Here's what happens to your skin when you stop drinking alcohol...



This is all good news... If you're heading to Sober October after a summer of drinking mojitos and negronis, we've come to the right place. 

Like Sober January, Sober October is a campaign that encourages people to give up alcohol this month while raising money for charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support. 

But what are the benefits of abstaining from alcohol for 31 days or more? Especially when it comes to your skin? WH spoke to experts to find out how drinking alcohol directly affects your healthy appearance and what happens when you drink. 

But first... What does alcohol do to your skin? First things first: Drinking everywhere won't harm your body. But the sad truth is that alcohol is a hepatotoxin, which means it specifically damages the liver, an organ closely related to the function of the skin. 

If your liver is damaged, it will show up on your skin. Ultimately, drinking alcohol can lead to dry skin, dark circles, loss of elasticity, and redness of the skin. 

"Alcohol deprives the skin of vitamins by blocking their absorption and speeding up the breakdown of existing stores," says Dr. David Jack, beautician in Harley Street. See you soon, skin cell renewal. 

A lack of vasopressin also reduces the ability of blood vessels to contract. "This can cause broken capillaries and telangiectasia, which can lead to red lines on the skin," says top esthetician Kate Kerr. 

What does alcohol do to your body? We know the feeling: When you're done with Friyay, it feels like a cold Picpoul beer. Moderate drinking is OK (no more than one drink per day for women). But it's worth knowing what alcohol does to your body. 

Although small amounts of alcohol can relax you, relieve tension, and reduce inhibitions, they can cause slower reactions, poorer coordination, and slower brain activity. 

Because alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream, it essentially weakens the parts of your brain that control body functions, affecting your mood and your ability to make decisions and stay in control. This may cause anxiety for several days after treatment (called an "anxiety attack"). 
Over time, overuse can increase the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, liver disease, and cancer. Does alcohol dehydrate you? This is a resounding yes. 

Congeners are chemicals produced during the fermentation process that contribute to the taste and smell of alcohol—and they're a major cause of hangovers. They also remove moisture from the skin, much like the sun removes moisture from sand. 

"In the kidneys, alcohol increases water loss by suppressing the hormone vasopressin, which helps you reabsorb water," adds Dr. Jack added. The result is drying of skin cells, making wrinkles more visible. 

"Excessive amounts of alcohol cause hot flashes in most people, have a diuretic effect, and lead to dehydration," says Dr. Justine Hextall, one of London's top dermatologists. 

Does alcohol cause inflammation? Do you think these mojitos and caipirinhas taste so good that they're... well, good? That's because they are. "Too many carbs and sugar can lead to inflammation," explains Dr. Hextal, "And salt [hello, tequila] can cause bloating." 

Hence, bags and dark circles under your eyes after a long night. Does alcohol cause acne? The high salt and sugar content in alcoholic beverages triggers the release of the hormone IGF-1, which causes excess oil production in the skin. 

Add to that increased insulin levels, which cause inflammation, and you have a recipe for acne. “When skin follicles become clogged with skin cells and oil, the oil begins to accumulate behind the clog, causing spots to form later,” says Dr. Hextall. 

Does alcohol cause premature aging? This is an age-old question. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of cell damage and accelerated skin aging. “Dehydration weakens the skin barrier, allowing environmental factors to cause damage,” explains Dr. Hextall. 

One of the reasons cocktails taste great is their high sugar content, which doesn't do your face any favors. "It causes glycation, where sugar molecules in the blood combine with proteins to form advanced glycation end products (AGEs)," says Dr. Mongolian. 

“Studies show that AGEs hinder the production of collagen and elastin, leading to reduced cell turnover and repair.” So for the skin, this means discolored, dull complexion. "Additionally, glucose not only causes abnormalities in the cells of the skin, it also produces free radicals. 

This gives you a double advantage when it comes to signs of aging." Does alcohol cause discoloration? Alcohol has vasodilatory effects, which means it opens blood vessels. If your blood vessels dilate too much 

they can rupture, leaving small peripheral veins that can become permanently enlarged (you may notice ruptured red veins around your nose and on your cheeks).
Additionally, when your liver stops functioning properly, it can cause your skin to look dull and lead to pigmentation around your eyes. 

Will drinking alcohol affect sleep?
It disrupts your circadian rhythm, also known as your internal body clock. When you stay up all night, you don't go through as many sleep cycles, so the growth hormone hormone doesn't rise as high as it should.

"This growth and support hormone is released during the quietest phase of sleep, known as the REM phase. Missing this phase will result in reduced cell turnover and reduced collagen stimulation." Kevin Mun, Scientific Director and Venn Skincare Co-founder.
Low growth hormone levels also reduce the moisture content of skin cells, causing the pH of your skin tone to become unbalanced and lower than it should be (5.5). 

This can lead to dehydrated, dull skin.

What happens to your skin when you stop drinking alcohol?
Okay, now the good news. “Over time, giving up alcohol can have a positive impact on your skin,” reveals Lucy Xu, beautician and founder of London’s top laser clinic. Xu said skin can improve at different intervals after quitting drinking.

1 week after stopping drinking:
"After a week of abstaining from alcohol, you may notice some improvements in the appearance and health of your skin."

Moisturize: "Alcohol can cause dehydration, and abstaining from alcohol can help your skin regain moisture. Hydrated skin looks plumper, smoother, and healthier." 

Reduce redness: "Many people experience facial flushing and flushing when drinking alcohol. After a week of abstaining from alcohol, these redness may subside and your skin tone may become more even."

1 month after stopping drinking:
"After a month of sobriety, your skin will see further improvements. As your skin becomes more hydrated and circulation improves, your overall complexion will be brighter and more radiant."

Reduce puffiness: "Alcohol can cause puffiness and puffiness, especially around the eyes." Avoiding alcohol can reduce puffiness and keep your face looking younger and fresher.

3 months after stopping drinking:
"About six months after you quit drinking, you may experience more noticeable changes in your skin." 

Reduces acne and breakouts: "Alcohol can cause skin problems like acne and breakouts." Over time, avoiding alcohol can reduce these problems, resulting in clearer skin.

Wrinkle improvement: "After six months of not drinking alcohol, you may notice a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and improved skin elasticity."

An overall healthier appearance: "Your skin may look healthier, more energetic, and less tired." Improved hydration and overall skin health contribute to a youthful glow. "

"It's important to note that individual experiences may vary, and the degree of improvement may depend on factors such as genetics, overall health, and skin care habits and routines." "However, quitting alcohol can have a negative impact on the appearance of your skin and your daily habits. 

Positive impact. Healthy, helps create a fresher, younger look," Xu added.

How to deal with body and skin damage when drinking alcohol
Once you're past your sober October, you may want to take it slow if you start drinking again. To prevent painful hangovers while combating their harmful effects, there are some simple things you can try: 

1. Drink water
This is the oldest trick in the book, and probably the most effective. With each drink, start with a large glass of water and then the next glass. Coconut water is also a good choice due to its high electrolyte content. 

2. Prepare in advance
If you know you'll have more than one margarita on the agenda, it might come in handy to do a little advance preparation for the next day. Before drinking, take some Biocol Labs Something For a Mini Hangover capsules (a clever blend of choline, safflower, and artichoke) to help break down tequila-induced toxins in your body. 

3. Stop drinking before bed
According to an article published by the Sleep Foundation, drinking alcohol before bed can disrupt various stages of the sleep cycle, leading to poorer quality sleep (and worse hangovers). Unfortunately, we advise against having that last nightcap.
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