For many, enjoying a little alcoholic beverage is a way of life: a few frosty beers after work, sundowners on the beach or in the bushveld, a fine bottle of vino with dinner.
But drinking excessively – more than one drink a day for women, two for men – is not only notoriously bad for health, but it also has consequences for your aesthetic assets.
"Luckily there are some fantastic products and treatments that can assist with minimising the damage if you fall off the wagon" says Jade Kirkel, brand manager of Sorbet beauty salons, "but the best remedy is to watch your alcohol intake, especially over this festive season"
Three things to think about before you hit the booze:
If you’ve ever had a few too many drinks, you’ll know that parched throat and heavy head you wake up with in the morning. Hydration is essential for healthy, beautiful skin, says Jade.
"Just as alcohol dehydrates the body internally and causes an intense "hangover" thirst, alcohol also dries out the skin, causing it to lose its dewy appearance, and magnifying any pre-existing skin irregularities."
The body may also respond to the loss of essential electrolytes and fluids by storing water in the skin tissues, causing them to swell slightly. Try Dermalogica Skin Hydrating Booster, R710, or Ponds Intense Nourishing Cream, R57.99, to counteract dry, papery skin, or use chilled wet teabags to reduce puffiness around the eye area.
2) Unsightly skin
Hitting the booze too hard also affects your skin, warns the American Academy of Family Physicians.
It can spark allergic reactions such as skin break-outs and lesions, and sallow facial skin is a telltale sign of an overstressed liver.
It also causes the skin capillaries to dilate, resulting in the facial redness often seen in the inebriated – Jade recommends Dermalogica Ultra Calming Serum Concentrate, R680, to soothe a tipsy flush.
We recommend Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate Serum, R550, to calm irritated skin and reduce redness.) But overdoing it on a regular basis can cause the veins to burst, leaving unattractive purple and red veins that are difficult to eliminate.
Alcohol consumption is also linked to rosacea, a nasty skin condition characterised by red blotches and acne-like pustules on the nose and cheeks. Of over 1 000 rosacea sufferers surveyed by the National Rosacea Society, 52% reported booze as the primary trigger for a spike in the condition.
A study by the University of Maryland Center for Substance Abuse and Research revealed that alcohol can cause the skin to age faster. Vitamin A is essential for the production of collagen, which gives skin its youthful look and slows down naturally as the body ages, explains Jade.
But binge drinking saps your levels of Vitamin A, causing a drop in collagen that speeds up the skin’s ageing process, and dries out the skin, leading to wrinkles.
"After a night out of drinking, apply the Dermalogica Multivitamin Recovery Masque, R560 – it works wonders," she advises. Or you can try Environ Original Balancing Masque, R138, to re-hydrate the skin and absorb excess oils.
Visit any Sorbet Store nationwide for a free face mapping skin analysis and product recommendations.
Visit Beauty South Africa for more information