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What Effects Does Excess Alcohol Consumption Have on the Skin?

It's no secret that excessive alcohol consumption is very harmful to the body. The consequences on the skin are also far from being harmless! Here are five damaging effects of alcohol on the skin.

Alcohol Promotes the Dehydration of the Skin

Alcohol is a so-called diuretic, a substance that leads to increased urine production. In addition, alcohol promotes fluid excretion. Its consumption therefore leads to a general dehydration of the body and thus also of the skin tissue. The skin loses its glow and may even feel tight as its elasticity decreases. Even the lips become drier.

To avoid this, of course, it is best not to drink alcohol at all. If you're having a boozy evening, make sure to drink a glass of water between alcoholic beverages to reduce the risk of dehydration. Remember to keep your skin well moisturized with a serum and moisturizer before bed. For example, you can combine our plumping serum with polyglutamic acid and our nourishing cream with hyaluronic acid + shea butter.

Once or twice a week, you can use our moisturizing mask. This care combines an extract of Tremella (a natural source of hyaluronic acid) with organic aloe vera, an excellent moisturizing and soothing ingredient, to rehydrate the skin and strengthen the impermeability of the skin barrier. The skin is soft, supple and plumped, and maintains its moisture levels permanently.

Alcohol Accelerates Skin Aging

Skin aging is largely accelerated by the UV rays of the sun. However, excessive alcohol consumption and poor dietary habits are also significant factors that need to be taken into account.

Alcohol is rich in calories but does not provide useful nutrients to the body and is painstakingly broken down by the liver. It leads to overall fatigue and a slower cell cycle. A study conducted in 2017 at Kobe University in Japan highlighted the effects of excessive alcohol consumption when it comes to the aging of the body. Excessive alcohol consumption led to a shortening of telomeres, highly repetitive areas of DNA located at the end of each chromosome. As a reminder, the function of telomeres is primarily to protect the DNA sequence; although they naturally shorten over time and with age, alcohol accelerates this phenomenon, leading to premature skin-aging, but also to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers and dementia.

Alcohol Aggravates Certain Skin Problems

Regular alcohol consumption can cause or worsen several skin problems, including:

  • Rosacea:

This chronic skin disorder can occur in four different forms: vascular, ocular, papulopustular or hypertrophic. Redness of the face due to an excessive reaction of the blood vessels is the common characteristic of all four forms. However, other symptoms may also occur. Studies have found that alcohol consumption can increase the risk of rosacea and make symptoms worse.

  • Psoriasis:

This is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that causes thick, scaly patches on the skin. According to researchers, drinking large amounts of alcohol may increase the risk of developing psoriasis. It can also make treatment-resistant.

  • Seborrheic dermatitis:

Alcohol can cause Seborrheic dermatitis. This is a common skin condition associated with inflamed, oily, and scaly patches that may be more common in heavy drinkers.

  • Late cutaneous porphyria:

Alcohol consumption is the most common cause of Porphyria cutanea tarda (PCT). This condition causes painful, blister-like lesions on the skin after sun exposure.

Excessive Alcohol Consumption “Marks” the Skin

Excessive alcohol consumption has a short- and long-term inflammatory effect on the skin and the body in general. Alcohol is a strong vasodilator: after ingestion, there is a rapid dilation of peripheral vessels. This leads to redness on the face, but also on other parts of the body such as the neck or hands. In addition, alcohol is very high in sugar and calories and increases the glucose level in the bloodstream, which limits cell regeneration. This manifests itself in visible marks on the face (pronounced and swollen dark circles, gray complexion, redness).

Excessive Alcohol Consumption Promotes Hormonally Induced Acne

Studies have shown that alcohol increases the levels of certain hormones in women such as testosterone and estradiol, a form of estrogen. The increase in hormone levels can stimulate the sebaceous glands, which then produce more sebum. This sebum can clog the pores and cause a skin rash.

Sources

  • Drinking Makes You Older at the Cellular Level, Research Society on Alcoholism, (2017).

  • T Sarkola & al., Acute effect of alcohol on androgens in premenopausal women, Clinical Trial Alcohol, (2000).

  • Goodman GD et al. Impact of Smoking and Alcohol Use on Facial Aging in Women: Results of a Large Multinational, Multiracial, Cross-sectional Survey. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. (2019).

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