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It’s Sylly Week… So Why Is My Skin Suffering?

It’s been a week’s worth of going out, getting drunk, and bad skin. You know what I’m talking about. The frat party the night before with drunk, sweaty bodies pressed too close to each other with occasional beer cans spilling left and right. Out of nowhere beer somehow gets on you, some drunk guy is trying to get at you… you’re just trying to enjoy your night regardless of all the chaos going on around you. It’s sylly week, why wouldn’t you? Eventually, you manage to get back to your place and you just go and knock out.

And in the morning—besides the obvious feeling of being hungover—you look in the mirror and barely recognize yourself. Maybe it’s a combination of the lack of sleep you got due to staying out late that last night with the excessive consumption of alcohol, or  it’s the dread that comes with having to go to class that makes you feel like absolute crap. 

Nonetheless, your t-zone is just breaking in pimples and the rest of your face is all dry. The alcohol is dehydrating your skin and your hormones have been affected, causing your t-zone (which happens to be acne prone as a result of alcohol in your system) to have these small flare-ups the next day. So…how do you help yourself?


It happens—we all forget to drink (enough) water when we’re drinking alcohol. And the amount of times we’re running to the bathroom throughout the night of drinking isn’t balancing out with how much water we’re taking in either. Even if you did manage to drink a sufficient amount of water the night before, make sure chugging some water is the first thing you’re doing when you wake up especially if you’re hungover. The alcohol still sits in your system causing you to be dehydrated, and obviously, your skin, too, will be dealing with the consequences.

Step 2: Take Care with Skin Care

1. Cleanse

Wash your face with your facial cleanser. In this case, though, I recommend using a product with AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) since your skin has less moisture after a night drinking and AHA will help your skin repair and retain moisture for the rest of your day. The AHA will help get rid of dead skin.

Keep in mind, though, that certain products will work best for certain people depending on skin type since this varies person from to person. Do you have dry, oily, or combination skin? Either way, at the least, washing with cold water—instead of hot since that’ll only dry out your skin more—will help retain moisture after that long night out. 

2. Tone

Tone your skin! Right after a cleanse, I typically would recommend a hydrating and pore-tightening face masks, but considering you’re most likely in a rush the next morning and wanted those extra 15 minutes to sleep in, go ahead and skip to toning. Toner is super important to help set the rest of your skin care. I recommend using a hydrating toner (my personal favorite is the Rose Water Facial Spray from Trader’s Joes). The toner will help your skin absorb other products you apply later.

3. Spot Treatment

Use spot treatments for any acne (i.e. acne spot stickers, Neutrogena spot treatment) since it keeps the treatment localized to the problem instead of the entirety of your face! Since acne products dry out the skin, applying it all over your face wouldn’t help the dehydrated skin, so only target your problem spots. Any other treatments that you implement in your daily skin-care are also applicable at this step.

4. Serums

Use a serum of your liking since they vary slightly and emphasize different treatments. In this case, a hyaluronic acid facial serum would work best since it is meant for moisturizing due to it pulling water to the surface of your skin and helping it stay hydrated.

5. Moisturizer

Apply your favorite moisturizer for the day to help settle and lock everything else in, too.

6. Sun Screen

Simple. Sunscreen always before you leave the house, this will help keep treatments on your face from interacting harshly with the UV rays — rain or shine!

7. Optional: Make-Up!

Top off everything by going through whatever makeup routine you do. Or completely skip this step and bask in your natural beauty for the day and let your face breathe. Either way, you’ll carry on fine.

Though you may feel tired and hungover, your skin will feel more revitalized and hydrated—which is one thing that makes me feel a lot better after a rough night out. 

Kayla Ishisaki

Washington '21

Undergraduate student at UW Seattle.
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