• What happens to your skin when you drink alcohol

    What happens to your skin when you drink alcohol

    There is no need to say that alcoholic beverages are popular in social settings, but did you know that drinking a lot of alcoholic beverages can have both short and long term effects on your skin? If you've ever woken up with a headache or craving for egg sandwiches as well as new acne after a night out, puffy eyes , and a particularly dull, lackluster complexion, here's why.

    Drinking alcohol causes dehydration of the skin.

    One of the main reasons the skin takes such a beating from too many cocktails is that they are diuretics, says Y. Claire Chang, MD, a board-certified dermatologist. Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. Diuretics are substances that increase urine production, dehydrate the body and, sadly, dehydrate the skin as well, making it look drier, feel less plump and show fine lines more easily.

    Alcohol exacerbates inflammation.

    Alcohol increases inflammation, changes the hormonal environment of the skin, and can exacerbate inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and scaling, says Dr. Chang. Alcohol alters the blood vessels in the skin, causing them to dilate and exacerbating the appearance of facial redness. Over time, these blood vessels can build up and cause more persistent redness. (She also adds that drinking too much can prematurely age the skin, but says more research is needed to back this up.

    What Drinks Are Bad for Your Skin?

    Nancy Samolitis, MD, co-founder and medical director of Easy Dermatology + Shop in West Hollywood, California, suggests avoiding wines, cocktails and chasers with too much sugar, as too much sugar increases the likelihood of inflammation and acne.

    Mixers like club soda and pure lemon or lime juice are simple additions, says Dr. Samolitis. For those prone to flushing, taking an antihistamine like Pepcid before drinking can reduce redness in some people. There are also prescription medications for alcohol deficiency that can be applied topically.

    What are the most unpleasant drinks for the skin?

    When deciding what to drink, Dr. Chang recommends choosing wine (especially red wine), as it contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and resveratrol, which have beneficial effects on the body and skin when enjoyed in moderation.

    Want to drink something stronger? According to Dr. Samolitis, clear liquors like vodka and tequila have the least amount of sugar and the least amount of added ingredients, so these may be the safest bet for those who don't want to skip out on the good times.

    Fight these effects with a good skincare routine.

    Dr. Chan says that limiting alcohol consumption is the best and most helpful way to prevent inflammation and rashes, but if cutting alcohol out of the diet altogether is not in the cards, she considers using products that contain beneficial ingredients such as skincare routines , antioxidants and others.

    Antioxidants Dr. Chan says play an important role in protecting the skin from damage, especially by scavenging free radicals. Serums and face masks containing antioxidants such as vitamin C, green tea , and niacinamide can help soothe the skin the day after a long night out.

    In addition to drinking alcohol in moderation when possible and sticking to a consistent skin care regimen, Dr. Chan says eating a healthy diet, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and taking steps to relieve stress are all essential to maintaining clear, healthy skin.