Most of us enjoy a tipple or two at dinner or as we chill out with friends. As much as I delight in sharing positive news about alcohol to justify another glass – Moderate amounts of red wine protects your coronaries from heart attack and teeth from cavities! A drink a day keeps cancer away! – alcohol is a slippery slope. Long-term health consequences aside, there is absolutely no doubt that overindulgence takes a quick and serious toll on the skin.

To help me keep to my 30-day no-alcohol-detox-plan after a season of celebratory excess, insufficient sleep and gym absenteeism (all death messages to the dermis), here are 6 good reasons why I desperately need an alcohol time-out:

Alcohol Puffs You Up

A drink may give you courage to go up to that cutie, but the alcohol also dilates the blood vessels and causes excessive accumulation of fluid.  The swelling and puffiness is most obvious in the super thin skin around the eyes, and less in the rest of the face – certainly not a pretty sight the morning after.

Alcohol Exacerbates Skin Problems

Repeated vasodilation can cause skin’s blood vessels to lose tone permanently, causing persistent flushing and blotchy bumps. In fact, alcohol consumption is also proven to exacerbate flare-ups of rosacea (a skin condition which is characterized by excessive flushing, broken facial capillaries, inflamed pimple-like bumps and extreme sensitivity), as well as psoriasis.

Alcohol Makes a Dull Damsel

The water you drink serves as an internal moisturizer for your skin and tissues. Maintaining proper hydration will help you plump up the skin, giving a fresh, healthy radiance. Alcohol, along with caffeinated drinks like coffee and soda, has quite the opposite effect – they dehydrate you and deplete cells of vital nutrients they need to function optimally, causing you look to dull and feel ‘blah’.

Alcohol Accelerates Aging

Chronic drinkers tend to look older than their peers because they’ve been chronically dehydrated. Lines in dehydrated skin appear deeper faster, and skin cells’ collagen-regenerating capability is reduced as well. Doctors have also found that those who drink heavily often have less healthy diets, which can deprive the body of necessary nutrients that keep the biggest organ – the skin – gorgeous and strong. Alcohol is well-known for affecting liver function, which means the body is less able to flush out harmful toxins. Medical reasons aside, many of us simply do not stick to our skincare routine or get enough sleep after getting sloshed at a party, both important habits that keep us looking younger for longer.

Alcohol Disrupts Beauty Sleep

Sips of wine might help you unwind after a hard days’ work and fall asleep faster, but alcohol breaks up your snooze cycle and makes you more likely to wake up in the middle of the night (a “rebound” effect). In addition, researchers found that drinking may be more detrimental to women than their male counterpart, with women waking up more frequently during the night and getting fewer hours of sleep.

Alcohol Sabotages Your Diet Plan

Off the face, alcohol can thwart your weight loss plans. The two (or more…) cocktails you had can stimulate your appetite, making you apt to pick at hors d’oeurves all night. In any case, alcoholic drinks themselves are essentially ‘liquid fat’, totally unnecessary hidden calories you down unconsciously as you get merry.  One beer or a full unit of alcohol every evening adds about 15 pounds to your abdominal spread in a year.

Think before you drink!

Relate Link – Hangover Tips – Look Fresh the Morning After

– By Michelle Wenli