BY NINA
CONTENTO
While the media has linked
sipping on a pretty pink cocktail garnished with a lovely fruit accent to a
lavish lifestyle, hang on to your drink: it’s actually doing more harm than you
might think.
For many years, experts have
been arguing about the benefits and risks of consuming these fermented and
distilled beverages. While drinking moderately may not have a large number of
immediate disadvantages, over time you’ll start to notice them — especially
when you look in the mirror. According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies,
consuming larger amounts of alcohol can cause more than 60 different health
issues and hundreds of physical conditions.
These potential problems may
make you realize you should cut back on the drinking.
Aging
before you’re ready to

“Alcohol is actually one
of the worst, most aggressive compounds to destroy your skin,” New York
nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez told Vogue. “I always joke with my patients,
‘If you want to get older, go ahead and drink!'”

There’s no question that
excessive drinking causes your body to become dehydrated. You go out drinking
at night and wake up the next morning praying there’s a refreshing glass of
water next to your bed due to the fact that the alcohol has slowed down the
process of an anti-diuretic hormone called vasopressin. This causes your
kidneys to work twice as hard to counteract the excess fluid, which then will
cause your organs to become dehydrated.
Your skin, which is the
largest organ of the body, will start to show when you’ve been leaving your
body severely dehydrated too often. Instead of being soft and hydrated, your
skin will begin to look cracked and wrinkled. This will leave others thinking
you may be older than you actually are.
Losing
your luscious locks

Dehydration doesn’t only
affect your skin, but your hair as well. Cracked, brittle hair will break
easier and create split ends. There are different products to combat split ends
and dry hair, but what if you knew that drinking too much too often could leave
you less hair to try and fix?

Consuming large amounts of
alcohol is linked to zinc deficiency. According to the National Institutes of
Health, approximately 30–50 percent of alcoholics have low zinc, which can
cause hair loss. Other contributing factors to hair loss that come from
consuming too much alcohol are lower levels of vitamin B and C and higher
levels of estrogen, according to The Alcoholism Guide.
Redness
doesn’t just mean you’re drunk

Consuming alcohol can cause
redness in your face, but it isn’t because your skin is trying to mimic the
pretty pink cocktails. It’s a skin condition called rosacea, and, believe it or
not, it can cause permanent damage. “Excess alcohol also alters blood flow
to the skin, leaving an unhealthy appearance for days. This is because alcohol
causes small blood vessels in the skin to widen, allowing more blood to flow
close to the surface,” Dr. Nicolas Perricone, MD stated in an a discussion
on his anti-aging skincare website. This will sometimes cause the blood vessels
on your face to burst and the capillaries to break.

Not only can your face become
red, but the blood vessels in your eyes can become irritated. If that doesn’t
bother you, maybe this will: bloodshot eyes are just the beginning. Binge
drinking can lead to blindness, also known as optic neuropathy or toxic
amblyopia. What happens is alcohol can eventually slow down how quickly your
pupils respond and the communication between your eyes and your brain.
Can’t
beat the bloat

Three hours into the night and
that tight red dress seems like its main focus is your gut. This is because
when the body is deprived of fluids and electrolytes, it will then store the
water you drink and eat. The more alcohol you drink, the more you’ll need to go
to the bathroom. You may also notice you’re sweating more. When certain fluids
aren’t replaced, your body compensates by retaining the water it still has.
It’s not only your gut that will look puffy. Your feet, hands, face, and many
other places could be affected.

Forgetting
nightly duties

After a long night of
drinking, you may not always make the best decisions for your body — like
eating an entire pizza by yourself. Some people don’t have the energy or the
thought process to continue with nightly regimens like washing their face or
brushing their teeth. Once in a while may not be an issue, but making it a
habit can contribute to acne, cavities, gum disease, and many other personal
hygiene issues.

“You should use Vaseline
at night to take off your makeup. Use a tissue to wipe of the excess, and that
creates a barrier and keeps the skin moisturized,” suggested dermatologist
George Cotsarelis during a study published in the Journal of Clinical
Investigation.
Liver
damage can be deadly

Liver damage has look-ruining
attributes that come along with it — not to mention it is life-threatening.
Don’t ignore the dark circles under your bloodshot or even slightly yellow
eyes, which is actually called jaundice. Skin rashes may also appear on your
body. There are many symptoms of liver damage, so don’t ignore them, especially
if you know you’ve been drinking too much and not taking care of your body.

Alcohol
and bad BO

That bad odor coming from your
body during a long night of drinking: yes, that does have something to do with
the alcohol. According to the Institute of Alcohol Studies, 10 percent of
alcohol consumed leaves the body unused through your sweat, breath, and urine.
Keep that in mind next time you wake up next to someone after a night of
drinking. Your body odor could leave a lasting impression.

A
beer belly is a real thing

Two studies have shown that
alcohol consumption can result in weight gain, but not exactly for everyone.
Those who choose to have a relaxing alcoholic beverage every once in a while
aren’t linked to obesity. According to a study at the University of Navarra,
Spain, it is definitely possible for heavier drinkers to be the ones to gain
weight directly related to their drinking habits. Another study at the
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute says the same.

Being
tired adds even more issues

Alcohol can affect how much
sleep you’re getting. There are obvious reasons why not getting enough sleep
will show in your looks, with your eyes looking tired and lower motivation in
the morning to get up, get ready, and look your best. But there are many
internal things going on. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute, sleep deficiency has been linked to obesity. It’s also important to
get proper rest because while you’re sleeping, your body repairs your heart and
blood vessels, keeping your immune system strong. All of these things can
affect how you’re looking and feeling on the outside.

Important
things to know to maintain your looks



Over the years, alcohol has
become a normal thing in society. If you’re celebrating, you celebrate with a
drink. If you’re mourning, you go have a drink. If you’re trying to forget
someone, you use alcohol to help. Happy or sad, alcohol is something that we
just can’t seem to get away from, so if you’re going to drink, drink
responsibly. Through research, here are some tips I’ve gathered to help you
maintain your looks and your health: if you want to drink, drink in moderation,
and drink plenty of water before and after you consume alcohol. Pick your
poison wisely — alcohol with less congeners, toxic chemicals, will have
different effects on the body. Eat carbs before you drink to avoid getting too
drunk too fast. Take care of your skin by washing your makeup off before bed,
and even consider taking vitamins. Finally, remember to brush and floss your
teeth so the plague doesn’t grow in your mouth overnight.

SOURCE:
THELIST
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.