What Booze Is Doing to Your Beauty
Excessive drinking apart from causing a serious hangover takes a toll on your appearance. When I drink too much alcohol, go on a few hours of sleep, don’t eat well, and don’t sweat, I look five to ten years older.
See. Lately, I have found myself skipping the gym, sleeping terribly, and pouring a second (or third) glass too often—and I’m wearing it. To kick off an overall lifestyle cleanse, I decided to take a 30-day break from alcohol.
Helping me stay away from alcohol are these negative effects of overindulging:
It makes eyes puffy.
Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and causes redistribution of fluid. Your whole body is affected, but you tend to especially see the swelling in the thin skin of your eyelids and the skin under your eyes.
It gives you wrinkles.
Chronic drinkers look older than their peers because they’ve been chronically dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, you’re not regenerating collagen as well, and lines in the skin tend to become deeper faster.
It dulls the skin.
Dehydration is a significant factor in this too, but another reason is that after a night of drinking, you often don’t stick to your normal skin-care routine. Not only are you not cleansing your skin properly, you probably haven’t had water or consumed healthy fruits, or gotten enough sleep—all things that make us look healthy regularly.
It worsens rosacea.
As a vasodilator, alcohol absolutely exacerbates rosacea and flushing, there’s also a strong link between psoriasis and drinking that’s still being studied.
It interrupts beauty sleep.
Yes, falling asleep might be more manageable after a half-carafe of Tempranillo. Still, alcohol makes you much more likely to wake up multiple times during the night. A study performed by the University of Michigan found that drinking was more detrimental to women’s sleep than men’s, with women waking up more frequently during the night and getting fewer hours of sleep.
It sabotages diets.
More than two cocktails tend to stimulate your appetite, making you apt to pick at hors d’oeuvres all night. To boot, the following morning, you’re likely to grab a greasier-than-usual breakfast. Alcohol is a highly acid-forming substance, so after a night of heavy drinking, your pH balance is out of whack. You crave the salty, fatty foods because your body is trying to create balance again—what you should be eating is super-alkalizing foods like leafy greens, but bacon and eggs will probably sound more appealing than a bowl of kale.
Of course, not everyone is game for (or even needs) an alcohol time-out, so if you plan on getting sloshed anyway, check out our tips on preventing and hiding the signs of a hangover.
How to Deal With a Hangover
For many, the holidays are an excuse to go a little overboard. We eat until we resemble sausage stuffed into too-tight a casing. We shop until our credit cards wear thin. We drink until we regret it the next day. Luckily, with these expert tips, you can at least manage a throbbing hangover—and cover-up last night’s sins.
Take an aspirin or ibuprofen before bed.
Scientists at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia found taking anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce the headache effect of acetate, a chemical that is created when the body breaks down alcohol. A cup of coffee in the morning has a similar benefit. Avoid Tylenol, as it can harm the liver when taken while drinking.
Pacing your cocktail consumption with water and downing a glass before you slip between the sheets prevents dehydration, the culprit behind puffy eyes, and flushed skin.
Pepto-Bismol or milk of magnesia can calm your stomach, while bland foods, like saltine crackers, go down easily.
To keep your skin from looking dry in the morning, slather on moisturizing face cream and elevating your head with one or two extra pillows, allowing fluid around your eyes to drain and minimize puffiness. To soothe additional inflammation, dab on an eye cream that contains caffeine or a mild 1 percent hydrocortisone cream.
Because alcohol makes you sweat more, wash your hair thoroughly in the morning to get rid of excess oil. As a bonus, try a peppermint or eucalyptus face wash to make yourself feel more alert.
Hide the evidence.
Sweep on a little blush to disguise the sallowness that often comes with a hangover. But don’t go overboard or you’ll look flushed—why to go back to square one?.