Alcohol Gives You Dry Skin

In the past we’ve talked a lot about the ill-effects of sugar. If you’ve been following our blog then you know that Sugar Gives Your Wrinkles, and Sugar Gives You Acne.  You should also know that you can have beautiful blemish-free skin by eating a low-glycemic-load diet.  Whether you want to be healthy, or just look healthy, you need to eat right.  But…sugar isn’t your only problem.  Alcohol isn’t the greatest thing for your complexion, either.

I don’t want to get all preachy on you.  We all saw how well prohibition worked out.  In fact, the benefits of some types of alcohol, consumed moderately, can outweigh the skin-damaging effects.  (Here’s to you, red wine. )  Unless you consume alcohol daily you don’t need to worry.  If you do drink daily you can either reduce the amount of alcohol you consume (yeah, right), or you can keep reading to find out how to lessen those effects.

The Damage

What are those skin-damaging effects?  There are a quite a few of them.[1]  Today, we’re going to talk about only one, dry skin.  With winter coming up your skin is going to dry out anyways.  (If you want to know more about why that happens be sure to check out the article: Winter Is Coming.)  Add a daily dose of alcohol to that and you’re in for some very dry skin.  So, how does alcohol dry out your skin?

Breaking the Seal

funny-unisex-bathroom-sign-se-2028Alcohol is a diuretic.[2]  A diuretic is any substance that promotes an increased production in urine.  Thanks to alcohol, your body can’t reabsorb water, you pee a lot, and your organs dry out.  Skin that is dry appears more wrinkled than skin that is nice and hydrated.  Your skin will rehydrate as alcohol is eliminated from your body.  However, if you drink every day and you’re over the age of 40, out of shape, eat poorly, or stressed out your body may not be able to eliminate it completely[3] – resulting in skin that may not be able to properly rehydrate.

Vitamin A

Alcohol can also dry out the skin through another method.  Excessive alcohol consumption can create a Vitamin A deficiency[4] which in turn can give you dry skin[5].  Vitamin A (aka Retinol) is also an important anti-oxidant that affects the turnover rate of skin cells and removes substances that damage collagen.[6] This means that not only can it give you dry skin which appears more wrinkled, it also also make your skin appear more aged.

How To Lessen Those Effects

OK, let’s be real.  You’re probably not going to suddenly quit drinking cold turkey no matter how good it is for your health, and your appearance.  There is still hope.

Drink More Water

While your body may be less able to absorb water directly after consuming alcohol, it can absorb water just fine several hours later.  Be sure to increase your consumption of water a few hours after drinking.  This does not mean that you should stop drinking water while you’re drinking alcohol.  Your body may not be as good at absorbing water, but alternating between an alcoholic drink and a glass of water helps you to consume less alcohol, and gives your body more time to metabolize what you did drink.

Eat Better Food

We need to talk about what you eat when you drink, as well as your overall diet.  Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach makes it more difficult for your body to eliminate alcohol.  To give your body a helping hand eat before your drink.  What’s the best thing to eat?  According to Nutritionist Katherine Brooking, healthy fats and lean proteins (like avocado, peanut butter, and salmon) will help slow the absorption of alcohol, while simple carbohydrates (like white rice, cookies, and potato chips) will not.[7]  For some great pre-drink meal ideas follow this link: http://elitedaily.com/life/eat-before-drinking-photos/1258285/

We also spoke about how excessive alcohol consumption can create a Vitamin A deficiency.  This means you should add foods that are high in Vitamin A to your overall diet.  This is things like sweet potatoes, beef liver, spinach, carrots, and pumpkin to name a few.[8]

Exercise

We need to talk about lifting things up and putting them down.  That’s right, strength training.  Those with more muscle-mass are better able to metabolize alcohol than those with less muscle-mass.[3]  This means that you have to lift heavy things – not those 2lb dumbbells signed by Jane Fonda that have been sitting in your closet since the 1980s.

Even though muscle is what helps your body eliminate alcohol more quickly, don’t forget the cardio.  While it may not have a direct effect on alcohol metabolism, it can help reduce chronic stress, which as you’ll read below also has an effect on how well you can metabolize alcohol.

Manage Your Stress

meditationStress can affect rate at which you absorb alcohol.  This is because your small intestine absorbs alcohol at a faster rate than your stomach.[9] Acute stress causes your stomach to empty into your intestines more slowly, which means that you’ll also absorb alcohol more slowly.  However, chronic stress causes this to accelerate.[10]  This means that if you are chronically stressed out your stomach is emptying faster and causing you to absorb alcohol more quickly.  Managing your stress through exercise, meditation, or therapy can help your body return to normal stress levels.[11]

Cover It Up

A good moisturizer, like Kaiya Naturals Chickie Gold Moisturizer, is a necessity if you drink daily.        While it won’t help you from losing water due to the diuretic effects of alcohol, it will help you hold on to what you do have.  You may also want to consider using one of Kaiya Naturals After Shower Oils to help lock in moisture over your entire body.

To Sum Up

Alcohol gives you dry skin.  It’s not that big of a deal, unless you drink daily.  If you do drink daily then you should be drinking more water, eating better food, exercising, managing your stress, and using a good moisturizer and/or body oil to help counteract the skin-damaging effects of excessive alcohol consumption.

If there is anything that you would like me to talk about feel free to reach out to me either here, via email: kedric@kaiya-naturals.com, on twitter @kaiyanaturals, or on Facebook @kaiyanaturals.  Also  please, please, please share or comment on this article.  Seriously, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.

Stay Natural,

Kedric

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.


References:

[1] http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/cutaneous-adverse-effects-of-alcohol/

[2] http://www.jci.org/articles/view/102336/pdf/render

[3] http://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/10/06/how-long-does-alcohol-stay-in-your-system/

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3367262/

[5] http://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/vitamin-a-deficiency/

[6] http://www.canyonranch.com/your-health/whole-beauty/head-toe-beauty/beauty-basics/the-skin-benefits-vitamin

[7] http://elitedaily.com/life/eat-before-drinking-photos/1258285/

[8] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/

[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1705129/

[10] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0024320508000714

[11] http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-management-relieving-stress

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