On the journey to perfect and glowing skin, we often invest in serums, creams, and treatments for smooth skin. Yet, alcohol and its effects on the skin is often overlooked. While many of us enjoy an occasional tipple, you can’t overlook the damaging effects alcohol can have on your biggest organ, your skin.
What Happens to Your Skin When You Drink Alcohol?
When you drink alcohol, it can actually have a dehydrating effect. It’s this dehydration that can cause you to look puffy and bloated in the face. Because alcohol can dehydrate the skin, it deprives the skin of the moisture and nutrients it needs to look its best. Alcohol is considered a diuretic which means that it actively draws water away from the body. Dehydration from alcohol can also result in:
- Loss of elasticity
Another way alcohol impacts skin health is through inflammation. Alcoholic drinks that contain high levels of sugar like wine and cocktails can really show in your skin. Drinking alcoholic drinks can cause certain skin conditions to flare up, such as rosacea. Symptoms of rosacea include redness, small red bumps, and dilated blood vessels.
It’s Not Just the Alcohol to Blame
Although you may love your Cosmopolitan or martini, cocktails tend to be full of sugar, which can lead to inflammation. These high sugar levels can also leave your skin looking dull and puffy. Keep in mind that many mixers and alcoholic drinks contain empty calories and a lot of sugar. Alcoholic beverages actually account for 11% of the UK population’s daily intake of added sugar.
In terms of calories, alcohol drinks have empty calories, meaning they have no nutritional value. To give you an idea of what this means, one pint of lager contains the same amount of calories as a slice of pizza.
How to Minimise the Effects of Alcohol on the Skin
When it comes to drinking alcohol, dehydration is the issue. A person that drinks for 20 to 30 years will have more wrinkles and signs of ageing than someone who hasn’t. If you are going to drink, it’s important to be wise about your choices. In general, the clearer the alcohol, the better. So, gin, vodka, and tequila get out of the body quicker. Some of the worst drinks for skin are beer and dark liquors. Beer contains more salt, additives, and sugar which puts stress on the liver.
Drink a glass of water in between drinks to help you stay hydrated. This helps to reduce the harmful effects of alcohol on the skin as you’re hydrating between drinks. The UK’s Chief Medical Officers advise that to keep the health risk low from alcohol; you shouldn’t drink any more than 14 units of alcohol per week. It’s a good idea to have several consecutive non-drinking days too.
Anyone who has a little too much the night before will know how rough you feel the next day. Not only do you feel awful, but your skin tends to be much duller than your usual glow. It’s important that you understand how alcohol can affect your skin and to follow some good habits when drinking. By making wise drink choices and drinking plenty of water, you can help to combat the effects of drinking on the skin.