It's mid-August, which means by now you've likely attended your fair share of patio brunches, wine tastings and backyard barbecues. While these social events are great ways to spend your summer months, you may start to notice your summer vacation expressing itself in surprising ways – specifically, on your face.
Even if you drink responsibly and in relative moderation, alcohol consumption can affect the appearance of your skin in undesirable ways. Before you crack into that final bottle of wine, take a peek at some of the ways in which your libatious liberalism may be impacting your appearance.
You may be thinking that alcohol primarily affects your liver, which is an internal organ – so what does that have to do with your skin? Well, as New York Dermatology Group founder Dr. David Colbert told The Huffington Post, quite a lot actually. Your liver's main function is to detoxify and clean up your body – which is why it's so strongly affected by alcohol in the first place. In fact, alcohol is what Dr. Colbert called a "hepatotoxin" – a type of toxin that specifically affects your liver cells. This means that the more you drink, the more your liver comes under attack and the less it's able to do its job properly.
The less work your liver does, the more harmful chemicals can circulate and detriment your body, including your skin. Just think of instances you've seen of patients with jaundice, a yellow coloring to their skin and eyes as a direct result of liver diseases.
The next time you order that rum and coke or Bacardi mixer, stop and think. Not only do such drinks offer alcohol for your body to contend with, but they also contain additives known as congeners – chemicals The Huffington Post stated are mixed with liquors to give them their taste and color. Such chemicals are no good for your body or you skin, and according to the source, there's a direct correlation between the amount of congeners you consume and how bad your skin looks the next day.
It's common knowledge that skin needs to be kept well moisturized – in fact, you probably have a bottle of lotion on your bedside table right now. Alcohol is a famous diuretic – that is, it causes your body to lose water and dehydrates you. If you've ever woken up after a night of bacchanalian reverie to notice that your skin looks thin, brittle and dry, that's why.
One of the lesser-known effects of alcohol is that it can impact your blood pressure. Not only can this leave you feeling worse, it can make you look worse too. As The Washington Times indicated, drinking in enough quantity can cause the blood vessels in your face to dilate. The result of this is those red spidery veins you see on the faces of those much older than you are. What's worse, if you continue to keep drinking after the emergence of these expanded blood vessels, they can actually remain dilated over a long-term or even permanent basis.
Alcohol is greedy. That is to say, it's not content to pass quietly through your system. The process of metabolizing your booze costs your body valuable vitamins and minerals. One of the most important of these is vitamin A. This important little mineral is chiefly responsible for helping your skin produce more collagen, the chemical that regenerates and revitalizes skin cells and reduces the appearance of aging. The more you drink, the more vitamin A gets leeched from your skin and the older and more worn you're likely to look.
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