worriedwomanDoes repeated over-consumption of alcohol visually age your skin?

While a night out on the town may be fun in the moment, it can make for a rough morning the next day. We all know that too many drinks can lead to hangover symptoms such as headache and fatigue, but what most people don’t realize is that over consumption of alcohol can affect the skin as well.

Have you ever felt extra pale or dry in the morning after tipping back one too many glasses of alcohol? Do you notice you feel worse after you chose certain drinks at happy hour? Your skin may be trying to tell you something.

One of the fundamental problems is that alcohol is a diuretic. This means that it sends water to your bladder instead of your organs, dehydrating you and your skin. Moisture and plumpness of the skin are youthful qualities, while dry skin tends to wrinkle and sag more, making you look older than you are.

Along with being a diuretic, alcohol robs your body of Vitamin A, electrolytes and other essential nutrients. This will often lead to the bloating and swelling experienced after a night out. Whatever nutrients your body still has left, it will hold on to desperately.

Alcohol consumption also increases blood flow. This is why an intoxicated person will often appear red in the face. This is a major issue for facial skin because the flushing that occurs with repeated alcohol abuse can worsen rosacea or even cause broken capillaries.

Last but not least, excessive alcohol consumption can impair the immune system. Some research has even demonstrated a relationship between over consumption and bacterial or fungal skin infections.

A large contributing factor to the way that alcohol makes you look and feel the next day is in fact not the alcohol itself, but what you’re drinking it with. Most mixed drinks contain soda, juices, or even Redbull, which are all packed full of sugar. Spiking your blood sugar with concoctions like these can actually give you a “sugar hangover” on top of the aftereffects of the alcohol that you’re already nursing.

The healthier way to consume liquor is actually straight up. If you prefer wine like me, just know there is still a high sugar content, particularly in white wine. Red wine is perhaps the best choice due to its high antioxidant content. However, doctors are quick to remind us that overconsumption of alcohol ages the skin more than protecting it, no matter what you choose to drink.

Please note that this article is about the effects of over consumption of alcohol. There are studies that link one alcoholic drink per day with lower risks of heart attack and heart disease. Personally, I love a glass of wine with dinner… so all things in balance, right?  In other words, if you practice self control these side effects should not scare you, but repeatedly over indulging, for many reasons is harmful to healthy, glowing skin and should be avoided.