5 Ways Alcohol Makes You Age

Alcohol is hepatotoxic, meaning it is damaging to the liver and inhibits the cells that detoxify our bodies which, in turn, affects our skin. Alcohol contains chemical substances called congeners (because of fermentation) that are the main cause of hangovers and the accompanying dehydration.  One study has shown that alcohol even ages you biologically at the cellular level, putting you at higher risk for age-related illnesses like diabetes and dementia. The more you drink, the more your cells age.

So, how else does alcohol prematurely age us?

Dehydration

Alcohol dehydrates you because it acts as a diuretic. If you have a full night out drinking without also drinking plenty of water,  your skin will appear dry and lifeless the morning after and, over time, will start to appear wrinkly.

Red, Puffy, Swelling Face

If you consume a lot of alcohol over the years, the face’s blood vessels will steadily enlarge, leading to permanent redness and blotchiness like rosacea.  This is because alcohol works as a vasodilator. The blotchiness can be compounded by broken capillaries or vessels that burst under the skin’s surface, usually around the nose and eyes.

Weight Gain

Wondering where those few extra pounds came from? Alcohol can cause you to pack on an extra 10 pounds or more because alcohol is essentially just sugar. Alcohol raises insulin and triggers fat storage by increasing fatty deposits in the liver, leading to fat storage around the stomach.

Depletion of Nutrients

Probably the most important (immediate) issue alcohol causes the depletion of nutrients, particularly vitamin A levels.  This vitamin is a crucial antioxidant for your skin and body as it aids in the formation of new cells and is also crucial for the production of collagen which can result in premature wrinkles.

Sleep Problems

Dark circles and puffy bags under your eyes undeniably make you look old and tired. Alcohol messes with your sleep cycles and drinking immediately before sleeping makes it more likely that you’ll wake up during the night and get less restorative sleep.

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