It probably doesn’t come as a shocker if we told you that drinking alcohol isn’t the *best* thing for your body. However, the direct effects alcohol has on our skin may not be as commonly known.
Most of us may not realize the ways those occasional wine nights or weekly cocktails can cause significant damage to our skin over time. In order to understand and minimize the effects of alcohol on your glow, here’s all you need to know:
PREMATURE SKIN AGING
When you indulge in a drink, your body metabolizes the alcohol through enzymes in your liver, mainly alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH). This process releases a byproduct called acetaldehyde, which is actually toxic to body tissues and interferes with the skin’s ability to regenerate properly.
Alcohol dehydrates the body, which in turn (you guessed it!), dehydrates the skin. Dry skin is a stepping stone to many annoyances, such as breakouts, the earlier onset of fine lines and wrinkles, and eczema.
ALCOHOL AND INFLAMMATION
No matter how small of a quantity, alcohol also causes inflammation to body tissues. This is caused by the release of histamine, an enzyme that dilates the blood’s capillaries. The result?
Red, blotchy skin. When compounded over several years, this redness can even be permanent.
As you’ve probably already experienced, alcohol consumption impairs your beauty sleep. Combined with dehydration, the regenerative cycle that your body goes into while you rest is compromised when alcohol is in your system.
Since your body is unable to adequately rest, there is a negative effect on cellular turnover. Over time, this leads to a dull, uneven, and bleak complexion.
Last but not least, alcohol dilates the pores of the skin. This makes them prone to the accumulation of more bacteria, leading to blackheads and whiteheads. For those who are already prone to acne, it can even cause inflamed skin papules (painful, lesion-like bumps) and cystic acne.
HOW TO MITIGATE THE EFFECTS OF ALCOHOL ON YOUR SKIN
Looking for a skin-conscious way to enjoy your nights out?
Experts suggest always alternating between a serving of alcohol and a glass of water. This won’t eliminate the effects of alcohol on the skin, but it can minimize some harm by rehydrating your tissues.
Eating a full, healthy, and balanced meal prior to or while drinking can also deter some side effects, as it will cause some of the alcohol to pass through the gastrointestinal system instead.
And like everything in life, balance and moderation are always best!
Until next time,
The BSE Team