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How Alcohol Affects Your Skin And How To Rescue It

How Alcohol Affects Your Skin And How To Rescue It
Writer and expert4 years ago
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but alcohol can have a serious impact on the look and feel of your skin. Don’t worry, though, you don’t need to give up drinking! Here are eight steps you can take to counterbalance the effects of alcohol.

1. Avoid Drinks With Additives

how alcohol affects your skin

We all have our go-to drink on a night out (I personally have a soft spot for white wine), but some choices can impact your skin more than others:

  • Sugary drinks should be avoided: Do your skin a favour and avoid drinking sweet cocktails and alcopops. They contain a lot of sugar and can cause breakouts on your skin.
  • As should salty ones: Drinks made with salt (think margaritas and bloody marys) can be just as bad. These contribute to bloating, puffiness and dehydration, all of which can manifest on your skin in the form of dry patches and fine lines.

Essentially, any drink that contains additives (like sugar, salt and congeners) and gives you hangovers will be bad for your skin. Yep, hangovers and lacklustre skin go hand in hand.

2. Stick To Clear Spirits And Red Wine

So, you’re probably wondering what drinks you can have. The good news is that clear spirits (like vodka and gin) are better options. They don’t dry out your skin as much as other drinks - as long as you don’t drink them as part of a sugary cocktail, of course.

You’ll also be happy to know that red wine is another good choice. As it contains resveratrol (a so-called anti-ageing “miracle” that acts like antioxidants), it won’t have a negative impact on your skin when drank in moderation.

3. Drink In Moderation

The reason why alcohol can have a negative impact on your skin is because it is so dehydrating. It strips your complexion of vital nutrients, giving it a dull, tired look. Oh, and if you regularly go binge drinking, it can even age your skin. So, to avoid this, it is recommended to have no more than two drinks a day.

Ideally, you should avoid drinking entirely for two or three days a week and never exceed the guidance of 14 units per week - but the odd tipple here and there won’t do too much harm.

4. Don’t Forget To Have Water

how alcohol affects skin

Your mother no doubt told you to drink a glass of water before bed to avoid a hangover. Well, the same is true for your skin. If you drink one glass of water for every unit of alcohol you have, it will prevent your skin from getting too dehydrated. You should also drink lots of H2O the next morning. It’s the easiest way to avoid the inflammation, sagging, discolouration and enlarged pores associated with alcohol.

5. Stop Drinking A Couple Of Hours Before Bed

It’s no secret that our skin fixes itself whilst we sleep. This issue, of course, is that alcohol affects the quality of our shut eye, and consequently affects our skin’s ability to repair itself. So, to avoid struggling to get to sleep, it is recommended that you stop drinking two hours before going to bed. You’ll avoid having that spinning, throbbing head feeling that stops you from nodding off.

6. Remove Your Makeup Probably

I know how tempting it can be to come in after a night out and just wipe your makeup off with a cleansing wipe – but your skin won’t thank you for it. Instead, try to properly cleanse your face. It doesn’t take that long and it really can make all the difference.

Related: How To Use A Make‐up Removing Cloth Without Cleanser

7. Use A Night Cream

To make the most of the little sleep you do get, you should apply a night cream that helps your complexion to repair itself. I’d recommend the Clinique Superdefense Night Recovery Moisturizer. It is designed specifically for dry skin and works overnight to hydrate, replenish and protect your complexion. It also helps to fight against the early signs of ageing and strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier.

8. Give Your Skin An Extra Hydration Boost In The Morning

If you miss out the two above steps, or your skin just feels really dry, using a deeply hydrating mask the next morning can help to refresh and brighten your skin too. I’d recommend the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrogel Recovery Mask. It is an ultra-hydrating treatment infused with hyaluronic acid that delivers instant and long-lasting moisture. Your dry and thirsty skin will be left feeling smooth, supple and revitalised.

And that's how to look after your skin after a night on the booze.

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Writer and expert
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