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alcoholic beverageHave you awaken from a hangover and you went “YIKES” when you saw yourself in the mirror?  Alcohol not only plays havoc with your skin but also takes a toll on the body.  Consuming alcohol dehydrates the body by acting as a diuretic.  It makes you go to the bathroom more by forcing water from the body and also prevents the body from re-absorbing fluids.  Mixed drinks contain large amounts of salt and sugar which contributes to bloating and puffy eyes.

Studies have shown there is no correlation between consuming alcohol and the body’s inability to metabolize and absorb glucose or having lower levels of electrolytes.  An article in Scientific American explains the following happens in the body: After a person starts consuming an alcoholic drink, the liver begins its work using an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH).  ADH metabolizes the ethanol in alcoholic drinks into acetaldehyde, which is reported to be 10 to 30 times more toxic than the alcohol itself”.

The flushing, sweating, vomiting and nausea one experiences from a hangover is an even bigger concern because consuming alcohol could elevate the risk of skin cancer.  The intake of 12.8 grams of alcohol could increase the risk of skin cancer up to 22%.  Alcohol dilates blood vessels in the skin which causes blood to rush to the skin and is a trigger for Rosacea flare up.  Alcohol consumption also depletes the levels of Vitamin A in the body.  Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps with cellular turnover and fights free radicals.

If you want to enjoy a drink out with friends, after dinner or at the beach, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Drink plenty of water before consuming alcoholic beverages.  Green tea also works wonders because they help to prohibit the metabolism of alcohol.  You can also drink Sprite or 7-Up before going out because they contain taurine which might help to minimize a hangover.
  • To revive your skin the day after, gently exfoliate the skin to remove dead surface cells that can make your skin look dull and apply a hydrating moisturizer.
  • You may come in dragging after drinking all evening, but sleep on elevated pillows to drain excess fluid and reduce puffiness to the face. Cleanse the face with lukewarm water.  Hot water will cause more redness and deplete the skin of moisture.  If you get a chance, place tea bags over the eyes.  The tannins and caffeine from tea helps to constrict blood vessels, reduce swelling and draws water away from eye tissue.
  • If you do drink, vodka is better than dark liquors or red wine which contains resveratrol.
  • Eat while you consume alcohol because it will help slow the release of sugar.
  • Alternate drinking water with alcohol to lessen the effect of a hangover and it will help keep the body hydrated.

To read more on this topic, click on the following link:

Grabenhofer, R. (2016). Skin, Inc., “Hungover skin causes and cures”. Retrieved July 11, 2016, from: http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/physiology/Hungover-Skin-Causes-and-Cures-382685041.html

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