That nightcap every night may seem harmless. As does that smoke sneaked in the break room. But in truth, we are suffering our skin’s appearance and health with regular smoking and drinking. If you have been waking up with under-eye bags or finding your skin tone going duller and duller, then it is possible your smokes or drinks are to blame. If you want to know how smoking and alcohol cause bad effects on the skin, read on.
How Can Smoking Cause Skin Problems?
Smoking is hazardous to your skin, just as it is to your health. It causes many skin problems:
Tobacco smoke is known to contain about 4000 chemicals. And so many of them are harmful to your skin as they trigger the destruction of elastin and collagen fibers. These fibers are what give your skin its elasticity, suppleness, and taut appearance. That’s all gone once the ill effects of smoking catch hold of you. The result? Sagging skin, loose folds, wrinkles, and fine lines — mainly under your eyes, cheeks, and neck.
Smoking leeches your skin off its nutrients and even oxygen. That is why you may have noticed that many smokers tend to look pale or have uneven skin tone. Usually, pigmentation and skin tone changes occur with age, but smoking speeds these up and brings you to the threshold of premature aging pretty soon.
Pigmented age spots are common as your skin matures. But they are often found in chronic smokers too, even if they are young.
Lines Around Lips
It’s commonly referred to as the ‘smoker’s pucker.’ This pucker is thanks to the motion of the mouth as you smoke. This motion ends up wrinkling the skin around your lips. The tobacco anyway results in loss of elasticity, so the pucker becomes more pronounced and the wrinkles deeper.
How Can Alcohol Cause Skin Problems?
Alcohol affects our skin in two major ways — dehydration and inflammation. These two issues may give rise to a host of skin problems in the short or long run. Let’s see what they are:
Skin Problems Stemming from Dehydration:
Alcohol dehydrates your skin, and this causes your skin to feel dry. You may find your skin looking lifeless, flaky, and even scratchy because of this. Alcohol is a known diuretic, which means it draws water away from your skin, making it needy for more moisture. So either you supply a whole lot of moisturizer (which may not be enough if you are drinking too much) or cut down on your alcohol consumption.
- Dull Skin
Loss of moisture and constant dryness will rob your skin of its glow. So sallow, pale, and dull skin is a direct aftereffect. You may try to use masks or creams to brighten your skin, but it’s incomplete without addressing the problem at its root.
- Loss of Elasticity
A long haul of alcohol consumption may cost you your skin’s elasticity. Constantly dry and dehydrated skin is not healthy, and may impede the collagen production. Without it, our skin loses its elasticity.
- Premature Aging
With the loss of elasticity comes the harrowing possibility of fine lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, and crow’s feet — all signs of aging. If these happen on their own with age, then it’s nature. But if you find these signs appearing early on (the 20s or 30s), then start swapping your alcohol for sparkling water.
- Enlarged Pores
Alcohol-induced dehydration can also lead to dilation of your pores, which means your risk of getting acne, blackheads, and whiteheads go up. Rosacea is also another risk here if you don’t prevent your pores from being inflamed and infected.
Skin Problems Stemming from Inflammation:
As discussed above, acne is a serious problem stemming from skin inflammation. Alcoholic drinks like wines, cocktails, and other fruity mixes that are high in sugar may trigger an increase in oil production in the skin. This ups your chances of acne breakouts.
A common skin condition for those who over-indulge in red wines. Rosacea may cause your skin to flush, blush, break out into pus-filled bumps or rashes. And these breakouts may last weeks, even months.
- Puffy or Blotchy Skin
Alcohol may trigger inflammatory signals in the skin that may lead to redness, blotchy patches, and puffy under-eyes. Fluid retention is another issue and especially affects the under-eyes.
The best way to keep your skin healthy, glowing and young-looking is to ditch alcohol and smoking. In the long run, you will see great benefits not only for your looks and skin, but also your health. To fortify and soothe your skin, and counter any after-effects left by smoking or drinking, you must enhance your skincare routine too. So choose good quality products like cleansers, toners, moisturisers, serums, scrubs etc. If you wish to start scouting them, then check out our Savarnas Mantra Skincare section right now!