We all want to treat our skin right, but how does alcohol fit in with that? Is moderated alcohol going to affect your skin?
Most importantly, alcohol dehydrates the body, causing skin to look red, blotchy and bloated. Drinking alcohol prevents the production of vasopressin, an anti-diuretic hormone, which the body uses to absorb water. This causes the kidneys to work twice as hard to remove excess water from your system, leaving all of your organs, including your skin, dehydrated.
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol contributes to premature signs of aging. Fine lines and wrinkles easily form on dry, dehydrated skin and the complexion often becomes pale, dull or gray, adding years to your appearance. This lackluster look is common because drinking alcohol deprives the body of essential nutrients like vitamins, electrolytes and fluids. As you lose these key nutrients, your skin looks less healthy and vibrant. It’s also harder for your body to naturally rejuvenate dull skin because alcohol depletes your body’s natural sources of vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps promote cell turnover and keeps skin looking youthful.
You’ll also see an increase in skin redness and flushing because alcohol alters blood flow to the skin. It causes small blood vessels in the skin to dilate, allowing more blood to flow closer to the surface of skin. This flushed color can also lead to broken capillaries on the face and more prominent dark circles under the eyes.
Additionally, drinking makes common skin conditions worse. The dryness associated with excessive drinking exacerbates eczema symptoms. Alcohol is one of the most common rosacea triggers, according to the National Rosacea Society. The National Psoriasis Foundation also warns against excessive consumption of alcohol as this can trigger flare-ups in patients and have dangerous side effects when mixed with certain psoriasis medications.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a glass of red wine every once in a while. The important thing to remember is moderation. Make sure to never drink on an empty stomach and stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Sip on a glass of water between drinks, your skin will thank you later.
How do you stay hydrated and healthy while you’re having a drink? Share with us in the comments.