If you want to look 10 years older – become a heavy drinker.
Of course, most people don’t want to look 10 years older, but the fact is alcohol makes you look much older than you really are.
It is pretty easy to spot a heavy drinker just from looking at their face, not to mention the smell.
When I quit drinking it wasn’t because I wanted to look different, it was because I had become worried about my health and tired of all the negative side effects (hangovers, anxiety, lack of motivation, poor sleep – the list goes on). The fact that it changed the way I looked for the better was a massive bonus!
I took a selfie on Day 1 when I quit and another one just 3 weeks later (see below) and the difference in my face was incredible, my skin was glowing, my face was no longer bloated, my eyes looked brighter and the darkness under my eyes had practically vanished. Wow, so if alcohol does this kind of damage to the outside, what the hell is it doing to the inside of our bodies? Scary…
The main things alcohol affects to make you look older are:
Skin – Due to dehydration your skin can become dry, wrinkly and lacking in natural colour. Heavy drinking also causes a loss of collagen and elasticity in the skin making it look aged.
Redness – Blood vessels can burst and you can also have issues with blood rising to the surface causing red blotches or patches of redness on the skin/face.
Weight Gain – Alcoholic drinks are full of empty calories, heavy drinking is a great way to pile on the pounds quickly.
Eyes – When you drink regularly you get broken sleep patterns (even though you may not realise it), as well as causing you to be lacking in energy it also makes you feel and look tired. Darkness under the eyes is common in heavy drinkers. In addition, I noticed a general brightness return to my eyes that hadn’t been there for years.
Bloating – When you drink your body tries to hang on to as much water as it can, this causes bloating, it can impact your face, body, hands and feet.
Hair & Nails – Your hair and nails can become brittle when you drink regularly, studies have even shown that alcohol can cause hair loss.
Teeth & Tongue – If you drink red wine (like I did) you will be familiar with the purple ‘morning tongue’. On top of this red wine and coloured drinks can stain and damage your teeth.
Smell – Alcohol stinks and that’s a fact. When you have been drinking (and the morning after drinking) people will be able to smell it on your breath and often on your skin as it seeps from your pores. I used to spend hours trying to hide the smell and appear ‘normal’.
If you are reading this blog you are probably questioning your own relationship with alcohol and hopefully these points will help you realise that there are so many benefits to an alcohol free life that it is worth exploring.
I always urge anyone who wants to quit drinking to take a selfie on Day 1 and another one around 3-4 weeks into the journey and compare the differences between the two pictures. If you keep a journal write down all the differences you can see in your pictures, it is often a real eye-opener and helps provide even more motivation to keep going on your journey to sobriety.