There’s a reason your skin looks grey and dull after a night out of drinking. It’s called alcohol skin and you could be suffering from it.
Waking up with a hangover is bad enough, also seeing your lackluster complexion is even worse. Alcohol is one of the worst, most aggressive compounds in destroying your skin. Allegedly it can take up to 30 days for your skin to recover from a hangover!
Alcohol is basically sugar, with 50% more calories. Sugar causes
glycosylation (the attachment of sugars to proteins). It also forces ageing cells and tissue through higher levels of insulin. This can mean free radical damage, and reduce cell proliferation and collagen production. In the simplest of terms, all the things that keep you looking young slow down or reduce and all the things that age you are accelerated. Alcohol skin is not a pretty thing.
Alcohol is also a diuretic: it dehydrates you. You absorb nutrients less successfully and crave salt. In women it changes their hormones, creating higher levels of testosterone, leading to things such as spots, wider waists and bloated faces. You may notice a facial bloating as a symptom of alcohol skin after a night out of boozing. If it’s a one off it’ll wear off, but if it’s a regular occurrence it’ll become a common feature.
With it taking 30 days for you to overcome alcohol skin, we’re considering some changes to our lives…
It’s true that Britain is a boozing nation. It’s common for the rich and famous to give up alcohol, or reduce their intake to barely anything to keep their skin glowing and their waists slim. The UK Government released guidelines earlier this year stating that you should have no more than 14 units a week. This is the equivalent of about seven 175ml glasses of wine. It’s also suggested you take a three- or four-day gap between bouts to give the system a break. We’re sure, like ourselves, some of you out there are questioning their intake.
If you love a nightly glass of wine, we’re not going to tell you off. We do too! However, there are ways to keep having that glass of wine and not succumb to alcohol skin.
1. Always remove your makeup, whether it’s at the end of a work day or after a heavy night out. Don’t sleep with a full face. You can find out why by reading one of our older blogs.
2. Hydrate your skin in the morning by applying a good moisturiser or a sheet mask if you have time.
3. Being hydrated is the key to skin repair. Drink water and avoid excess caffeine, which dehydrates it further.
4. If you’re really feeling like being healthy an antioxidant-rich green juice containing leafy spinach, stomach-settling ginger and vitamin A-rich carrots
We can’t all afford expert dermatologists and chefs to keep us on the straight and narrow with our skin and bodies. With Christmas party season coming up, we’re not expecting people (or ourselves!) to renounce alcohol. However, taking good care of your skin is always going to be beneficial whether your combating alcohol skin or not.
Do you have any skincare tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them!