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Is alcohol bad for my skin?

Jul 29,2019

Drinking is a past-time favourite in Britain that occurs all year round, and with the arrival of summer, social consumers drastically increase their consumption of alcohol1. The warmer weather and longer days are associated with day drinking, pub crawls and boozy picnics across the UK and Ireland. Unfortunately, our summer habits come at a cost: drinking is harmful to the skin and can lead to premature ageing and a variety of other negative health effects.

Why is alcohol bad for my skin?

It is all good fun having a pint or two with your friends and family, but during summer, the longer days and better weather tend to cause Britons to drink more frequently and more units of alcohol per sitting. This doesn’t only give us a bad hangover the next day, but can also have terrible impacts on our skin.

Alcohol causes a variety of issues that are not good news for our skin:
Dehydration of the skin2
It causes the loss of vitamin A3
Reduces the production of collagen and other nutrients in the skin3
Reduces the functional capacity of the circulatory system4
Reduces blood oxygen levels
Generates changes at the hormonal level that can lead to the formation or worsening of acne5.

These results alone and in combination can lead to premature ageing; the appearance and prevalence of wrinkles, visible facial veins (spider veins), dark circles around the eyes and many other harmful effects2.

Excessive drinking and advanced alcoholism can damage the liver. This can be reflected in the skin, leading to a yellowish tone6.

 

References

  1. https://www.opinium.co.uk/brits-drink-more-alcohol-in-warmer-weather/
  2. Emily Blackwood (2018) https://www.huffpost.com/entry/drinking-alcohol-aging_n_5ba25b35e4b0080c7bf8435c?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAJJ_g1zcEgUS_iZ1CJ9hDHNR_x4upR8W13_7vjkSS3-wHk52emjvaVg0rj83inXcZdngmjUrAe6Nlz6XLtppwfZ-qfbIxinw_FwfviQS5crTg_v1l5i9zJyjYspOYZKS5-agigLONpsvPzLwit2U9C6oP83ZbceWGhZEYmFhdIWw
  3. https://www.drinkaware.co.uk/alcohol-facts/health-effects-of-alcohol/appearance/how-alcohol-affects-your-appearance/
  4. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315962.php
  5. Kristeen Cherney, Cynthia Cobb (2018) Does alcohol cause acne? https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/does-alcohol-cause-acne#hormones
  6. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/alcohol-related-liver-disease-arld/symptoms/

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