If you’re anything like me, you suffer from Asian Flush or alcohol flush reaction. It’s embarrassing, uncomfortable and a super easy way to ruin your night out. Even the tiniest bit of alcohol consumption leads me to looking like a bright red tomato, with pounding headaches and hot-feeling skin.
While I started this blog originally to focus on my quest to find some of the best skin care and makeup products, I found that there are actually Asian Flush solutions available. While I’ve always had this condition, I never realised that there were products that reduced these symptoms.
Of course, there is no real cure for Asian Flush. It’s caused by an enzyme deficiency that won’t be easily fixed. However, there are some real options out there to help reduce this condition when you drink alcohol. And these products are way better than using antihistamines off-label, in case you were wondering!
If you don’t know what Asian Flush is, skip down to the bottom of this list to learn more about the science behind this condition. If you already know what Asian Flush is (and perhaps suffer from it), here are the best cures in (my opinion)!
Hands down, Sunset is my favourite supplement for Asian Flush symptoms and my go-to choice whenever I know I’m going to be drinking alcohol.
Sunset’s instructions are to take three capsules 30 minutes before you start drinking. If you have more of a severe flushing reaction, they also provide more in-depth instructions in case you need a bit more support. However, these detailed instructions aren’t necessarily for Sunset to work, it just helps those with more severe symptoms (thankfully, that doesn’t include me).
The biggest and most obvious advantage to Sunset Alcohol Flush Support is that it works. At least for me, and seemingly a lot of other people. I know it won’t be a solution for everyone, but my Asian Glow symptoms caused by alcohol are massively reduced with Sunset. They also have a really good rating on Amazon USA which is always helpful to see.
I’ve also noticed that my hangovers the next day are pretty minimal, if not non-existent. I know that’s not the point of Sunset, but it certainly helps a lot.
Pros to Sunset Alcohol Flush Support:
- Quick delivery
- Accessible and easy to buy
- 30 day money back guarantee
- Reduces my symptoms greatly
- No hangovers the next day, either!
- Focuses on the underlying problem of Asian Flush rather than just masking the symptoms
Cons to Sunset Alcohol Flush Support:
- Doesn’t have a “Subscribe and Save” option
- Can be expensive, especially if you’re on a student-budget
- If you like to drink often, you’ll need to re-buy more capsules often
Sunset Alcohol Flush Support ingredients: Quercetin, Bromelain, N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), L-Theanine, Thiamine, Vitamin C, B Vitamins (Riboflavin, Niacin, Pridoxine, Cobalamin and Biotin) and Piperine.
Overall, Sunset is my #1 choice for Asian Flush relief. I know it won’t work for everyone, but it certainly works best for me.
I can see what Redee Patches is trying to do. Rather than copy other companies who use capsules or pills for Asian Flush, Redee creates patches that you stick to your skin. While this sounds kind of cool (plus you don’t have to swallow pills) it actually sucks and looks really weird.
The main points I had with Redee were: I looked like I was wearing a bunch of nicotine patches and (more importantly) it didn’t work. I don’t know if it was less effective because it was done as a patch or because of the ingredients.
The instructions say to wear two patches 30 minutes before drinking. An order of 6 patches (so three drinking sessions) is $12 USD. While it seems cheap at first glance, it’s actually pretty expensive. To save a bit more money, you can get 30 patches is $40 USD which would last 15 sessions.
Pros to Redee Patches:
- Don’t have to swallow pills
- Provides a “Subscribe and Save” option which saves 10% off
- Has a refund policy for one 30-pack ($39.99) plus shipping
- Can leave the patches on for the night out and forget about them
Cons to Redee Patches:
- Didn’t work for me
- I could really feel the patches on my skin
- Patches looked weird to strangers (like I was wearing nicotine patches)
- If you want to put it on your back, you’ll need someone to apply it for you
Redee Patches ingredients: Glutathione, NAC, l-theanine, Vitamin C and B Complex, Alpha-lipoic acid, Holy Basil extract, milk thistle extract and Cosmoperine.
Overall, I didn’t find Redee Patches effective or comfortable. I wouldn’t mind wearing patches all night if they really reduced my symptoms, but my Asian Glow was still in full-force. Like, I’ll deal with weird looks from strangers if my Asian Glow is completely gone, but this wasn’t the case. While this method might work for some, it didn’t work well for me.
While I found that Redee had the worst results for minimizing Asian Flush, I found minimal results with Essential AD2.
Similar to Sunset, Essential AD2 is provided as a supplement, although these are pressed tablets instead of capsules. Some might find these easier to swallow than capsules.
The main thing that sets Essential AD2 apart is that they want you to take this supplement every day for improved liver function (two tablets). You’ll also need to take additional tablets before you drink alcohol to reduce flushing. That’s a lot of pills! One bottle has 70 tablets which will last you one month of daily consumption, plus an additional 10 capsules for when you want to drink alcohol (which you need to take 45 minutes before drinking).
I hope you don’t mind swallowing a lot of pills.
Pros to Essential AD2:
- Lots of science behind their product
- Pressed tablets instead of capsules
- Provides a “Subscribe and Save” option which saves 20% and delivers every 30 days
- Says their tablets help liver function by taking them daily, with additional pills to help reduce Asian Flush symptoms
Cons to Essential AD2:
- Didn’t work well for me, still had heavy signs of symptoms
- Want you to take their supplement daily (which takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money)
- If you want to drink alcohol, you need to take an additional two tablets 45 minutes before drinking which ends up being a lot of pills
Essential AD2 ingredients: Niacinamide, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, Thiamine, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C.
Overall, I can see that Essential AD2 could be effective for some people, especially those who are looking to take something daily. However, it’s just a bit too much for me. I’m really looking for Asian Flush reduction, rather than a daily supplement. I wouldn’t mind taking these before drinking alcohol, but I didn’t see enough positive results. Still worth a try, though!
So what is Asian Flush?
Millions of people around the world suffer from Asian Flush, but so few people actually understand what it is – even those of us who have it!
Some people say that they have Asian Flush so that means they’re allergic to alcohol.
This isn’t true.
Asian Flush is caused by an enzyme deficiency in the liver. This means that those with this condition cannot metabolize alcohol properly and alcoholic beverages make us turn red, along with other annoying side effects.
This condition primarily impacts East Asians, although other ethnicities can have it, too. Even Caucasians can get Asian Flush!
Another thing that’s confusing is that this condition goes by a lot of different names, but all pretty much mean the same thing:
- Asian Flush
- Asian Glow
- Alcohol Flush Reaction
- Alcohol Flushing
It’s true that you can actually be allergic to alcohol, but it’s super rare. If you experience negative symptoms when drinking alcohol, it’s more likely to be due to Asian Flush or alcohol intolerance (which can be a bit different). A true allergy to alcohol can come with some serious and life-threatening symptoms, so it’s important to check with your doctor if you’re not sure.
Common Asian Flush symptoms include embarrassing (and uncomfortable) stuff like:
- Red facial flushing (the most common)
- Flushing on your neck, chest, shoulders and/or arms
- Headaches or migraines
- Restricted or laboured breathing
- Hot skin, or getting sweaty
As you can imagine, Asian Flush can be really embarrassing in social situations like parties, weddings, work functions or first dates – any place where you might come into contact with alcohol. Of course you can always decline to drink, but sometimes that makes things awkward, too. Imagine having to explain to someone who just bought you a drink why you can’t drink it?
Many of us stop drinking alcohol entirely, or at least only drink around close friends who understand why we turn bright red. You don’t realize it, but this can really impact your social life and your choices when out with friends. Sometimes we just want to be like everyone else and have a glass of wine with dinner, you know?
That’s why finding a helpful Asian Flush cure was so important to me. I just want to fit in and not feel disgusting every time I have a little bit of alcohol.
Some people turn to antihistamines, or histamine blockers, like Pepcid AC, Zantac or Zyrtec to stop their symptoms. Unfortunately this doesn’t fix the root cause of Asian Flush. Antihistamines simply reduce facial flushing, but doesn’t deal with the internal problems caused by Asian Flush.
For me, I will always chose Sunset for Asian Flush. Until there is a 100% cure for this live enzyme deficiency, I’m happy to pick Sunset.