Alcohol and Aging: Does Alcohol Use Make You Look Older?

All of these lifestyle factors speed up aging, but it all begins with a drug rewiring the brain. Moderate drinking — sometimes defined as 2–7 glasses of wine per week — may also keep depression at bay, according to some research, although the same study showed that heavy drinking increased depression risk. If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t start because of potential health benefits.

  • Dry January is the act of giving up alcohol for the month of January.
  • Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, the toll that alcohol can take ages you.
  • Not only are boozy drinks often empty calories with little to no nutrients, but alcohol can cause people to eat more food.
  • Modern scientists believe that free radicals are one of the biggest contributors to cellular aging because they attack everything from your fatty tissue to your DNA and proteins.
  • At FHE Health, our professionals have decades of experience helping people with substance use disorders, as well as their loved ones.
  • You might very well be doing the skincare-equivalent of running a space heater for warmth with all the windows open in the middle of January.

Healthier drinking habits just a friendly text away
Unlike most mood-altering, potentially addictive drugs, alcohol is not just legal, but widely used and accepted today. Two-thirds of all adults drink alcohol, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). does alcohol make you look older Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many of which can lead to premature death and early aging. Stimulants are drugs like cocaine or methamphetamines, which provide massive energy boosts that can keep people up for days. However, skipping sleep causes irreparable damage at a cellular level.

Is alcohol causing my face to age faster?

The ways in which alcohol can affect someone internally are widely known and documented. Overtime alcohol can do damage to key organs of the body including the liver and the brain. Alcohol can also lead to weight gain and other health-related issues.

does alcohol age you

When you drink alcohol, it’s absorbed through the small intestine, processed by the liver, and circulated through your major organs. As you get older, you have less muscle mass and your liver isn’t as strong. This causes the effects of alcohol to be stronger, even if you’re drinking the same amount you always have. On the other hand, some research studies have shown that moderate levels of drinking can actually lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

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And while hard liquor may contain less sugar and gluten that trigger inflammation, ounce for ounce, liquor delivers more alcohol, which is highly inflammatory. Depending on a variety of factors, quitting alcohol cold turkey may not be easy or feasible for many. If you’re looking for a “less-bad” alcoholic option, there are several factors to consider. Not only can alcohol wreak havoc on the skin itself, but it can also create complications when it comes to skincare treatments and procedures.

But its breakdown product, acetaldehyde, is a very potent vasodilator in the skin,” Soleymani said. As vasodilators, alcohol and acetaldehyde dilate our blood vessels, causing our faces to flush and turn red. “Within several days [of quitting alcohol], patients may notice a difference in their skin hydration and that their skin appears smoother, brighter and stronger,” Casey said. Reducing your daily alcohol consumption can improve your health, according to WHO. The fermentation process produces ethanol, a clear liquid also known as grain alcohol or ethyl alcohol. The ethanol content of beer is about 5% while it ranges between 8% and 15% for wine.

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Women who had 28 drinks or more per week had a 33 percent higher chance of developing the same syndrome. By adding extra stress to your body and depriving it of the nutrients it needs to rebuild, alcohol can place you years ahead in the aging process, and affect how you look. There are many ways alcohol can put an extra strain on your body. Alcohol causes your body to release more stress hormones, which speeds up the aging process. It also affects the healthy functioning of your digestive system, making it harder for you to absorb essential nutrients.

Additionally, high-risk drinking — which is considered four or more drinks for women and five or more for men on a single occasion — went up 30 percent in the same time frame. While those dark circles under your eyes, sometimes referred to as allergic shiners, can be caused by a lot of factors (including, obviously, allergies), your after-work wine isn’t helping. When alcohol dehydrates your body, it’s easier to see the blood vessels on that part of your face. The survey also asked those parents who are in favor of lowering the drinking age what type of alcohol they would be happy to allow their child to drink to introduce them to alcohol.

Over time, this weakens the blood vessels and damages the heart, resulting in aneurysms, heart attacks, and death. Another more socially acceptable substance, tobacco can cause a massive amount of damage to the body. Regardless of its form, tobacco use has links to major inflammation.

“The consequences of alcohol-related falls tend to be more serious after age 65,” he says. You’ll soon start receiving the latest Mayo Clinic health information you requested in your inbox. Sign up for free and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips, current health topics, and expertise on managing health. Alcohol is full of simple carbs and low in nutrients, meaning your drink of choice is providing a direct shot of unregulated glucose to your system. By entering your email and clicking Sign Up, you’re agreeing to let us send you customized marketing messages about us and our advertising partners.