Christmas party season is almost upon us…. The perfect excuse to indulge in chocolate, canapés and an endless supply of champagne. 

When it comes to the festive season & overindulgence, we all seem to be pretty clued up on the effects of alcohol on our waistline... but how much do we know about how it can impact on our skin? We spend all year preening, derma-rolling, and peeling our way to the perfect complexion - so we certainly don't want to undo all of our hard work over the festive season! 

Luckily Dr Imogen Bexfield, founder and medical director of White Swan Aesthetics is on hand to give us the low-down & share her expertise on how we can take extra care of our skin during these times of festive indulgence.

Festive Bubbly Anyone? Alcohol and the Skin with Dr Imogen Bexfield of White Swan Aesthetics | Lovelaughslipstick Blog

So, what happens to our skin when consume one too many proseccos? Dr Imogen is here to explain all:

Alcohol can really take its toll on the skin - this is because once consumed, it is metabolised into an acetaldehyde compound by the body; which makes all of our blood vessels relax. This causes the skin to flush red and also for the blood pressure to be unbalanced. The blood vessels can over-stretch and leave unsightly spider veins - also causing the face & body to become puffy.

Generally speaking, most of us are aware of alcohol’s dehydrating effect on the body & skin too -  this is because it is a diuretic, so you will lose more water than normal as you'll go to the toilet more frequently. And as a result of this, your skin appears duller... whilst any fine lines and wrinkles will be more visible. 

Alcohol also reduces your Vitamin A levels; which act as a powerful antioxidant in the body - and also have a key role in the production of collagen. As we age, we loose collagen and elastin which causes the face to ‘sag’ ... so alcohol is, in essence, speeding up the ageing process of the skin. 

Alcoholic drinks tend to be high in sugar - particularly white wine and cocktails. If you're overindulging in these types of drinks too often, your skin is much more likely to suffer from breakouts.”

Festive Bubbly Anyone? Alcohol and the Skin with Dr Imogen Bexfield of White Swan Aesthetics | Lovelaughslipstick Blog

So, we hear you Dr Imogen... but what can we do to prevent skin damage?

“Consuming no alcohol at all is the most ideal scenario to keep the skin in the best quality possible... but for many of us, this is an unrealistic expectation [especially during the festive season!] As a general rule, try to stick to the clear liquors without extra sugar or preservatives as the body can get rid of these much quicker. The sugar in cocktails can spike insulin levels, which causes numerous negative effects - and can make the skin lifeless and pale. 

Ideally you want to consume no more than 1-2 units per day and  to make sure that you have a glass of water after each drink to minimise the dehydrating effects of alcohol.”

Are there any guidelines or other things we can do to minimise the effects of alcohol with the skin?

Try to drink a glass of still water between every alcoholic beverage. This helps you rehydrate whilst also filling the stomach and slowing your pace of drinking. Finally, drink 2 glasses of water before bed; keeping another one by your bedside. 

When the day after the night before rolls round; having a cold, refreshing shower helps wake you up, reduces puffiness & swelling, gets the blood flowing around the body and helps wash away some of the toxins that have accumulated in your system.”

Thanks again to Dr Imogen Bexfield - founder and medical director at White Swan Aesthetics for this bangin' advice!

Will you be following any of these tips this festive season?
*Collaborative post
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