If you are a regular customer of your local bar or enjoy a few drinks every night, then maybe you are the perfect reader for this blog. You may have heard the phrase ‘age like fine wine.’ Well, wine ages just fine, but those who overindulge in it seldom do. So here is the concern with alcohol and smoking — many people say they tend to cause early signs of aging. You may have noticed, regular drinkers and chronic smokers may look dull, with sagged skin and more lines and wrinkles than other people their age. So is it really true? Can Smoking and Alcohol Cause Early Aging?
Does Alcohol Cause Face Aging?
Alcohol harms our skin in two main ways — by dehydrating it and inflaming it. These two effects lead to some signs of aging. Let us see how:
Dehydration causes your skin to be scratchy, flaky, and dry all the time. And if left untreated, dry skin for a long duration causes premature signs of aging.
More Wrinkles and Fine Lines
Excessive and long-term dry skin often leads to a loss of skin elasticity. Alcohol consumption destroys the elastin fibers and collagen in our skin. These are the fibers which help make our skin supple and stretchy. So wrinkles, fine lines, crow’s feet, etc appear pretty quickly.
Under-Eye Bags and Sagging Skin
Again, the lack of elasticity contributes to your skin becoming loose and saggy. Add to that the inflammatory effects and water-retaining properties of alcohol — and you are left with those fat bags under your eyes. Red eye bags are common after a hangover, but they disappear soon enough in younger people. But if you drink regularly, then they may just end up living rent-free on your face.
Dull Skin and Uneven Skin Tone
High alcohol consumption leads to your skin looking dull, dehydrated, and sallow. Dryness contributes to the unattractive feel of the skin. And if you end up getting breakouts of acne or rosacea due to alcohol, then rough, uneven skin tone is also a problem.
Other Signs of Alcohol-Induced Early Aging:
- Dry and Brittle Hair
- Cardiovascular diseases like heart problems, hypertension, cholesterol
- Liver cirrhosis and pancreas inflammation
- Aged brain and neurological processes
- Cognitive issues
- Intensified mental health problems
Does Smoking Make You Age Faster?
Yes, it does. Chain or chronic smokers are very susceptible to early signs of aging. You may have even seen them look more tired, paler, and older than their counterparts. This is because smoking sucks the oxygen and nutrients right out of your skin. These are some common aging signs of smoking:
- Sagging Skin due to the ill effects of tobacco. Folds of loose skin may appear in your neck area, under your eyes, and even down your cheeks, making you look way older than you are.
- Uneven Skin Tone and Pigmentation, paler skin color.
- Age Spots/ Sun Spots: Age spots are blotches of darkly pigmented skin that may develop on your face or hands. These spots appear on aged skin, or due to excessive sun exposure. But smoking speeds them up, making your skin look old and pigmented. These are pretty hard to get rid of, and spoil the appearance of your skin.
- Lip Wrinkles: The lines and wrinkles around the mouth are more pronounced for smokers. As they pucker their mouth while smoking, these muscles succumb to deep wrinkles. These lines appear very late in the natural aging process, but are commonly called smoker’s pucker, and show early on in chronic smokers.
- Wrinkles between the eyes, pronounced lines around the eyes (crow’s feet), and deeper nasolabial folds (the skin between nose and mouth).
- Hair thinning and early graying