What Really Happens to Your Skin When You Drink Alcohol?
You tend to focus on how drinking alcohol is bad for your liver, but ever wonder how alcohol affects your skin? Your skin is, after all, your body’s largest organ; surely, drinking copious amounts of alcohol can’t be good for it!
What Really Happens to Your Skin When You Drink Alcohol
It Makes You Dehydrated.
Alcohol is a diuretic, so it forces your body to excrete liquids more rapidly than normal. As if that weren’t bad enough, alcohol also suppresses the production of vasopressin, a hormone that’s responsible for helping your body reabsorb water. So not only are you flushing water out of your body quickly, you also can’t re-hydrate adequately because your system is compromised!
When you’re dehydrated, it immediately shows on your face! Your skin is dry and sallow, and fine lines and wrinkles become more apparent.
It Makes Your Face Puffy.
Another unsightly side effect of alcohol consumption is puffiness. When your body becomes extremely dehydrated, your organs fight to hold on to any water it can muster, resulting in fluid retention. This is especially evident in your face. The puffiness under your eyes can be attributed to your body being in a dehydrated state. It’s a sure sign to start replenishing your water stores!
It Creates Inflammation.
Alcohol increases inflammation in your body. When systemic inflammation is present, a histamine reaction occurs, which makes your skin flush.
Alcohol abuse will cause chronic inflammation which will make your skin age prematurely.
It Prevents Restful Sleep.
Alcohol screws up your sleep cycle by causing you to wake up in the middle of the night and preventing you from getting your deep restorative sleep.
When you wake up the morning following a drinking binge, you’ll notice those dark circles under your eyes! Partying till the wee hours of the morning causing you to miss out on your beauty sleep, really wasn’t worth it, now was it?
It Depletes Nutrients.
Alcohol can deplete your nutrient stores. Vitamin A levels, in particular, decrease with excess alcohol consumption. Vitamin A is necessary to build collagen in your body. Collagen is a protein that acts as structural support and is what makes your skin smooth and taut. When collagen cannot be synthesized as needed, your skin begins to sag and become wrinkly.
It Disrupts Your Hormones.
Alcohol isn’t as innocent as it looks. It can really mess up your hormones and affect your mood! It can lower serotonin (happy hormone), increase (stress hormone) cortisol, and lower (libido hormone) testosterone levels.
Basically, alcohol has the opposite effect of what you intended to use it for. It does not leave you happier, less stressed, or wanting to have more sexy time!
Oh, and to top it off, hormonal imbalances can trigger or worsen skin problems (such as acne).
It Can Cause Breakouts.
While drinking alcohol can’t be directly linked to acne breakouts, it certainly can make your body more prone to them. Alcohol compromises your immune system, making it harder for your body to fend off Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria that causes pimples.
It Can Cause Weight Gain.
Alcoholic drinks are often high in sugar and any excess calories will be stored as fat. When you become overweight, you may have sagging jowls, stretch marks, or increased health problems. All these issues can take a toll on your skin!
It Can Trigger or Worsens Skin Conditions.
Alcohol is a vasodilator, meaning it makes your vessels expand and allows more blood into your vessels. When your vessels dilate too much, your capillaries can burst! This can result in unsightly spider veins!
What’s more, many people who suffer from rosacea will notice that alcohol will exacerbate their condition.
Tips to Drink Alcohol in a ‘Healthier’ Fashion
- Avoid drinking on an empty stomach
- Drink plenty of water* after consuming alcohol
- Skip the sugary drink mixers – opt for tonic or soda water instead
- Have no more than 2 drinks whenever you go out to have a good time
*Pro tip: have one glass of water after each alcoholic beverage