All good things are best in moderation, right? And alcohol is certainly among them. We’re not here to shame you about enjoying a few drinks with family and friends, but we are here to warn you that overindulging can have many adverse side effects. As it turns out, your skin and complexion are among them.
So be cognizant of your drinking habits, scale back where necessary and fear not if your skin is already suffering, as we’ll leave you with a plan to get your skin back to peak condition.
- Dehydration —If you’ve ever been hung over, you’re probably well aware that too much alcohol leaves you dehydrated. Water, Gatorade and the like have been a friend to many to cure hangover ills…but it turns out the hangover haze isn’t limited to leaving you parched. Alcohol, especially in reasonably large quantities, dehydrates the skin and causes wrinkles and pores to become more visible. As a result, the skin can lose its natural plumpness and healthy glow.
- Increased Risk of Rosacea — Most common in middle-aged people, rosacea is a common skin condition that causes redness and visible blood vessels in your face. It can also produce small, red pus-filled bumps with signs and symptoms flaring up for weeks or even months, depending upon how nagging the issue is. Alcohol, particularly white wine and liquor, can exacerbate rosacea and increase the risk of it developing in the first place. It’s worth noting that dermatologists say clear liquor like vodka won’t increase rosacea risk. So if you do indulge, keep that in mind.
- Inflammation — Behind sun damage, inflammation is the number two major cause of skin aging. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand any way of countering inflammation is key to fending off acceleration of the skin-aging process. Alcohol is a driver of inflammation because it brings blood up to the tissue, causing inflammation which is harmful to skin. If you start to see blotchiness, redness, ruddiness and dehydration, your skin is likely inflamed.
- Nutrient Deficiency — How many times have you read some new trending article about the benefits of red wine? We’re guessing more than a few times, depending on your social circle. While we won’t discount that, we’re here to tell you that, unsurprisingly, lots of drinks filled with empty calories and sugars don’t exactly contribute to a balanced diet and can, in fact, contribute to malnutrition. As a toxin with miniscule nutrient value, alcohol can not only affect the appearance and aging of skin, but can also lead to poorer liver function, reduced immunity, hormone disruption, cell damage and insulin issues. On the skin front, these issues can actually all come to a head as a visible problem. In addition, as a diuretic, alcohol can lead to the rapid loss of skin-cell-loving water that keeps your skin hydrated and vibrant. Puffy under-eyes, red skin, a red nose, pasty skin and broken capillaries can be giveaways you’re drinking too much.
Getting Back on the Right Track
You’re certainly not at a loss if you feel your skin is suffering from too much alcohol. If you’re able to cut back, here’s some things to look for as your skin improves and some ways to help move along that process.
Give It an Hour…or a Day…No, Make That a Week
Even just an hour after you stop drinking, your body — particularly the liver — enters a state of overdrive to help clear your skin and entire body of the excess toxins you just consumed. The pancreas produces extra insulin due to shock and your body’s detox mode acts to clear alcohol from the bloodstream and prevent alcohol poisoning.
While the recovery process will continue over the next 24 hours, you can bank on your skin being dehydrated and blotchy as it continues to rebound, particularly if you already have skin issues. Ultimately, after about a week’s time without indulging, your skin should start to show noticeable improvement with a dewy, healthier look and glow as a result of restored hydration. Face washes and other skin products can be particularly helpful during this period, though, as pores will start to purge and push toxins and other clogging materials out of the pores and onto the skin’s surface.
A Month or a Year Could Equal a New You
One month alcohol-free is likely to result in less swelling, a more even tone and a more hydrated, youthful look. If you decide you want to cut out alcohol altogether, you’ll likely see even more benefits after a year, with a naturally radiant look and glow the most visible fruits of your discipline.
Get the Right Products
- Start with a Solid Eye Gel — Fight off that tired “I had a bit too much to drink last night” look with an under–eye gel that improves the appearance of those dreaded dark under-eye circles. With easy application, the right gel will wake up your eyes and provide deep nourishment.
- Use an Oil-Free Moisturizing Gel – We’ve talked a lot about dehydration, so it makes sense we’d fill you in on a gel moisturizer for oily skin. A water-based solution allows your skin to breathe, improves its ability to naturally hydrate and leaves it physically smoother.
- Use a Charcoal Face Mask — Using a high-quality charcoal mask peel just once a week will help clear problem skin and brighten it up so you look fresh. The activated charcoal works by binding to blackheads, dirt and oil to purge the pores and leave behind fresh, clear skin.
We’re all likely to indulge a bit too much from time to time. Just make sure to take it easy and take stock of what too much drinking can do to your skin and health, and figure out how to correct the course if need be.