Alcohol and Your Skin: Know the Facts

Ready to kick back with a nice glass of wine or a frosty mug of beer?  You already know how alcohol can affect your mind and your liver, but are you familiar with the ways alcohol can affect your skin?
Your skin is the largest organ on your body, and it not only makes you look radiant when you take care of it, your skin also serves as an early warning system for potential health issues.  Some of the deeper effects of alcohol are actually indicated on the skin!
Alcohol and the Sun
Alcohol consumption in general has been shown to increase your risk for melanoma... and that in turn increases your risk for non-melanoma skin cancer.  It also has a drying effect on the skin, and dry skin is more susceptible to sun damage which again increases your risk for skin cancer.  Alcohol also lowers your inhibitions which can indirectly lead to an increased risk of skin cancer as you are less likely to consider safety precautions while in the sun.  Make sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher a firmly ingrained habit, and take extra care to stay protected from the sun while you are drinking.
Alcohol and Vitamins
Alcohol is a thief of nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins, and it especially loves to rob your body of Vitamin A.  Vitamin A is essential for your body to produce collagen (which helps keep your skin youthful) and create new skin cells - this is why people who tend to drink copious amounts tend to look more aged.  Be sure you are drinking plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated while you are partaking of alcoholic beverages to counteract the effects.
Alcohol and Your Face
Drinking alcoholic beverages causes the capillaries in your face to dilate (which means they get bigger), and that can increase the appearance of spider-like veins and redness on your face.  This can also cause flare-ups for those inflicted with rosacea or psoriasis.  In addition, alcohol likes to play games with your body's hormone levels, and an increase in alcohol consumption can cause an increase in oil production which, as we all know, causes breakouts.  Yucko.  Take care of your skin on a daily basis to lessen the effects alcohol consumption has on your skin.

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