Cure your hangover

If you’re one of those unlucky souls who have to keep working through the festive season – even as the party invitations come flooding in – then stars like Rihanna and Katy Perry have just the thing for you.

The singers are fans of a powerful intravenous (IV) treatment that knocks hangovers on the head and allows the musicians to set international stages alight night after night.

The treatment they swear by is gaining traction in South Africa, too.

Doctors call it an intravenous vitamin infusion, and it contains nutrients like vitamins C and B, magnesium and manganese.

While we’re not quite at British and American “trend” levels yet, aesthetic medical practitioner Dr Burt Jooste says that intravenous infusions are “making their way into the beauty industry” here at home.

Jooste, who works at Sandton’s Skin, Body & Health Renewal clinic, told City Press: “Nearly 500 patients have embarked on an IV treatment programme at Skin, Body & Health Renewal since it was introduced in February [this year].”

Those patients join the likes of Idols creator Simon Cowell, heart-throb Brad Pitt, and singers Perry and Rihanna, all of whom have admitted that they use the infusions.

In May 2012, Rihanna even posted a photo on social media of herself relaxing at a spa with a drip in her arm.

Last year, British newspapers reported that some party animals were queuing up outside wellness clinics for their jabs after a hectic night out, at a cost of about R1?800 a session.

Las Vegas, of course, has taken it even further: the casino town’s Reviv Wellness Spa has organised “party buses” to cruise around and offer hangover-beating infusions on the go.

There’s a uniquely South African flavour to our infusions, though: detox and energy-boosting treatments are available, but skin lightening via needle is by far the most popular.

Local stars’ skin tones often set tongues wagging. Troubled kwaito singer Mshoza admitted she was bleaching her skin and Kelly Khumalo’s paler-than-usual face at last month’s Feather Awards raised eyebrows.

Skin lightening creams on the street contain the banned chemical hydroquinone and can be dangerous.

But Jooste says the intravenous procedure is safe, and similar to the detox and energy jabs.

“A combination of powerful antioxidants such as glutathione, delivered with vitamins, minerals and fluids, hydrate the skin and reduce melanin production,” he says.

“After a series of treatments, a lighter, fairer skin tone may result.”

It sounds simple, but you’ll need to set aside some time and money.

To start with, you’ll have to spend at least 30 minutes with a drip in your arm twice a week and, after the first month, a weekly treatment is needed.

The infusions cost between R600 and R2?000 a session, depending on the treatment.

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