In pursuit of perfect skin, we try countless things. From creams and serums, to expensive professional treatments. Most of us, whether we care to admit it or not, have found ourselves making up for a dry day by chugging 4 glasses of water in the dim light of the fridge. What if I told you there was an easier way? A lot of our deepest skin woes can be calmed by cutting out, or significantly reducing, our alcohol intake. Why? Let’s take a closer look at what alcohol really does to the skin.
Dehydration: Alcohol is extremely dehydrating, which takes a toll on our mucus membranes. From the liver and kidneys, to the skin on our bodies. Dehydration damage shows up as dryness, dullness, enlarged pores, and wrinkles- which can be a sign of premature aging.
Redness: We know alcohol is inflammatory- which means it creates a histamine reaction. This reaction shows up as redness in the skin, primarily the nose, cheeks, and forehead. It may be minor at first, but with excessive consumption, it can become a permanent facial redness.
Pores: Alcohol dilates the pores of the skin, which can go on to cause whiteheads and blackheads. If not properly treated, this can lead to deep inflammation of the skin and cystic acne.
Dark circles: Alcohol sometimes makes it easier to fall asleep faster, but it actually inhibits the depth of your sleep. It breaks up your normal sleep patterns and can leave you restless throughout the night. All of this results in less rest, which is the main cause of dark circles and eyebags.
Rosacea: Does your skin redden when you drink? This is a common (mild) sign of rosacea, which can be triggered by alcohol. Studies also show that alcohol raises your odds of getting rosacea, if you don’t already have it.
If you know you’re going to have a few cocktails, try to combat them by hydrating lots throughout the day, and in the days following. If you do choose to stop or cut down on alcohol, not all is lost: our bodies are fabulous at regeneration and rehydration. This regeneration depends, of course, on how much damage has been done. Once you lose collagen, it’s hard to get back.