How Exactly Does Alcohol Affect Your Skin

by Ally Batista

Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, summer is a time when it’s almost mandatory to have some sort of frozen alcoholic beverage grasped in your hand at all times. This is of course fine, and definitely fun, but how is this constant stream of drinking affecting your skin?

Most of us don’t even think about the way alcohol affects our skin; we’re more concerned with what the UV rays are creating on our faces. Should we really be that worried about what alcohol is doing to our skin? Yup, we should.

As anyone who has ever gotten a hangover knows, alcohol seriously dehydrates you. Alcohol takes the good hydration from your body and leaves you with dryness, bloating and redness. When you drink, you’re hindering your bodies’ production of vasopressin, which is an anti-diuretic hormone. Because of this, your kidneys begin to work overtime to remove excess water from your system, sending water to your bladder, instead of to your organs.

Since your skin is the largest organ in your body, it’s the first thing to dry itself out. When your skin is dry, it’s much more likely to wrinkle and make you look older than you already are. In addition to this, alcohol also dips into your bodies’ reserve of Vitamin A, which is essential for cell renewal and turnover. What does this cause? A dull and gray appearance that is by no means attractive.

Being so depleted of your body’s vital nutrients and fluids, your skin often shows signs of bloating and swelling. When your body is lacking something, it will store whatever it can wherever it can.

Alcohol also has the ability to affect preexisting skin conditions such as rosacea, causing it to worsen or flare up more intensely. Alcohol increases your blood flow, causing blood vessels in your face to dilate and often times burst, leaving behind broken capillaries and red spots that are difficult to get rid of.

Drinking in moderation is a great way to avoid any of these side effects. I’ll admit, sometimes I need to be reminded of what drinking in moderation actually is, so for those of you who feel the same way: binge drinking is considered to be 4 drinks within a two-hour time frame. Yikes.

Studies have found that 1 in 6 adults binge drink at least 4 times a month, drinking an average of 8 drinks each time. Guilty.

Will these facts change your view on drinking?

Photo Credit: Getty Images