Alcohol abuse can have a dramatic effect on the body, particularly after extended years of drinking, and the signs can be very visible in your skin. Alcohol is basically a hepatotoxin, meaning that it ultimately damages the liver. You only have to think about the sallow skin color of someone with liver disease to know that, over time, alcohol can wreak havoc on the skin’s complexion.
Other ingredients in alcohol are substances produced during fermentation, known as congeners. Congeners are the ingredient responsible for alcohol’s unique smell and taste, not to mention the hangovers suffered the morning after heavy drinking. The more congeners there are in your drink of choice, the worse your hangover is likely to be the day after, and the worse your skin will appear too. Alcohol is well-known for causing dehydration and that makes skin appear less plump and fresh, without a healthy natural glow.
Here we take a look at the different ways different drinks affect our skin:
The problem with shots is that generally people end up drinking much more alcohol than they’re aware of or intended to, which is the biggest hazard to your skin. Clear shots are pure alcohol and don’t contain extra sugar or salt and so in moderation, an occasional shot wouldn’t be too bad on the skin—but unfortunately, the nature of shot drinks makes moderation extremely difficult!
The difference between clear shots and dark shots is in the amount of congeners in them. Because of the longer fermentation process for dark shots, there are more congeners created and consequently, drinking too much can contribute to the aging process, making skin look tired and dull.
The biggest dangers to the skin with cocktails are the additives, including sugar, that are used to enhance the taste. Too much sugar in any diet can lead to systemic inflammation which destroys skins cells and can result in early signs of aging. Sugary alcoholic drinks that are mixed with Coke or Red Bull for example, can also cause acne as a result of spiked insulin levels.
Not many people know that beer contains salt, although it is not at dangerously high levels. Nevertheless, it’s not hard to figure that drinking salt over a prolonged period of time can lead to symptoms like dry skin and swollen eyes which is your body’s way of telling you it needs more water.
White wine contains sugar and salt, which can lead to bloating and swollen skin. It also increases your appetite and can cause nutrition issues which are visible in your skin.
Although much is said about the health benefits of red wine due to it containing antioxidants that can counteract the skin’s aging process, it can also aggravate certain skin conditions like rosacea. Drinking red wine for prolonged periods can also lead to a flushed appearance as capillaries in the face burst over time and become visible on the skin, particularly on and around the nose.
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