There’s nothing wrong about unwinding after a long day of work with a cold a beer and a snack. Same goes for an occasional glass of red wine during dinner, or a celebratory toast at your Christmas office party. But going overboard with your alcohol intake, may have crucial consequences on both your appearance and health. It may cause damage to a number of organs including your skin, which is the biggest organ in the human body. It is also one of the first organs that visibly indicate that you may need to cut back on the booze.
So, what are some of the signs that you should be looking out for? And more importantly, once the damage is done, is there anything that can be done about it?
Choose the Right Kind of Hydration
First and foremost, healthy skin is well-hydrated skin. Having a proper water intake is not only crucial for the skin’s ability to protect itself from UV radiation and other toxic agents, it is also what makes our skin look plump, flexible and replenished. According to different studies, having sufficiently hydrated skin may slow aging processes, wash out and detox your skin, repel oiliness and impurities and improve your complexion.
But not all liquid intake is good for you. Coffee and other drinks that may contain caffeine are diuretic, or in other words; dehydrating. However, compared to alcohol – coffee is the least of your concerns. The dehydrating effects of alcohol are in fact what make you hungover in the morning. As alcohol pushes the liquids out of your body, you may experience harsher wrinkles, pigmentation, puffiness and eventually, your skin will increasingly become drier and flakier.
Bottom line: had a little too much to drink? it’s a good idea gulping down some glasses of water to make up for lost liquid and easen your morning hangover.
Sugar, Spice and Breakouts
Aside from dehydrating your skin and increasing its oiliness, alcoholic drinks are also notorious for their high sugar levels. Of course, their nutritional values are also something to be considered and may affect the elasticity of your skin. However, it is the very consumption of high quantities of different sweeteners, that may have several negative outcomes for your skin. It should be noted that since this is sugar we drink (not eat), it’s harder to keep track of the quantities consumed. So, what kind of effects can it have on your skin?
- Damages collagen levels – sugar clings on to the collagen protein and causes glycation, which accelerates aging processes.
- Intensifies allergies – sugar causes eczema breakouts since it encourages inflammation (which is also unhealthy for your skin).
- Saggier skin – the combination between the glycation and inflammation effects may cause saggier, wrinkled and pigmented skin.
Are you perhaps suffering from all of those? Maybe a harsh case of acne? If that’s the case, in addition to reducing your alcohol intake, you should also consider changing your diet to one that is low-carb and low-sugar.
Are you Blushing, or is your Skin Simply Flushing?
This side effect is slightly different from pigmentation, that may appear in uneven patches of varying sizes anywhere on your facial skin. However, flushing or redness appear mostly in your cheek and forehead area. This is by no means the same coloring that occurs when you’re nervous or after a good exercising session; this type of redness lingers.
Though it is true that certain populations suffer from this specific condition more than others, why should you take the risk? Flushing happens because alcohol contains ethanol which the body needs to metabolate. Whether specifically your body takes longer to process the ethanol or you’ve been binge drinking, this acetaldehyde accumulates in your body and results in red skin, but in later stages may cause nausea and tachycardia. We probably don’t need to tell you that those conditions are unpleasant.
But does it mean that you should never drink? Or that you can’t enjoy a good office party? Definitely not! There are some things you can do to first prevent the effects of alcohol, and second treat them in case you’re already experiencing some of the conditions mentioned here.
Smart and Steady – Wins the Race
The first thing you should do if you’ve decided to have more than one drink, is choose your drink with caution. For instance Tequila and vodka have lower levels of sugar – in fact, the clearer the alcohol the better it is for your skin. Based on that equation, red wine is a big no no. Being one of the worst vasodilators, red wine increases puffiness, redness, and other unwanted effects.
After enjoying your night of alcoholic indulgence it’s a good idea to drink a lot of water, but also to hydrate the skin by rinsing it with cool water and drying it with gentle towel dabs. Also, make sure to wash your face with proper facial soap, to remove any lingering toxins. Once your skin is soothed and refreshed it’s time for some magic treatment.
Since according to studies men drink more frequently than women, it’s only fitting that the facial treatment they use to fight the effects of alcohol would be suitable for their particular skin. The formula of Particle face cream for men was developed by biochemists, taking into consideration men’s unique features. It alleviates puffiness, reduces any kind of lines or skin blemishes, rejuvenates the skin, and most importantly – gives your skin the moisture and hydration it lost as you were drinking.
Finally, abstaining from alcohol isn’t a must – there are so many things that can be done to prevent and treat the effects of alcohol, all while still enjoying the occasional trip to the bar. Just make sure you do so moderately and after having picked up the right skincare routine.