The truth is that yes, it can make you age faster by causing wrinkles. This includes premature wrinkles, loss of collagen, elasticity, redness, dehydration and puffiness.
To begin with, there are no nutrients in alcohol. In fact, alcohol can adversely affect your nutrition levels by causing a depletion in healthy nutrients that aid in carrying oxygen throughout your body.
Drinking alcohol also typically leads to (mild) dehydration. This applies to our BODIES, but also our SKIN. Skin that’s dry from the inside out not only wrinkles more quickly than nice, moist skin does, but it can take on a pale or gray cast — a condition that is exacerbated by the fact that alcohol also robs the body of vitamin A — an antioxidant that’s critical for cell renewal and turnover.
Specifically, alcohol can have a huge negative impact on your vitamin A level, which is a very important antioxidant for your skin/body and it is vital in the regeneration of new cells.
Vitamin A is also extremely important in the production of collagen. When you have lower amounts of collagen, you lose elasticity in your skin. Collagen and elasticity are what keep your skin supple, taut and looking young. By drinking in excess, you actually speed up the aging process because you are already losing collagen and elasticity as you age. Your facial skin is already so delicate as compared to other areas of your body. We are constantly exposed to pollution, smog, smoke and the sun. The more you drink in excess, the more you’re speeding up the clock.
When alcohol is metabolized, it works as a vasodilator in that it widens the blood vessels that bring blood to the face. This can cause redness as well as puffiness or swelling. When you consume a lot of alcohol over a long period of time, the blood vessels just continue to grow and enlarge. This will eventually lead to a loss of skin tone and/or permanent redness including skin that is blotchy and similar to rosacea. This redness can also turn into broken capillaries or vessels that can burst, especially around the nose and face.
Drinking alcohol is one of the main culprits of rosacea — a confounding skin condition that causes redness — and often pustules on the cheeks and nose. A whopping 52 percent of 1,066 patients surveyed by the National Rosacea Society cited alcohol consumption as the primary trigger for a surge in their condition.
And it’s not just people with the disorder who run the risk of unwanted, permanent redness. Alcohol not only increases blood flow and dilates the tiny blood vessels that are closest to the outer layer of your skin, it sometimes does it in such volume that they burst, causing unsightly, enduring “broken” capillaries on the face.
When you think of bloating and alcohol it’s usually the beer gut that comes to mind. Guess what? That puffiness isn’t limited to your middle. Remember when we talked about how alcohol depletes your body of water and how the kidneys have to kick in to overdrive? That same effect comes in to play with the dreaded facial bloat. Because your body is being robbed of fluids and electrolytes, it stores all the water you ingest (in food or beverage), which causes tissues to swell and gives you that overall “puffy” look.
In summation, alcohol is very dehydrating in that it acts like a diuretic. The more you drink, the more dehydrated you will be. A good rule of thumb if you are going to be drinking alcohol, is to have a water or a non-alcoholic beverage in between drinks to keep yourself hydrated while enjoying your favorite libation. You will be happy to have your skin hydrated and your body will love you for avoiding a nasty morning hangover.
So stay HYDRATED + SAFE!
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