This article was updated on September 10, 2021.
There is nothing like having a glorious glass of white wine after a long, stressful day. However, you may be alarmed to find out that that little glass of white wine could make you look 10 years older than you actually are if you regularly imbibe.
Why white wine ages your skin dramatically
According to New York nutritionist Jairo Rodriguez the real damage caused by alcohol is primarily to your skin. He told Vogue, “Drinking is classified as two drinks a day. There’s a huge amount of damage to the skin that occurs; alcohol affects any mucous membrane, from the pancreas and liver to the skin. The first effect is dehydration, as it actually takes all the fluid out of the skin. If you look at a woman who has been drinking for 20 or 30 years, and a woman the same age who hasn’t at all, we see a massive difference in the skin—more wrinkles from that dehydration damage, which can make you look 10 years older.”
Carol Ann Goodman, a board-certified physician at Bella Vi Spa & Aesthetics, noted that just one night of drinking can make lines and wrinkles more noticeable. The wicked witch in Snow White has nothing on you!
You also can experience a deficiency of Vitamin A which helps with collagen upkeep and keeps you looking young. Drinking daily can also cause your blood vessels to enlarge which gives your skin that not-so-flattering reddish hue. And let’s not forget the damage to your liver which can make you look jaundice (a not-so-coveted aesthetic.)
But it’s not just your skin that feels this expedited aging effect. Let’s also not forget the myriad of other health issues caused by drinking including weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, and neurological issues.
A study presented in September at the European and International Congress examined the alcohol intake of nearly 27 million adults from South Korea, finding that even as little as half an alcoholic drink per day, which amounts to 7 grams of alcohol, can increase your risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome in both men and women.
And then there are your teeth. Those pearly whites start to lose some of their coverings due to the acid in white wine, making them more susceptible to stains.
Pandemic led to more drinking
This was a particularly tough year for anyone that uses alcohol as a way to deal with stress, wants to make not so funny things funnier, is married with kids, is not married with kids, has watched the news, existed in the year 2020 on the planet earth, etc.,
According to a recent study reported in the journal JAMA Network Open, overall alcohol consumption in 2020 increased by about 14% from last year for Americans over the age of 30. This comes out to one additional drinking day per month by 75% of adults compared to last year.
In other words, this is a tough year to cut back on drinking but it is possible and it may save your skin. Here are a few simple things you can start doing:
Sleep is always the answer. Alcohol negatively impacts your sleep cycles and prevents you from getting that deep REM sleep.
Drink more water
It’s certainly not my favorite beverage but it is an extremely important one. Not only because it keeps you hydrated and healthy but it can reverse some of those skin dehydration effects. If you’ve been drinking every day for 20 years it won’t pull a complete Benjamin Button, but it will help.
Exercise keeps your body in shape, gives you more energy, helps you cope with stress, and can help you live longer.
Giving alcohol up cold turkey is also one option but that could be quite difficult for many people. And it doesn’t mean it will completely reverse the damage that has been done. Rodriguez said, “If you do give it up, the good thing is that your skin, like any other organ, has the ability to regenerate. The body has a fabulous rate of rehydration. But that regeneration depends on how much damage has been done. If you’ve been drinking for 15 to 20 years and stop, I think it’s great, but can you regenerate your skin back to [that of] a normal 50-year-old? Once you destroy the collagen, it is hard to get back.”