Asian blush, flush, or glow are all terms used to describe a reaction when a person becomes bright red in the face, neck, and upper body after consuming alcohol.
The official term for this reaction is “alcohol flush reaction,” however, the reason why it’s called “Asian blush” is that it’s most prevalent in East Asians, with about a third of the population experiencing the symptoms.
Now, while abstaining from alcohol is the best way to completely prevent this uncomfortable occurrence, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a drink now and again without having to deal with the consequences later.
Enter blush patches, an innovative product that contains ingredients that not only mask the symptoms of redness but also help the body metabolize alcohol and eliminate the culprit chemicals responsible for these symptoms.
Therefore, if you have experienced flushing, blushing, and general discomfort that many others around you don’t seem to get after enjoying a glass of an alcoholic beverage, keep reading.
For this article, we looked at the ingredients in over a dozen patches and narrowed it down to the top three that offer the most effective solution for this condition.
1. Redee Patch
The Redee Patch is a science-backed solution formulated to support the body’s natural process of metabolizing alcohol by targeting the toxic byproduct acetaldehyde.
Skin-repairing antioxidants encourage the production of healthy cells.
Liver-supporting components help eliminate harmful chemicals from alcohol.
Nourishing Vitamin C relieves alcohol-induced flushing without irritating the skin.
Anti-inflammatory components soothe inflammatory proteins and prevent skin reactions.
The Redee patch, should be applied in the upper body area, is formulated with nourishing vitamins such as acai extract, known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, cell-repairing antioxidants, such as vitamin C, and Coenzyme Q10, a component found in human cells that plays an important role in energy production, as well as plant extracts that promote a healthier, and significantly less inflammatory drinking experience.
Another key ingredient in the Redee Patch is milk thistle, a plant known for its liver-supporting properties due to containing silymarin, a group of compounds noted for their ability to inhibit pro-inflammatory proteins and relieve inflammation, swelling, and discomfort.
This action can enhance the liver’s ability to break down and eliminate toxins like acetaldehyde from the body and not just reduce the uncomfortable side effects of alcohol consumption, making the Redee Patch our top choice for addressing Asian flush.
Best For NAC:
Glowless Asian Glow Patch
The Glowless Asian Glow Patch is another fantastic solution for alcohol-induced flushing and redness, as the brand’s formula takes a proactive approach to not only combat the symptoms but also help the body eliminate the toxic chemicals without any discomfort.
Immune-boosting nutrients help the body better cope with the effects of alcohol.
Hydrating properties vitamins help maintain skin moisture levels, preventing dehydration often associated with alcohol consumption.
Fast-acting formula provides quick relief from alcohol-induced flushing and other symptoms.
A long-lasting effect provides sustained release of its beneficial ingredients over several hours, ensuring long-lasting protection and relief from the symptoms of Asian flush.
The Glowless patches are available in three package options, with each patch containing key ingredients that help your body metabolize alcohol.
Some of these include vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules found in alcohol, and encourage them to repair faster.
Additionally, the patches also contain vitamin B12, which further aids in the metabolism of alcohol and reduces its impact on the body, particularly lowering inflammation caused by elevated sugar levels due to drinking and easing the potential of hangovers.
However, the star ingredient in the Glowless patches is NAC, or N-Acetyl Cysteine, a powerful antioxidant that increases the production of glutathione in the body, which will encourage the liver to break down the harmful chemicals in alcohol responsible for flushing and safely eliminate it from the system without any symptoms.
By leveraging these effective ingredients, Glowless’s Asian Glow Patch aims to not only reduce the visible symptoms of Asian Flush but also support the body’s overall health during alcohol consumption, leading to a more enjoyable drinking experience for those affected by this common reaction.
iBlush Patch & Tablets
Best For Oral Absorption:
iBlush Starter Bundle
iBlush offers both transdermal patches and supplements to counteract the effects of alcohol intolerance.
Available in both patch and tablet forms to cater to different user preferences.
High Vitamin Concentration
A powerful blend of vitamins and natural extracts helps counteract the effects of alcohol flush reactions
Promotes Liver Health
Liver-repairing antioxidants help eliminate the harmful toxins that cause inflammation.
Unique transdermal delivery system ensures the potent blend of antioxidants and vitamins is absorbed directly into the bloodstream for maximum effect.
iBlush is a company that takes an innovative approach due to its unique blend of ingredients and product options.
Their patches contain green tea extract, which is a fantastic antioxidant with multiple health benefits due to being rich in polyphenols, which are compounds known for their ability to instantly reduce inflammation and redness.
Additionally, besides patches, iBlush also offers an option in tablet form, providing an even more convenient alternative for those who prefer this method of intake.
The tablets contain the same effective blend of cell-repairing vitamins such as vitamin C, liver-nourishing antioxidants such as glutathione, and soothing components that, when taken 45 minutes prior to alcohol consumption, can help calm the immune system and reduce the spikes in inflammatory proteins that lead to an alcohol-induced flush.
By combining traditional ingredients with innovative additions like green tea and offering a choice between patches and tablets, iBlush provides a comprehensive and flexible solution for managing the symptoms of Asian Flush.
What is Asian Blush?
Asian blush is a type of facial flushing experienced by one-third of people of Asian descent that was found to be the result of an inherited deficiency of a liver enzyme called ALDH2, a component that, in most people, breaks down alcohol and converts acetaldehyde, a byproduct of alcohol, into acetate to be safely eliminated from the body.
However, when alcohol is not properly broken down and eliminated, it will result in an accumulation in the blood, which causes dilation of the blood vessels and flushing as a visible reaction to the malfunction.
It’s important to mention that while this type of facial flushing is most prevalent in those of East Asian descent, it’s not exclusive to this group, and other ethnic groups can also experience it after consuming alcohol, albeit in lower numbers.
How To Safely Use Asian Flush Patches?
While there are a few ways to control an “Asian flush” reaction from drinking alcohol, one method that has become super popular lately is Asian flush patches.
These patches are a combination of skincare and health products designed to alleviate the symptoms of an alcohol flush reaction and are typically infused with a blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and components that soothe visible redness, support liver function, and aid in the detoxification process to help the elimination of alcohol toxins accumulated in the body.
While each product should have instructions on the packaging that will help you use them effectively and achieve the optimal benefits, here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when using Asian flush patches:
- Conduct a Patch Test: It’s advisable to do a patch test when using an Asian flush patch for the first time, as, like most products, they can contain ingredients that your skin may react to. Therefore, to avoid unnecessary discomfort in larger areas, test a small piece of the patch in a smaller area by sticking it to clean, dry skin and leaving it on for 30 minutes.
- Select The Right Spot: The Asian flush patch should be applied to clean, dry skin, preferably in the upper body area, at least 30-45 minutes before alcohol consumption. This is enough time to allow the ingredients to work and prevent the visible symptoms of this reaction.
- Do Not Mix With Prescription Medication: To avoid potential interactions, do not mix Asian flush patches with prescription medication. Prescription medications are tailored to individual health needs, and introducing other substances, even topically, can potentially cause an interaction that could lead to various outcomes, such as changing how effectively the medication works or even causing side effects.
- Do Not Drink Excessively: Asian flush patches can help mitigate the visible symptoms of alcohol flush, but they are certainly not a green light for excessive drinking. The patches may aid in eliminating acetaldehyde from your system, but they do not counteract the effects of alcohol consumption. Additionally, while the Asian flush patches may be effective in reducing the appearance of redness, you will likely still experience other symptoms of alcohol flush, including nausea, dizziness, and swelling, although these will likely be less severe.
Potential Side Effects of Asian Flush Patches
Asian flush patches contain soothing and other beneficial ingredients that are safe for the skin and health.
However, as with any product, there could be potential reactions.
Although side effects from Asian flush patches are rare, a small number of users have experienced the following:
- Skin Irritation: The most common side effect from Asian flush patches has been reported to be skin irritation in the form of redness, itching, or a rash in the area where the patch was applied. People with sensitive and reactive skin may be more prone to experiencing this reaction, but it could also happen if you leave the patch for longer than instructed.
- Allergic Reactions: Some individuals may have allergic reactions to specific ingredients in the formula of the Asian flush patches. This can manifest as localized skin reactions or more systemic symptoms like hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling, particularly in severe cases. This is why patch-testing before trying a new product is important, as allergic reactions can be easily controlled when the allergen is applied to a smaller area and away from the nose and mouth.
- Gastrointestinal Disturbances: Some patches may contain ingredients that can be absorbed into the bloodstream, which may affect the digestive system. Some symptoms of this disturbance may include nausea or upset stomach, although these are considered extremely rare. However, if you experience any gastrointestinal disturbances while using Asian flush patches, it’s best to discontinue use right away and monitor your symptoms in the following days. If the discomfort persists, seeking medical help is recommended.
Other Ways To Minimize Asian Glow
Besides applying soothing patches, Asian glow can be minimized with more natural alternatives.
Here are some effective methods to help reduce an alcohol flush reaction:
- Abstain From Drinking Alcohol: Abstaining from alcohol is the most effective way to minimize an alcohol flush reaction and avoid the uncomfortable symptoms that can be caused by the toxic chemicals in alcohol.
- Eat Before Drinking: Another effective method to help reduce an alcohol flush reaction is to eat before drinking. Some studies suggest that food can absorb some of the alcohol and slow its metabolism, thereby lessening the intensity of the flush reaction. Foods like whole grains that are high in complex carbohydrates and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil are particularly effective in slowing down the emptying of your stomach and delaying the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream.
- Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated is crucial when consuming alcohol, as its dehydrating effect can not only exacerbate flushing but can also cause you to become dizzy faster and experience more severe hangovers the next day. Therefore, make sure to drink plenty of water, especially if you are prone to alcohol-induced flushing.
- Don’t Mix Alcoholic Drinks: Mixing alcoholic beverages can increase the likelihood of an alcohol flush reaction, as each type of alcohol has a different concentration that can affect your body in various ways. Sticking to one kind of drink can help manage the reaction while allowing you to indulge in your preferred beverage on occasion.
- Choose Alcoholic Drinks Wisely: All alcohols are not created equal, and some are more likely to cause a flush reaction than others. For example, clear spirits like vodka and gin have fewer impurities produced during fermentation than darker spirits like whiskey or sugary ones like tonics. These can exacerbate alcohol flush reactions by increasing histamine in the body, so stick to drinks with fewer congeners to reduce unwanted symptoms.