Glowing Skin: Alcohol And Your Beauty Routine
Most of us now lead such busy and stressful lives that we sometimes find it hard to switch off when we really need to. Very often, we’ll turn to having a few glasses of wine or beer just as a simple means of trying to unwind. Drinking within the normal parameters of everyday living is fine. In moderation it can actually have health benefits, providing beneficial antioxidants to the body. In the last glowing skin article, we looked at how nicotine can have an ageing effect on the skin. Here we’re going to look at how the long term effects of alcohol can have a similarly detrimental effect on the epidermis.
Your skin and alcohol
The biggest single problem alcohol causes for the skin is dehydration. Dehydration is one of the primary causes of wrinkles and can make the skin look prematurely aged and lined. When we take on board alcohol and especially to excess, it can actually stop the nutrients and vitamins from the food we eat being properly absorbed. Even after just one or two nights of excess drinking, you’re likely to look sallow and pale, as though you’ve had no rest and are in need of some good healthy food to make you feel better. Upping the levels of water you drink can really help, but it isn’t the whole story behind helping the skin to heal itself after alcohol consumption.
Alcohol causes a change in the way the blood flows to the skin. It works to make the blood flow closer to the surface of the epidermis which means that the smaller blood vessels near the top, widen. This gives a typical red bloom to the skin, which can look inflamed and in some cases feel warm or hot to the touch. Over time, these blood vessels can become slightly weaker and cause broken capillaries which are sometimes unsightly and can only really be covered by a heavy make up.
When we drink, it can disrupt our sleeping. Initially it might make us feel as though we want to sleep as we feel less inhibited and more relaxed, but during the course of the night, it results in a burst of hormones which make us feel energized and more awake, meaning that during the course of the following day our skin may look pale, drawn and puffy.
Within our skin, we have an important building block called Hyaluronic Acid. This important compound is responsible, alongside collagen and elastin, for keeping the epidermis plumped up and dewy looking. Naturally, over time they deplete and are part of the regular ageing process we all go through. In someone who drinks, the depletion of these chemicals is accelerated, meaning that they will look much older than they should, sooner.
Looking after your skin
Nobody is for one minute suggesting that you should totally give up drinking. It is something that should be enjoyed in moderation. Certainly drinks like red wine have many added benefits to them. They are rich in flavonols and antioxidants, which, as part of a healthy, balanced diet are essential to actually fight off the free radical damage that happens to our body, simply as a result of everyday things like pollution and stress. This story, published in The Washington Times shows just how badly it can effect your skin and the potentially confidence knocking consequences of a few too many tipples. It isn’t just the skin it affects though. If you feel that your drinking is out of control, then it is important you try and seek help. Looking through an alcoholism treatment directory to find a suitable counselor or place to seek help is a great start, as is simply finding someone trusted to talk to about your issues. This can be key to overcoming any difficulties you may have. There are some simple skincare tips you can follow if you want to help your skin look at its best if you know you’ve overindulged:
Don’t underestimate the importance of cleansing and moisturizing: Keeping the skin clean and well hydrated is vitally important. Every day, twice a day, make sure you cleanse, tone and moisturize with good quality products that leave the skin clean, soft and hydrated. At certain times, the skin may need extra hydration and it can sometimes be worth trying to find a good skin oil or anti-ageing serum to slot into your routine to make sure both the lower and upper layers of the epidermis are well hydrated.
Exfoliation: Gentle exfoliation works best on any skin that has issues with broken capillaries or redness. Sometimes, a gentle cleansing regime involving something like the Clarisonic will be enough. A skin which is coarser, oilier or drier may be able to take exfoliation two to three times a week, whereas a reactive, redder skin may only require it once a week or fortnight. It is also important to try and find an exfoliant which is non granular and can be left on the skin without needing to be agitated in order to break down the dead skin. Follow with a serum and moisturizer.
Massage: Skin massage to encourage lymphatic drainage is extremely important in someone who has been overindulging. This encourages the system to gently detoxify itself and also means that the blood flow is properly stimulated. You can do this yourself. When you’re applying your cleanser and moisturizer use sweeping upward and outward movements as you work the products into your skin. Doing this twice a day should see improvements very quickly. It should also help to de-puff and bring some color back to the cheeks!
Nutrients: Alcohol can often leave you feeling bloated, puffy and in need of a good detoxification regime. Sticking to plenty of good, fresh foods, raw fruits and vegetables, lean protein and wholegrain carbohydrates in combination with plenty of pure water can do wonders to help the liver and kidneys flush themselves properly.
By Julie Birch