'Tis the season to get merry. But at what cost to our skin? It's that time of the year to meet the best and worst of the festive tipples ready to protect your skin this Christmas and avoid that dreaded 'skin hangover'!
When it comes to Christmas booze, there is one rule – let it flow, let it flow, let it flow. But do you know what your favourite festive drink is doing to your skin? That's right, even once your throbbing headache and sick feeling disappears, your skin is left red, puffy and you'll have dark circles under your eyes. The dehydration caused by boozing accentuates your fine lines and wrinkles on your forehead, chin and lips and whats more, you're also likely to notice broken blood vessels around the cheeks and nose and your skin will sag around your cheeks and jaw.
In women over 40 the effects of alcohol can last up to four weeks but for younger women in their 20s their skin tends to bounce back faster.
Even still, the ageing effects of drinking can last up to a fortnight for women in their 20s and 30s. Men draw the lucky straw, their skin recovers faster typically within a week (*eye roll)! Consumption of over 14 units of alcohol in one night will take a 40-year-old woman’s skin nearly a month to recover fully from and if she goes out a few times over the festive season it will only get worse.
Now listen, i'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to enjoying a few drinks, so rather than going all bah-humbug on you, i have ranked 7 of our favourite drinks according to the damage they'll do to our faces so you can take a more informed approach to your skin's hangover!
1. Red Wine
Alcohol is a vasodilator (it promotes the opening of blood vessels in the skin) which is how it leads to skin flushing. Red wine is also a histamine releaser (this promotes redness) making it the worst drink. So, if your bothered by the effects, stay clear. If not, have a glass of that beautiful rouge and embrace that rosy flush!
Mojitos are loaded with sugar and sugar syrup and unfortunately for this drink, sugar leads to systemic inflammation which ages the skin. If you really don't want to give up the good stuff, throw in some glasses of water - dehydration is a massive cause of sugar cravings so you may find yourself drinking more of these than your usual tipple!
Brace yourself. A Margarita serves up a double whammy due to the dangerous duo of sugar AND salt! This leads to the puffy faced look we associate with a hangover, not to mention the other potentially ageing effects of sugar long-term. Instead, why don't you order a tequila neat and sip it like the classy person you are!
While beer does contain some salt, it also contains antioxidants and has other anti ageing benefits. Plus it has less alcohol in it than most other drinks. People tend to drink this slower which means it has less of a dehydrating effect. So have a few glasses of water in between pints and your good to go!
5. Gin / Vodka
Ahh my fav! The good news is Gin & Vodka are both free of impurities and they are also relatively free of salt and sugar, so less unkind to the skin than its cocktail counterparts. Opt for soda or tonic to go with it and you are pretty much on your way to a worry-free night!
6. White Wine
This beauty can bring on a pounding post-party hangover and wont do your skin any favours either! White wine is high in sugar which again leads t systemic inflammation and contributes to cell damage and ageing. If you must drink this, opt for a full antioxidant brunch before hand and balance i out!
Low in sugar and typically served in smaller quantities than other wines.
If you drink plenty of water and eat before the fun starts, there is no need to say no to that glass of champagne. Cheers!
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