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Alcohol's Effect on Your Skin

We understand the appeal of unwinding with a glass of wine, beer or your favorite cocktail after a long day or in celebration of a special occasion. But before you pour yourself another drink, consider alcohol’s effect on your skin. Drinking to excess can leave you looking puffy, dehydrated and pale, but the right drink and a touch of moderation, you can have your wine and drink it, too.

As anyone who’s ever had one too many knows, alcohol dehydrates your body. It does this by diverting water from other organs to the bladder. As the body’s largest organ, the skin pays a hefty price. In addition, alcohol robs your body of vitamin A, which is a key component in collagen production. Heavy drinkers additionally experience higher rates of skin conditions like rosacea, wrinkles and spider veins.

Your particular ‘happy hour beverage of choice’ can make all the difference. Salty drinks like margaritas will leave you looking and feeling worse the next day. The combined effects of sodium and alcohol dehydrate you further and leave skin dull and lifeless. The same goes for sugary mixed drinks.

Red wine is the holy grail of alcoholic beverages because it’s high in antioxidants—like resveratrol—which we know are key in fighting signs of aging. Just be sure not to cancel out the effects of the antioxidants by overindulging.

So are we saying you should never enjoy an alcoholic beverage again? Of course not! Just be sure to drink smart. Have plenty of water before and after; choose healthy, low-sodium and low-sugar foods to accompany your beverage; and avoid over-indulging. And if you like red wine, make it your ‘go-to’ for a relaxing or celebratory drink.

With moderation, it’s possible to preserve your complexion and enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverage. Cheers to that!


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