What are the effects of Alcohol on your skin.

By Hannah Depledge

June 9 2018

Women drinking a glass of red wine

After reading a great article about the effects that drinking alcohol has on the skin, Aesthetic Nurse Hannah Depledge summarises what she learnt in this Blog.

With the warm summer months fast approaching, invitations to barbecues and sitting in the beer garden at the local pub its not only the harmful UV rays that we need to be mindful of when thinking about the health of our skin.

Alcohol is one of the worst toxins for the skin, having next to no nutritional value it has negative effects on the body such as a reduced liver function, reduced immune system, it can cause disruption to your hormones, affect your insulin levels, dehydrate the body and damage cells. Leaving the skin dehydrated, dull and wrinkly!

Our skin loves water! It is essential for the normal functioning of the skin especially the outer layer. The skin needs water to hydrate and naturally moisturise itself and as we all know alcohol is a diuretic, dehydrating us leaving our cells at risk of damage and ageing.

Heavy drinking can cause our insides to become inflamed and this will present in the skin in the form of redness, breakouts and puffiness. The inflammation can also lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, contributing to its ageing.

Most alcoholic drinks contain a lot of sugar; cocktails and white wine being the worst in relation to sugar content. Glycation is a process whereby the glucose intake affects how the body ages, it crystallises your skin cells (glycation), leading to less plump, supple cells and a duller skin tone.

The sugar content in the alcohol can also initiate an insulin response. Increased insulin levels can have a negative effect on thyroid and sex hormones, causing hormonal imbalance and skin problems, this can also increase the number or breakout of spots on the skin.

Minimising the impact of alcohol on the skin.

  • Stick to the recommended weekly intake of 14 units, equivalent to 6 pints of beer or cider, small glasses of wine or 6 double shot spirits.
  • Avoid drinking every day, try not to binge drink and aim to have at least two alcohol free days a week.
  • Opt for healthier drinks such as dry wines and spirits as they have less sugar.
  • Make sure you eat before having a drink as it will slow the absorption of the alcohol.

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Hannah Depledge Portrait image

Hannah Depledge

Hannah has spent the past few years training to an advanced level with some of the industry’s leading aesthetic nurses, doctors and cosmetic surgeons and now provides a high-quality service providing non-surgical cosmetic treatments to her clients.