As the largest organ in our body, our skin can tell a lot about our health and the state of our physical fitness and appearance. Everyone who has consumed alcohol with frequency can note some sort of correlation between the alcohol they consume and the potentially obnoxious skin conditions that manifest after.
While we are often willing to try anything in the pursuit of clear skin, we must first understand why and how alcohol impacts our appearance.
Let’s take a moment to pull back our focus for a broader view of alcohol, our skin, and the health signs that they can display.
Alcohol and You: Damaging Your Skin
Jairo Rodriguez, a prominent New York nutritionist for local editors and designers, makes the connection between alcohol and skin damage clear. Jairo Rodriguez points out that alcohol is one of the more ‘aggressive compounds’ that can destroy our skin. The problem here is that alcohol has been normalized to such a dramatic extent that these correlations are no longer noted.
So what’s the relationship between alcoholism and skin damage?
1) Toxins in Alcohol – When our body metabolizes alcohol in our liver, a byproduct is released known as acetaldehyde. This is a toxic byproduct that harms our tissues, leaving our skin dehydrated and uncomfortable. Dry skin is one of the first steps on the path toward a full post-consumption breakout.
2) Salts & Sugars – Another major issue with alcohol and our skin is the fact that many alcohols have additives that do incredible damage. Beer is typically brimming with salt and sugar, which can lead to further dehydration as well as stress on our liver. Darker liquors have even more additives than clear alternatives.
3) Harming Our Pores – Not only does drinking to drunkenness cause us to become dehydrated, but it can also directly impact our pores. Alcohol causes our pores to dilate, which can lead directly to issues such as whiteheads or blackheads and, eventually, cystic acne. Cystic acne can quickly turn into long-term damage if the issue isn’t addressed appropriately and with quickness.
Combatting Skin Damage and Alcoholism
Ultimately, to get healthier skin, we must focus on becoming healthier in other areas of our life. When speaking of drinking specifically, it is important to limit our exposure to alcohol as we grow older. The reason for this is simple, a 20-year-old can rebound from a heavy night of drinking by ridding their body of alcohol within three to four hours. A 40-year old will require 33 hours to get rid of that same alcohol.
While skin damage is far from the most pressing concern resulting from alcoholism, it is a key indicator that problems are occurring within the body. If you are struggling with skin damage due to alcohol or know someone who is, consider incorporating a detox routine or simply upping your water consumption on those nights.
A daily drinker is someone who drinks at least two beverages per day. Alcoholism comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms, however, so be wary and consult with a professional if you believe yourself to have a problem.