A night of drinking alcohol not only means a splitting headache the morning after. It also makes your skin dry and ugly causing you to age more quickly than you would have preferred. And you cannot completely count on any miracle product that you may have seen online to reverse the effects.
Alcohol: The Archenemy of Youthful Skin
Different alcoholic beverages can have different effects on your skin. Here are what experts say about the effects of alcohol:
1. Alcohol squeezes the water out of you
One of the main reasons alcohol is affecting your skin and your body negatively is because it’s a diuretic. According to New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, this means that it makes you pee more.
Bowe added that alcohol hinders the production of vasopressin, a hormone that aids in water reabsorption. So, not only does it force out water out of you, but it also makes rehydration extra harder.
When you are dehydrated, your skin tends to produce more prominent wrinkles, fine lines, and large pores, making it look pale, sallow, and tired.
2. Dwindling Vitamin A
Dr. Bowe said that alcohol decreases your body’s vitamin A supply. Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that plays a major role in cell turnover and renewal to give your skin a healthy glow.
When Vitamin A levels are low, your skin has a harder time fighting off free radicals. These then cause damage to the skin’s lipid layer or the moisture center of the skin.
3. Liver destruction
Founder of New York Dermatology Group, Dr. David Colbert, stressed out that though alcohol may help us have a good time, it’s actually a hepatotoxin. This means that it causes specific damage to your liver!
Put plainly, hepatotoxins are toxins that damage the cells whose function is to detoxify the body. Because of this, your skin becomes pasty, sallow, and cold with enormous pores.
Dr. Colbert also pointed out that alcohol contains congeners. Congeners are chemical substances created during the alcohol fermentation process that gives the liquors their unique taste and aroma.
Not only that, but congeners are also the main cause of hangovers. Therefore, more congeners in your drinks equal worse hangover and more terrible skin.
Author of “Skin Rules: Trade Secrets From a Top New York Dermatologist”, Dr. Debra Jaliman also added that the effect of congeners, combined with those of dehydration and liver damage, makes your skin less fresh and plump, and thus older-looking.
The Cocktail that’s also your Skin’s Bane
The various effects of different alcoholic drinks depending on what it’s made. Listed here are the types of drinks you could be consuming, and their added effects on your skin.
1. Clear Shots
Clear shots include tequila, gin, and vodka. Because there is no extra stuff like salt, sugar, coloring, or other harmful ingredients in clear shots, they are your best option.
Dr. Colbert said that a shot of vodka or tequila would probably make you look fine the morning after, and Dr. Jaliman said that a shot of gin or rum is probably your best bet.
However, there’s still the danger of consuming too much alcohol when doing shots, and more alcohol means more skin damage.
2. Dark Shots
Whiskey and rum, though darker in color than the previous ones, also come without any additives. But, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Dr. Jessica Krant stressed that the difference between clear and dark liquors is a number of congeners.
According to Dr. Krant, dark shots have more congeners than clear liquor, leading to worse hangovers and skin aging.
3. Sweet Mixed Drinks
What’s the harm from cocktails and mojitos, you ask? Well, it’s sugar! Sugar, just like any excess carbohydrates, cause systemic inflammation which leads to more skin aging and cell damage.
Mojitos and mixes containing juice, Red Bull, Coke, and any sweet drink contain loads of sugar. According to Dr. Krant, this leads to long-term wrinkle risk and acne due to insulin spikes and increased inflammation.
Also, these drinks give you the so-called “sugar hangover” aside from the normal hangover, which causes bloodshot eyes and sallow skin.
Mixed margaritas, especially the frozen kind, not only contain sugar, but also salt. Salt contributes to bloating and puffiness, says Dr. Krant.
Beer also contains salt, causing thirsty, dried skin and swollen eyes. Although Dr. Krant gave it to beer for having antioxidants and anti-aging benefits, it just has less alcohol content.
6. White Wine
White wine also contains salts and sugar, which can cause bloating and swollen skin, aside from making you feel hungry. It also does not have the health benefits of red wine.
7. Red Wine
Finally, red wine contains more antioxidants than white wine or any other drink, which aids in fighting the signs of aging. However, Dr. Jaliman said that it is actually the most harmful drink for people with skin issues like rosacea.
Healthy Drinking Tips
Nobody wants to miss out on all the fun, you’ve got to find other ways to prevent aging.
So how do you minimize the aging effects of alcohol on your skin? Follow these tips!
- Load up on food before drinking alcohol.
- Opt for white liquors like vodka mixed with flat water and lemon juice for fewer calories and hydration.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after drinking.
- Avoid sugary mixers that are inflammatory. Use tonic or soda water instead.
- Choose drinks with fewer congeners like vodka and white wine.
- Remove any makeup and wash your face before going to bed after drinking. Use a gentle moisturizing face cleanser. Apply a soothing serum.
- Exfoliate your face using a mild face scrub.
- Massage the under-eye area to squeeze out excess fluid and remove puffiness.
- Rehydrate with vitamin enriched or fruit infused water.
- Re-energize and revitalize your skin with face masks.
Follow these few simple tips, and your skin will thank you for it. Do these every time you drink, and you won’t be worrying about skin hangover again! Cheers to a young, beautiful, skin-hangover-free you!