Yoram Yasur Blume: Alcohol effects on the skin
We all know that feeling after a night out drinking with friends: your mouth is dry like the Sahara desert, your stomach is turned and once you make your way to a mirror, you see that your skin looks (to put it lightly) mediocre. It is no secret that taking, especially in excess, is harmful to your body, but your skin also receives its own particular blow. Think of a pale complexion, bags under the eyes, swollen cheeks and a general lack of hydration. But what is happening exactly under the skin that makes us look and feel so terrible?
How does alcohol damage and dry the skin?
Yoram Yasur Blume: Excessive alcohol consumption leads to general dehydration, including the skin. This is partly because alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it draws fluids from the body. Excessive alcohol consumption also makes it more difficult to rehydrate the skin. In addition, alcohol causes inflammation throughout the body. This can easily be seen in people prone to rosacea that turn red after consuming an alcoholic beverage. Over time, all these changes can lead to a deterioration in the renewal of skin cells and accelerate the breakdown of collagen. The end result is an appearance of dull skin, more pronounced fine lines, as well as a decrease in facial volume.
Do different types of alcohol affect the skin in a different way?
Yoram Yasur Blume: There may be some differences, but this has not been studied. One way they would affect the skin differently is by the general alcohol content. If alcohol is in a mixed drink, that adds sugar, which can be very inflammatory and age the skin. For this reason, pure alcohol or beer may be better because they do not have so much glycemic effect.
Does drinking too much alcohol cause acne breakouts?
Drinking too much stresses the body in several ways and can have significant harmful effects on the skin. Any prolonged stressor can cause breakouts. Certain forms of alcohol usually mix with other drinks or sugary substances. These combinations can trigger hormonal changes that can certainly have some unwanted effects on the skin, such as acne breakouts.
What are the long-term harmful effects to our skin when we drink excessively?
Yoram Yasur Blume: Excessive alcohol consumption can also make it more difficult to obtain the benefits of dermatological treatments. Over time, the skin exposed to excess alcohol will respond less to treatments such as retinoids, chemical peels and certain lasers. So, while not only are you causing skin damage with excessive alcohol consumption in the long term, it may also be more difficult to reverse these changes.
When people drink, they tend to eat foods high in carbohydrates and salt. This can increase the swelling around the eyes, the superficiality of the skin and affect the turgidity of the skin, which is the hydration of the skin, making the skin feel and look flaccid.
Is there an amount of alcohol that does not have an important effect on the skin?
As with everything in life, drinking alcohol in moderation may not cause significant effects on the skin. However, if you are constantly drinking excessively, you are causing potentially irreversible damage to the skin, among other organs. When you drink alcohol, it is helpful to make an extra effort to stay hydrated and minimize salt. Decreasing the speed of alcohol consumption helps, as well as avoiding mixing it with other things with high sugar content. The absolute amount of alcohol that has an impact varies greatly from one person to another. In addition, smoking can have a destructive additive effect when mixed with alcohol, which increases the risk of skin cancer.
On average, how long does it take to recover from the effects of alcohol consumption on the skin?
A night of excessive alcohol consumption should not have long-term sequelae on the skin, and recovery should be affected within a couple of days, as long as you actively rehydrate and avoid this pattern on a regular basis. The good news is that the skin is resistant and can recover relatively quickly if you hydrate (drink water and hydrate), get enough sleep and improve your diet. You can see the difference in just one day.
Drinking alcohol can affect the body in several ways. Unfortunately, the skin can act as a visual representation of all these harmful effects. As with everything, when it comes to drinking alcohol, moderation is key to avoiding potentially irreversible and unwanted skin changes.