So the festivities came and went. And you might have eaten more than your fair share of bak kwa and pineapple tarts. Or sipped countless alcoholic concoctions over late night mahjong marathons with friends. But in the light of day the week after – you’re looking at some puffiness, dullness and a bleary reflection staring back at you in the mirror. If you’re desperate for a semblance of your regular self (maybe even in time for other parties in the near future), this might be a good time to contemplate a detox.
WHAT TO DRINK:
Like Derek Zoolander said, “Water is the essence of wetness, and wetness is the essence of beauty!” The first step in your recovery process should be hydration. We don’t need to tell you that hydrating internally is the most effective way to renew your skin and maintain optimum moisture after all the alcohol. Try eating your water if downing it is not up your alley. Focus on water-rich foods like watermelon, cucumber and cantaloupe for a boost of hydration. So, if there’s one thing you should commit to in this list, make it this one!
Blend a smoothie – and I promise, no kale in this one. Add a frozen banana, handful of strawberries and a drizzle of honey to a cup of almond milk. Ice will do if you don’t have time to freeze the fruits. The Vitamin E from almond milk helps in maintaining skin health, whilst the Amino Acid from bananas strengthens its elasticity. Strawberries are rich in Vitamin C (fights free radicals that steal oxygen from healthy cells and destroy collagen – goodbye pronounced lines!), Dietary Fiber (preventing potential acne and pimples caused by constipation) and Folic Acid (cell generating). When I’m feeling extra AF, I add a heaping spoonful or more of Moon Juice Tocotrienols Powder to my smoothies – for a ‘super’ concentrated source of Vitamin E, D and antioxidant. It makes everything taste creamier AND has tissue generating and inflammation taming properties.
To flush out all the nasty toxins, mix equal portions (2 tablespoons) of Apple Cider Vinegar and lemon juice into a cup of warm water. Then add sliced or ground ginger and as an option, some honey. I recommend drinking this through a straw to prevent the acids from eroding your enamels. For a just add boiling water option, sip some Pukka Cleanse Tea. This organic and caffeine-free infusion has FairWild nettle leaves, dandelion roots, fennel seeds, peppermint and aloe vera to help you “sparkle and glow”.
After the extended long weekend fending off all those prying questions from pesky relatives, we don’t blame you if you felt you deserved all that alcohol! But after drinking your body weight in multiple boozy concoctions, it might be best to give it a rest for as long as you can. Alcohol inhibits your anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) – this is what causes you to pee more than usual when you’re drinking. And as you’re losing all that moisture, the alcohol also slows down your body’s reabsorption of water. And if that’s not bad enough, alcohol is also guilty of decreasing the body’s level of Vitamin A, hindering cell renewal and growth. All in all, not a good look as you stare at your tired and sallow selfie in the mirror the next morning (or afternoon). However, if you really can’t help a tipple, make it a “cleaner” one like a Vodka Soda, which has 96 calories. Our founder Nicolas likes sipping Don Julio Añejo on the rocks (only 69 calories!).
WHAT TO EAT:
To recalibrate your eating and get back on course, focus on meals with greens, lean protein, unrefined whole grains and healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil and nuts. Eggs have B12 for fighting fatigue and asparagus has Vitamin K for brain function. I tweaked this Bonappetit recipe, to exclude leeks (didn’t have any in the fridge) and substituted the butter (detoxing, remember?) with a teeny drizzle of olive oil.
Glowing skin starts from within, so eliminating trigger food groups even for a few short weeks WILL make a difference to your skin (and that will hopefully spur you on to keep at it). But how does your sugar intake affect your skin exactly, especially if you’re prone to spots and blemishes? Studies have demonstrated that the insulin in sugar is likely to increase sebum production and make pores more visible. And sugar also promotes inflammation and continues to aggravate acne.
Now I think we all know how bad sugar is for us, but it’s so addictive and is basically hidden everywhere – making it near impossible to give up totally. But being conscious by reading food labels and learning all the 56 different names that sugar lurks behind helps you make a more informed choice of what you put in your body. Trust me, it will do wonders for your skin! I can personally attest to this as I gave it up for 6 months and it aided the recovery of my massive breakout sesh.
WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR SKIN:
Even though you got in late, don’t turn in without first double-cleansing the makeup off your face. Then swipe on a chemical exfoliant that works by sloughing away at the build-up of dead skin cells. Acids such as glycolic and salicylic that are normally found in chemical exfoliants are less harsh on the skin than a physical exfoliant, to rid your skin of fine lines and blocked pores. Bask in your glorious baby-soft skin for a couple of minutes, before topping off with your favourite serum and moisturizer. What I’m really liking at the moment is Tatcha’s Water Cream and our 1A Overnight Mask. For a lazy shortcut option, haphazardly arrange a sheet mask like Banobagi Vita Genic Relaxing Jelly Mask on your face. For additional reinforcements to puffy eyes, apply soaked chamomile tea bags followed by chilled eye cream to the under eye area.
WHEN TO SLEEP:
This is hardly a secret – if you don’t snooze, you lose. Your body repairs itself and optimizes cell production as you sleep. All the expensive night creams and serums are only going to work better when you clock in at least 6-8 hours a night. Establishing a good sleep hygiene will take years off – I recommend incorporating breathing exercises with the help of an application like Headspace, a soothing night-time tea like Pukka Herbs Night Time Tea or Floradix St. John’s Wort Organic Herb Tea, and a spritz of Lavender Oil on your pillows. If you’ve managed to skip much of your sleep and woke up with half your makeup smeared on the pillow (it’s okay, it happens to the best of us) – wash off the rest of the makeup first, and remedy all the wear and tear with our leave-on 1A All-Day Mask the morning after. Your skin will thank you!
And now that you’re all detoxed, it’s time for the next party, right?