye Movement (REM) activity will be upset. So, your quality of sleep will be poor. You may wake frequently, and still feel groggy even after several hours in bed.
Since there is no magic substitute for real sleep, chill out under a sheet mask. Look for masks containing skin-plumping Hyaluronic Acid, and energizing stem-cell extracts from Peach Blossom, Moon Orchid, and Ice Plant. Pair with a disco-nap (15-20 minutes)! Then peel off the mask, gently pat any remaining serum into your skin, and return to the land of the living feeling almost-human.
RE-ENERGIZE with peptides and botanicals
Boozing, especially when combined with the cigarette smoke that billows through lots of happening bars and nightspots, not to mention salty, processed food, triggers massive oxidative stress in the body. This oxidation leads to cellular damage that we experience as the aging process. If you look in the mirror the morning after a hard night, then it’s time to bust out the skin treatments containing peptides and mild botanical astringents like White Oak Bark, to instantly tighten up pores and uplift partied-out skin. Targeted treatment products perform like “shapewear” for the skin, boosting and firming up even tired eyes. When choosing a treatment product, also pick ingredients that are high in antioxidants, like Acai Fruit Extract, to fight the free radicals that stream onto your skin at your local watering-hole and in the world at large. The result: rested, hydrated complexion that lights up the cantina.
Cheers to that!