Beware the Holiday Cheer: Alcohol's Effect on the Skin
You don't want your face looking like the Ghost of Christmas Past, so heed this wintertime wisdom from DermOne.
Celebrations and the holidays go hand in hand. But that bit of bubbly here, that bottle of beer there, and those many mouthfuls of margarita everywhere may have an impact on your skin that you would like to not see in your holiday pictures. To save your skin this holiday season, Heather Capps, PA-C, a skincare expert with DermOne Dermatology Centers with offices in Irving, Arlington, Mesquite, Waxahachie and Grand Prairie , offers the following information about the effect of libations to help keep you shiny and bright this season:
'Ritas, Mojitos, Daiquiris and Other Sweet Drinks - If you're in for a sugar rush, beware the skin hangover. "Lots of sugar and carbs can lead to inflammation in the cells, which can increase skin aging -- not to mention the spike in insulin levels, which can lead to acne," said Capps. This kind of sugar rush can lead to a sugar hangover, which Capps says can result in sallow skin and bloodshot eyes. And it's not just your eyes that can look puffy: sugary drinks can leave your body bloated all the way around well into the next day. And did you order that margarita with extra salt?
Shots, Like Tequila, Rum, Whiskey, Gin or Vodka - While clear shots have no additional salt or sugar on top of what's in the alcohol itself, many people who drink shots are likely to lose track and end up consuming more alcohol than they intended. Clear shots (gin or vodka, for example) have fewer congeners than do dark shots. Congeners are the chemical substance produced during the fermentation process that are also one of the main causes of hangovers. The worse your hangover? "The worse your skin looks," said Capps.
Wine and Champagne - Sure, it doesn't stain your lips like red wine tends to -- but white wine and champagne have more sugar and salt, and less of the healthy benefits that red wine can have. Any kind of wine can lead to puffy skin, warns Capps, though there are some redeeming qualities for red wine. "Red wine contains more antioxidants which have been shown to help support good cell health," she said, "and people tend to slow down, sip and enjoy this drink more than others, which is a good thing for consuming less alcohol overall." But warning for those with rosacea: flairs can occur with drinking red wine -- even more so than other alcohols, which can also cause flairs.
Beer - Ounce for ounce, beer has less alcohol than other drinks, and does contain some antioxidants -- but it is a drink with salt, which can lead to dehydration. "Anytime we introduce more salt into our diets, those higher levels of sodium essentially rob fluid from cells where we need it, giving that awful, shriveled look that no one wants," warns Capps. "If you're drinking beer, I recommend sipping on it to make it last, and trying a craft beer or something with a lot of taste that you will want to enjoy for a long period of time."
Capps recommends the ultimate chaser for any holiday libation: a large glass of water. "If you are going to drink, make sure that after any drink you choose, you have a large glass of water. It will help with dehydration, will fill you up, and will slow you down." Capps also recommends that if you are having your own party, consider sugar-free elements like Crystal Light instead of sugary mixes for your drinks. She also recommends keeping makeup remover towelettes handy for late nights to make sure that your skin is clean before you crash into bed. Are you someone who feels the need to light up when you drink? Then don't drink at all, Capps says. "Smoking is just about the worst thing for your skin, next to sun exposure."
If you are going to drink this holiday season, drink in moderation and drink responsibly. "If you really want to look good the next day," Capps recommends. " Offer to be the designated driver."