The effects of alcohol on your skin

Do you know the effects alcohol has on your skin? Here, we delve into the facts behind drinking and your skin.

People like to enjoy themselves

Most of us like to have the odd glass of alcohol from time to time, whether it’s a glass of wine with a meal, a celebratory occasion or a special event. While the odd glass of alcohol once in a while won’t cause a significant amount of damage, regular consumption of alcohol can truly affect your skin.

Health problems caused by alcohol

Drinking significant amounts of alcohol can lead to several health problems. The main symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption include;

  • low blood pressure
  • liver problems
  • depression and anxiety
  • poor immune system
  • memory loss
  • headaches

Alcohol and the skin

Alcohol has significant effects on the skin. Some of these symptoms may be known to you, while others may seem surprising.

  • Alcohol dehydrates your body, which it turn makes your skin appear sallow, dry, dull and older.
  • Alcohol reduces the amount of Vitamin A within the body. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and without it, cell renewal is decreased and your skin is more prone to damage from free radicals – uncharged molecules that cause damage to skin cells, resulting in visible signs of ageing.
  • Alcohol enlarges blood vessels as the vascular control in the brain is no longer regulated. This causes your face to become flushed. If the blood vessels become over-dilated, they can burst which leads to spider veins becoming apparent. Your skin will usually appear puffy too.
  • As alcohol contains large amounts of sugar or salt, it can lead to an oily complexion, inflammation and bloating.
  • Liver disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption can result in jaundice (yellowing of the complexion) and hyperpigmentation around the mouth and eyes.

How to minimise the effects of alcohol

Normally, once your body begins to rehydrate after drinking, your skin will become less dry and more radiant. However, to limit the negative effects of alcohol on your body, it’s best to choose specific types of drinks:

Drinks to choose

  • Clear shots, such as vodka and gin boast less sugar than alternative options. However, don’t go overboard as it’s easy to lose count when consuming shots. Remember, all alcohol will dehydrate the skin.
  • Beer contains salt, though it does have antioxidant properties and it contains less alcohol than other drinks.
  • Red wine has good health properties, such as antioxidants. However, those prone to rosacea should avoid it, as it can lead to heavy flushing.

Other tips

  • If you are consuming alcohol, remember to drink water between drinks to keep hydrated.
  • Eating food alongside alcohol will slow down the release of sugar.
  • Drink in moderation.
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