How Not To Die From A Hangover

Celebrated Friday like it was your last night on Earth (and prosecco was about to be discontinued)? Us too. But fear not: pop a paracetamol and down some water for your head. Here’s how to fix the rest...  

1. The Throat Hangover 

So, they played Rihanna’s Work last night, and sure, you only understand half the lyrics, but you lost your sh*t to it anyway—and now you sound like one of Bart Simpson’s aunts. “Both shouting and drinking alcohol can irritate the muscles in the throat and cause them to swell. Swelling is what causes your sore throat and husky voice the next day,” explains Dr Adam Simon, Chief Medical Officer at pushdoctor.co.uk. “Gargling warm salt water (no more than half a teaspoon in a standard glass of room-temperature H2O) is the best way to reduce swelling.” A more hangover-friendly option is a hot shower—steam helps to rehydrate your throat and makes it feel less scratchy. 

If you find yourself having to speak, do instant damage control by drinking plenty of fluids. Chamomile tea acts as an anti-inflammatory and reduces throat pain. Ditto with ginger and peppermint tea. Add a splash of honey—which works as a ‘hyprtonic osmotic’ (oh yeah, you’re fancy)—to help drain water away from inflamed tissue, easing the ouch.

2. The Heels Hangover

As a woman who doesn’t give up easily, last night you made a commitment to your highest heels. Now you’re walking like John Wayne. Due to the unnatural position those Christian Louboutin beauties cause our bodies to adopt, you overcompensate for being tilted forward by leaning back—which wrecks havoc on your lower back, knees and ankles, says Dipesh Raja, Podiatrist and Director of London’s Footopia clinic. The calf muscle in the back of the leg contracts too, with more pressure being placed on the balls of her feet. 

To counteract your cowboy walk, roll your foot over a cold can, massaging intermittently. “Swelling occurs when blood vessels are open, so placing your feet over something chilled will cause the vessels to constrict and ease your pain,” explains Raja.

Stretching is also key, and naturally our favourite stretch is one you can do sitting down. Sit upright in a chair and, one leg at a time, write your name in the air with your big toe, advises Raja. This also helps to break down any lactic acid, which can cause cramps.

Lastly, run a warm bath to relieve muscle tension and add a dash of Epsom salt, just like your mom would. If there’s still pain after two days, see a podiatrist—you could have a sneaky stress fracture or deep contusions (such as bone bruises).

3.The Skin Hangover

Face feeling as fresh as your post—‘This round’s on me, guys!’ bank balance? Try slurping a green powder mix or juice—antioxidants are key to neutralising blotchy skin and a puffy face (think avocado, pomegranate, and wheatgrass). Sleeping on two or more pillows also helps drain excess fluid away from your face, advises Dr Rabia Malik, a cosmetic and skincare specialist at the Grace Belgravia Clinic in London. 

“Moisturisers and cloth face masks with Vitamin E or hyaluronic acid are also great after a night out,” says Dr Malik. Follow with a colour corrector—“A green-tinted concealer will disguise redness, and lilac is spot-on for brightening the under-eye area. Peachy, orange tones work best on dark skin.” Finish with brightening concealer on the crease below the eye bag to make the area look flatter. Then breathe—nobody will ever know you high-fived the milkman on your way home.

4.The EYE Hangover

Uh-oh—passed out in your contact lenses? “Essentially, lenses are a foreign object placed onto the eye, trapping in bacteria,” says Dr Wayne Crewe-Brown, Founder of Crewe-Brown Vision in London. Your eye is also deprived of oxygen when you conk out in your contacts, leading to redness and irritation. Give them a rest by sticking to specs the next day.

Got 20/20 vision but still feeling post-party sight strain? Dehydration causes itchy eyes, and a lack of sleep may produce excess oils that compromise the tear film, also leading to irritation. Dr Crewe-Brown recommends over-the-counter lubricating eye drops—and teabags soaked in cold water and placed over the eyes work well too (plus, they contain a sneaky caffeine hit that reduces swelling). Now, time to order a curry and pray you didn’t Snapchat anything too raging. Gulp.