How to Fight the Effects of Alcohol on Your Skin
I prescribe professional skincare and treatments all day long but as my clients already know, I'm also committed to looking at your skin holistically and that includes what you eat and importantly, what you drink. Serums and creams help, treatments and facials help, and of course lots water helps. But there’s one simple thing that can improve your skin staring right at you - reducing your alcohol intake.
The main effects of alcohol on the skin are dehydration and inflammation. There's also dullness, discolouration and sagging to enlarged pores, blotches, redness and puffiness.
Let's have a closer look at what's going on:
The first effect of drinking alcohol is dehydration, as it actually takes all the fluid out of the skin. "If you look at a woman who has been drinking for 20 or 30 years, and a woman the same age who hasn’t at all, we see a massive difference in the skin - more wrinkles from that dehydration damage, which can make you look 10 years older” says New York nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez, who counts designers and Vogue editors among his clients (Vogue, Jan 2020)
Inflammation and Redness
Alcohol causes blood vessels under the surface of your skin to widen, which allows more blood to flow, producing that tell-tale flushed colour or redness in the skin.
How to Minimise Damage
Your skin, like any other organ, has the ability to regenerate. There are a few things to do to minimise damage - here are my tips:
Different alcohols have different effects on the skin, but as a general rule, the clearer, the better. Lighter coloured drinks such as vodka, gin and tequila contain the least amount of additives and are processed by the body quickest. This means that they should have the least impact on your skin, therefore minimising potential damage.
Dark spirits, such as whiskey, bourbon and rum, contain congeners – chemicals such as tannings and methanol – which make hangovers worse. In fact, a study by the British Medical Association found bourbon is twice as likely to cause a hangover as the same amount of vodka.
Despite red wine being hailed as the ‘healthiest’ choice of alcohol because it contains antioxidants, it is actually the most damaging for your skin.
This is because the liver and kidneys have to work harder to process it, and it’s most likely to show as flushing and blotchy skin – which isn't great if you already suffer from a skin condition that causes redness, such as rosacea.
If you’re going to drink, drink water with it!
Don't drink every day
Minimise to once or twice a week—the lower the intake, the lower the damage to your skin. If you want to give up or cut back there is a huge range of support, and choosing to be alcohol free is becoming quite trendy, with massive campaigns such as Sober October and Dry January, celebrate it as an ongoing positive lifestyle choice!
Use effective skincare
"Buy cheap, pay twice" as the saying goes. Don't skimp on skincare! By getting a few great quality essentials you will be able to protect and repair the damage caused to the skin by any of your lifestyle choices.
I am proud to have formulated award-winning products and a comprehensive range to help you achieve healthy, glowing skin for life, no matter your age or skin care concern, One Skin is here for you