Drinking alcohol this Christmas? Well, know how bad it can be for your skin

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Merry Christmas, ladies! The holiday season certainly gives you lots of options. Taking a break from work tops the list. Then maybe reconnecting with old friends and extended family members. This certainly calls for a celebration, and what’s the best way to do it? Open a bottle of champagne or any other favourite drink of yours, isn’t it? Well, as an adult, you know that overindulgence in alcohol leaves you with a hangover. But alcohol has side effects on skin, which is why you should totally watch how much end up drinking even if it’s a special occasion.

You don’t want to be a buzzkill by turning down alcohol at a Christmas party, but you certainly will if you love your skin.

Health Shots checked with Dr Indur Ramchandani, Director Department of dermatology, Jaslok Hospital & Research Centre, South Mumbai, to understand how alcohol affects your skin.

Overconsumption of alcohol is bad for skin. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Alcohol damages skin

Having two drinks a day? You should let go of this habit as there’s a huge amount of damage to the skin that happens when you drink alcohol. According to Ramchandani, alcohol affects any mucous membrane, right from the pancreas to liver to the skin. The first effect is dehydration.” You skin will feel dry after drinking as alcohol takes fluids out of your skin. If you look at a woman who has been drinking for two or three decades, and a woman the same age who hasn’t had alcohol at all, you will see a huge difference in their skin. The expert shared that the one who has been drinking, will have more wrinkles from that dehydration damage. In fact, it can make you look 10 years older than your actual age!

How much can you drink to avoid skin damage?

Age plays a key role in this. When you are 20 years old and you drink, that alcohol will leave your body in about three hours. Ramchandani explained that as you grow older and turn 40, it takes an average of 33 hours for that drink to leave your body. The idea is to just minimise drinking to once or twice a week, as the lower the intake of alcohol, the lower the skin damage.

Tips to avoid dehydration

It goes without saying that you need to limit the amount of alcohol you decide to drink. Also, have plenty of water or soft drinks between alcoholic drinks to avoid dehydration.

Alcohol dehydrates your skin. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Go for clear alcohol

Everybody’s got a poison, and different alcohols have different effects on the skin. But as a general rule, the expert said that the clearer, the better, which means that alcohol like vodka, gin, and tequila get out of your system quicker. If you are going to drink anything, she suggested to drink vodka that doesn’t have a grain in it. For instance, a potato vodka is a lot clearer and smoother, so “it gets in and out of your body with no problems”.

Eat before and while drinking

It’s best to eat before and during drinking sessions, suggested the expert. If you drink when your stomach is empty, the alcohol will enter your bloodstream faster, and you might feel the effects of your drinks quickly. This will make it harder to manage your drinking, so it’s a good idea to eat before your first drink, and while you are drinking.

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