It's widely known that Alcohol damages the internal organs when abused. But aside from affecting the usual heart, liver, and belly, it can also damage your skin.
Alcohol dehydrates the body making your skin dry and a little scaly. Drinking too much deprives the skin of important nutrients and vitamins that, over time, can lead to more permanent, and detrimental effects.
So here’s what you need to know about drinking alcohol, the possible consequences it has on your skin, and how to lessen side effects if you still want to take a swig.
When you drink, the body metabolizes the alcohol from an enzyme in the liver, which then releases a byproduct called acetaldehyde. This byproduct causes body tissues to dehydrate, which is a stepping stone to acne breakouts and even premature aging of the skin. Imagine pimples and wrinkles everywhere!
Meanwhile, the alcohol itself is causing inflammation to bodily tissues, enlarging the blood capillaries, making the skin red. Studies show that, when compounded over several years, this drunk blush can be permanent.
And that’s just the tip of the ice-cold beer.
Alcohol also dilates the pores of the skin, increasing the chance of getting blackheads and whiteheads. If not treated properly and immediately, it can go on to cause more inflammation, which, in the long term, ages the skin and can cause permanent scarring.
While you already know that alcohol consumption impairs your sleep, further dehydration in the body also compromises the regenerative cycle your body enters while you sleep. This decreases the normal cellular turnover, which leads to an unhealthy and dull complexion.
The least harmful alcohol
From the usual menu, beer poses the greatest threat to your skin since it has more additives like sugars and salts, adding more stress on the liver to metabolize. To no one’s surprise, especially if you’ve read our article on the best food for your skin, the least harmful liquor is red wine. This is because reds contain resveratrol, which acts as an antioxidant for the tissues and the skin.
How to minimize strain on your skin
A pro-skin strategy that you might already know is to alternate between serving alcohol and a glass of water. Chase one with the other, obviously. Or better yet, eat a full meal before, or while you chug one down, so the alcohol will pass through the gastrointestinal system along with the food, thus weakening possible side effects.