When it comes to skincare, there are many do’s and don’ts. Some people take all of them to heart. And yet there are those who need more convincing.  This is understandable.  With all the information that we come across, some are based on evidence, while others can be regarded as myths.

Most individuals have the sense that alcohol is simply not healthy, without really understanding the specific reasons why. Because it is the center of many social gatherings and makes individuals feel good, it is easy to make excuses and dismiss the risks. When it comes to skin care, most people may feel that their drinking habits are justified.


(image: Photobucket) Medical experts assert that alcohol speeds up the aging processes in the skin

The specifics on why alcohol is bad for your skin is not exactly common knowledge. This may be due to the subject’s lack of media coverage compared to the emphasis placed on the daily use of  sunscreen.

According to medical experts, alcohol does indeed contributes to sagging skin and other undesired consequences.

Why Alcohol Is Bad For Your Skin

(1) Dehydration

The most common explanation of why alcohol can lead to sagginess in the skin is that it causes us to be dehydrated and excrete large amounts of water. Naturally this would diminish the moisture content of the skin. And it would also upset the overall balance of water levels in our bodies. When drinking binges occur on a regular basis, this would wreak havoc on the skin’s appearance, causing it to increase its levels of laxity.

(2) Liver Toxicity

Dr. David Cobert, the founder of the New York Dermatology Group, explains that alcohol is a hepatoxin which damages the liver cells. The liver is the organ whose job is to detox the body. So imagine what could happen if it does not function optimally. This is why those with serious liver problems tend to look pasty. Their pores are large. And they tend to be cold all the time.

(3) Free Radicals

In 1999, the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study linking alcohol to the formation of free radicals which can subsequently cause significant damage that leads to a number of disorders such as heart disease, strokes and cirrhosis of the liver. The researchers tracked the levels of oxidative stress in subjects who were given various concentrations of alcoho. This was donel through the use of a biochemical marker.

These findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

According to the author of the study, Garret A. FitzGerald, MD, damaging levels of oxidative stress can easily be reached with the amount of alcohol typically consumed in social settings.

Free radicals are formed from regular molecules in the body (e.g. oxygen) as they lose an electron and scavenge other tissues to regain this. They can damage the collagen and elastin fibers within the skin, causing it to lose firmness and elasticity.

What causes sagging skin  is not only damaged collagen and elastin, but also to volume loss that results from atrophied facial tissue below the outer surface. Therefore, those who are serious about wanting youthful, glowing skin should consider minimizing the intake of alcohol.

To learn more about antioxidants and how they can counter the effects of free radicals click here.