Alcohol and Your Skin: The Side Effects

Elizabeth Siegel, Allure magazine

We're not saying you should go right ahead and have that second vodka soda (especially if your office holiday party is on a Tuesday night), but if you do, an easy change to your skin-care routine could pay off.


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A new, small study from the University of Berlin suggests that alcohol depletes antioxidants in your skin. And when that happens, skin is more susceptible to the oxidative stressors that break down collagen and elastin. Over time, all this can cause fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven skin texture, says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in the dermatology department at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

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"This study isn't conclusive, but it is opening the door to new research in cosmetic dermatology and skin protection," he says. "If you know you're going to be drinking, make sure you use topical antioxidants that morning and again the next day." You can layer serums or lotions with antioxidants underneath your usual moisturizer with sunscreen, though some people should avoid vitamin E. "It's a heavy, oily antioxidant. If you're young or acne prone, stay away from it," says Zeichner. Try SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF.


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