Whether locals, residents or tourists, the Middle East is home to a huge mix of cultures and people. Such diversity means the region’s relationship with alcohol is complex and varied, but one thing’s for sure: regular alcohol consumption can leave your skin looking the worse for wear. But don’t panic just yet – even if your calendar is looking jam-packed with activities and events that might lead to an Aperol spritz or five, (ahem, brunch, we’re looking at you), here’s how to keep your skin in tip-top condition.

Hydration is key

Speaking to Dr. Catherine Carney of Delamere (a private addiction rehabilitation clinic) on the relationship between alcohol and skin, she explained, “Alcohol dehydrates the body, which is what leaves you feeling unwell the following day.” Before going on to say, “This is reflected by the skin – with dehydrated skin often appearing dull and lacking in colour – and will often result in dryness. This can also lead to loss of elasticity and volume, leaving people who regularly binge drink to look much older than their years.”Our advice? Drink plenty of water and drench skin with thirst-quenching formulas that contain hydrating and nourishing ingredients like avocado or hyaluronic acid. When applying hyaluronic acid, don’t forget to apply to damp skin! We love prepping for our hangover skincare routine with a cooling mist like Avene’s Thermal Spring Water Spray. Dr Carney also recommends taking regular water breaks between alcoholic beverages, “as well as drinking water before bed and first thing in the morning”.

Shine bright

Not looking as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as you’d like to? Alcohol consumption can wreak havoc on your sleeping pattern. Dr Carney explains it like this: “Alcohol leads to less time spent in REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which is a vital restorative sleep stage that the body requires”.But that’s not all – she then goes on to say, “Excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to causing poor sleep quality and negatively impacts sleep duration, leaving people looking and feeling tired the day after consuming alcohol.”

Alcohol-induced fatigue aside, drinking can also cause your blood vessels to dilate, which causes circles to look darker and eyes to look puffier. Of course, reducing your alcohol intake is the best way to combat these effects, but the Peter Thomas Roth Instant FirmX Eye does a phenomenal job of temporarily lifting and depuffing the eye area. Huda Beauty’s #FauxFilter Luminous Matte Buildable Coverage Crease Proof Concealer is another must-have in your post-booze arsenal – it conditions skin with vitamin E while brightening, blurring and correcting.

Listen to your skin

Don’t forget, everyone’s skin is different. If you already suffer with certain skin conditions like acne or rosacea, you might want to think twice before your next glass of wine.“Alcohol is a known trigger of rosacea flare-ups as”, says Dr Carney. As it causes blood vessels to dilate, it allows for more blood to flow, which leads to redder-looking skin.“Certain alcoholic beverages are thought to cause more severe flare ups of the condition, with red and white wine being the most common triggers. Although not a direct cause of the long-term chronic condition, reducing alcohol intake will have an impact on reducing the amount of, or severity of, flare ups.”While alcohol consumption does not directly cause acne, it can trigger breakouts and flare-ups.“Alcohol directly affects hormone levels in the body, which causes skin to produce more sebum – an oily substance that is naturally found on the skin. Overproduction of sebum can cause skin to become oilier, leading to pores becoming blocked and subsequently causing breakouts on the skin.”

Straight from the expert

Water-guzzling and concealer-slathering aside, Dr Carney gives us the real low-down on how to get your pre-prosecco glow back: “The body, and skin especially, have amazing regenerative properties. Depending on the severity of the damage caused to the skin by alcohol, this damage may be reversible if you act within enough time. Reducing your alcohol consumption, or cutting out alcohol completely, will have a huge positive impact on your skin.”