In this week’s post I talk about the impact of alcohol on health. The government of Scotland has a novel approach, whereby they’re trying to specifically appeal to women drinkers’ vanity. Written by Hypnotherapist Harley Street, Malminder Gill, 05 October 2015 published online via the Hypnosis in London Blog.
The Government of Scotland has been actively running a ‘Drop a Glass Size’ Campaign since 2013. It is meant to encourage a reduction in alcohol intake by appealing to one’s vanity.
The Drinking Mirror app (available for smart phones and the regular browsers) is one of the most well-known parts of the Drop a Glass Size Campaign. This potent tool lets you upload your photo as you are now together with information about how much you tend to drink on average. You then move a slider to see how you’re likely to turn out. Fast-forwarding 10 years shows thicker features, deep wrinkles, prominent thread veins, crow’s feet and an unattractive rosacea-like redness. The app then tells you that if you are a woman, drinking more than 3 glasses of 13% wine each day puts you at risk of becoming the person that you’ve just seen.
Does alcohol really age you prematurely?
No more than one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men is what the US Government Dietary Guidelines recommend, a drink being 1.5 fl.oz of 80 proof distilled liquor, 55 fl.oz of wine or 12 fl.oz of beer. When you indulge yourself any more, alcohol-related damage to your appearance begins to surface.
Skin damage occurs in a number of ways. To begin, alcohol is a vasodilator – it dilates the blood vessels around your face. In the beginning, this only results in a short-term flush over your face. Over time, though, you blood vessels become permanently dilated. With ever-increasing amounts of blood flooding your facial skin, lasting redness, puffiness and bloat appear. When some capillaries stretch too much, they even break bringing blotchiness and a loss of skin tone.
Alcohol destroys your vitamin A levels
Alcoholic beverages tend to contain little or no nutrients on their own. Even worse, it retards the ability of blood to carry oxygen and nutrients around the body. The worst part, though, is that alcohol in the blood can destroy the body’s ability to process and hold vitamin A – an important antioxidant. Without a healthy level of this antioxidant in your system, your skin slows down in its ability to create new cells and regenerate itself.
No vitamin A translates to no collagen
Plump, taut and elastic skin comes from plentiful collagen – the connective tissue that healthy skin produces. If you want to keep aging away, you need to not do anything that harms your skin’s ability to replenish its supply of collagen. You can’t hope for collagen, though, if you like your alcohol. A poor supply of vitamin A quickly shuts down your skin’s collagen production. Delicate facial skin is especially vulnerable to a fall in vitamin A levels. Lost collagen quickly becomes visible as lines, wrinkles, crow’s feet and a general sagging.
The way women’s bodies process alcohol actually makes them age faster than men
Women’s bodies process alcohol in a way that allows it in the blood and the brain in greater quantities than seen in men. The fact that women are smaller than men makes this doubly dangerous. It’s usually easy to brush off warnings about how alcohol is harmful to your health – the damage done to your liver isn’t visible. It can be impossible to ignore what it does to your appearance, though.
Whatever your weakness, it does age you in its own special way
Alcohol can age your facial skin by turning it unnaturally red, wrinkled and puffy. Smoking tends to give you dental staining and weak, dark skin around the eyes. A high-sugar diet can take away your looks by giving you a bloated, waxy look, pimples and thin, colorless skin. None of this means that you need to live like a monk. It does mean, though, that moderation and balance is needed.
Malminder has helped people to moderate their alcohol intake, quit smoking and eat healthily at her practice in Harley Street. You can book a face-to-face or Skype session or see her at her practice to help you overcome that habit.
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