This Is Why A Night Of Heavy Drinking Is So Bad For Your Skin

This Is Why A Night Of Heavy Drinking Is So Bad For Your Skin

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This Is Why A Night Of Heavy Drinking Is So Bad For Your Skin
It’s not those late-night cheese fries that give your face that undeniable gray, tired appearance the morning after a night out on the town. Nope. Usually, the reason you wake up haggard-looking after having a couple of drinks is because you’re dehydrated and under-rested. And while you can probably pull off being hungover for one […]

It’s not those late-night cheese fries that give your face that undeniable gray, tired appearance the morning after a night out on the town.

Nope. Usually, the reason you wake up haggard-looking after having a couple of drinks is because you’re dehydrated and under-rested.

And while you can probably pull off being hungover for one torturous day, the long-term effects associated with repeated hangovers can do major damage to your skin. 

“Alcohol causes dehydration,” Dr. Amy Wechsler, a board-certified dermatologist and psychiatrist in Manhattan told The Huffington Post. “It dehydrates and dries the skin out, and skin isn’t as plump.” Dehydrated skin often feels tight and looks flaky, effects that dramatize the appearance of fine lines. Skin looseness, redness and itching can also take hold on your face. Not pretty.

Maybe more damaging than dehydration, however, are the effects that too little sleep has on the skin, Wechsler said. “This is not a direct side effect of alcohol, but it’s a common secondary side effect.”

Many think a nightcap guarantees a solid night of zzz’s, but as it turns out, the exact opposite is true. While alcohol promotes fatigue that could help your head hit the pillow faster, the quality of sleep you experience on a belly full of booze is not so good. An abundance of research suggests that alcohol encourages a disturbed sleep, which leads to groggy mornings and poor concentration that lasts all day

What does this all have to do with your skin? “During sleep is when our cortisol level is lowest,” said Wechsler. Skin has the opportunity to repair itself at nighttime, when you’re not busy putting it through the trauma of your daily commute and dinners at greasy Chinese food restaurants.

When you’re not getting healthy sleep, cortisol (the stress hormone) is still surging, she said. When this happens, the skin becomes inflamed, breaking down the skin’s collagen, which is meant to keep the skin plump, firm and fresh-looking. As a result, fine lines and thin, dry skin are formed. 

If you’re wondering how on earth you’re going to be able to enjoy happy hour without compromising your appearance, consider taking some of the simple preventative measures we’ve outlined below. Let’s raise a glass (of water) to healthier skin from here on out.

1. Alternate booze with water. 

“Drink a full glass of water for every alcoholic drink you have,” Weschler prescribes. If you alternative between the two, the water will keep you hydrated and also prevent you from downing more gin and tonics than you soberly planned. 

2. Prioritize sleep.

This one’s a biggy. Running on poor quality sleep isn’t just bad for your skin: It negatively impacts virtually every aspect of your life. Want to be happier? Get quality sleep. Want to perform better at work? Commit to a healthy 7 to 8 hours under the covers. Feel like you might sucker-punch your best friend? A nap is in order.

“In America we think of sleep as a luxury instead of a necessity,” Weschler said. “Everyone’s burning a candle at both ends and sleep is the first to go. It’s really bad for health — mental and physical.” Prioritizing sleep can prevent everything from wrinkles to illogical shouting matches, so there’s definitely good reason to put sleep at the top of your to-do list. If you’re looking for ways to sleep better, check out these 37 science-backed tips

3. Exercise.

A sweat-inducing workout can increase the circulation in your skin, Weschler said, giving you a nice rosy glow. The escalated blood flow also helps to flush debris out of your system

Better yet, an endorphin-fueling workout could help negate those lousy emotional feelings that come with a hangover. Just make sure not to over-do it; if you’re hungover, you’re dehydrated, so you’ll need to take it easy and keep a water bottle close.

4. Wash your face.

First, you’ll want to clean off the sweat that came from the circulation-boosting workout. Experts recommend washing your face as soon as you can post-sweat session to prevent clogged pores and acne. 

A cleansing routine is just as important after a night of table dancing watching “The Bachelor” with your friends and a couple glasses of wine. As Weschler mentioned, the skin does a lot of self-repair and rejuvenation while you sleep. If you don’t give it a clean slate to start with, it’ll increase your risk for breakouts, wrinkles and aging skin. 

Are you ready to start taking better care of yourself? Sign up for our newsletter and join our Look Good, Feel Good challenge to supercharge your beauty and grooming routine and develop healthy habits. We’ll deliver tips, challenges and advice to your inbox every day.  

Related on HuffPost:

7 Things To Know About Women And Alcohol

7 Things To Know About Women And Alcohol

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1. More Women Are Binge Drinking
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates released earlier this year, nearly 14 million women in the U.S. binge drink roughly three times a month. For women, binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in a single period, but most women average six drinks per binge. Women with a household incomes above $75,000 are more likely to binge, as are women age 18 to 34 and in high school. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 teenage girls binge drink, a behavior that poses serious health risks, including unintentional injuries, alcohol poisoning, liver disease and stroke, among others.

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1. More Women Are Binge Drinking
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates released earlier this year, nearly 14 million women in the U.S. binge drink roughly three times a month. For women, binge drinking is defined as having four or more drinks in a single period, but most women average six drinks per binge. Women with a household incomes above $75,000 are more likely to binge, as are women age 18 to 34 and in high school. According to the CDC, 1 in 5 teenage girls binge drink, a behavior that poses serious health risks, including unintentional injuries, alcohol poisoning, liver disease and stroke, among others.
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2. Women Drink "Less Well" Than Men
Women’s bodies tolerate alcohol differently than men’s for reasons that are not yet fully understood, Slate explains. It may be that the hormone estrogen interacts with alcohol in a way that increases the risk for liver problems, Slate says, or it could be due to differences in stomach enzymes. Plus, as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) points out, women’s bodies have less water per pound than men’s. If a man and woman who weigh the same amount drink the same amount of alcohol, the woman will likely have a higher blood alcohol concentration, because alcohol disperses in water and her body has less.
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3. Drinking Becomes Problematic For Women At Lower Levels …
Largely because women’s bodies tolerate alcohol differently than men’s, they’re more likely to be at risk for alcohol-related problems. Those risks include specific health diseases and conditions, such as liver disease, heart disease and breast cancer, as well as alcohol dependence. The NIAAA defines the “low-risk” drinking limit as no more than seven drinks per week for women, and no more than three drinks in any one sitting. For men, it’s no more than 14 drinks per week, and four drinks in any one day.
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4. … But They Seek Treatment Sooner
As HuffPost’s Amanda Chan previously reported, a new study released earlier this summer, which included more than 500 males and females, found that women who abuse alcohol tend to seek out help four to five years earlier than their male counterparts. Why that is, isn’t exactly clear at this point, although in a statement, Rosemary Fama (a senior research scientist at Stanford University, who did not work on the study) hypothesized that women may attach less social stigma to drinking problems than men, and therefore may be more likely to report theirs, according to HealthDay.
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5. During Pregnancy, No Amount Has Been Proven Safe
A new book “Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong and What You really Need To Know” has made waves for challenging many of the beliefs women and their doctors have long held, among them, that drinking during pregnancy is strictly off limits. Occasional drinking may not pose any danger, concludes author Emily Oster, an economist who was inspired to analyze the existing scientific literature when she became pregnant. But the fact remains that no amount of alcohol during pregnancy has been proven to be safe. In other words, there exists no clearly defined threshold at which experts can say alcohol consumption is safe, which is why most advise simply avoiding it altogether.
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6. Drinking Ups Breast Cancer Risk
“The use of alcohol is clearly linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer,” the American Cancer Society warns — and that risk increases with the more alcohol a woman consumes. For example, a woman who sips only one drink a day has a very small increase in overall risk, the ACS explains, whereas a woman who has up to five drinks a day has roughly one-and-a-half times the risk of a woman who doesn’t drink at all. That said, drinking is hardly the only risk factor for the disease — there are many others that contribute, including a woman’s lifestyle and her genes.
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7. Alcoholism May Be Deadlier In Women
A German study published last year concluded that alcohol dependence is twice as deadly for women as for men. The death rate for alcohol-dependent women was four times that of a sample of comparable, non-addicted, 18- to 64-year-old women, but only double for men. While the “why” is unclear, the research is in line with other studies suggesting the effect of alcohol on women is “particularly harsh,” CASAColumbia’s vice president and director of policy research and analysis told HuffPost.
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Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2016/02/02/drinking-is-bad-for-skin-wrinkles_n_9151476.html

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