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Tis the season to be jolly

Published: Wed December 11, 2013
Categories: The Myth Minx

  With the silly season upon us nothing beats celebrating Christmas with friends, family and a good bottle of wine (or two). Whilst one or two alcoholic tipples provide additional Christmas cheer and send Santa merrily on his sleigh, the detriments of alcohol drunk to excess is not all jolly!   Whilst there may be some studies to show that red wine contains resveratrol which is good for our health and our skin, it is a myth to say that alcohol is actually good for us. The truth is that the amount of antioxidants in a glass of red wine are not concentrated enough to have significant health benefits.   Alcohol is a skin wrecker, the more frequently you drink and the more you drink to excess, the faster the detrimental effects will appear on the skin. Immediate signs of too much alcohol can be breakout and dehydration however long term effects can show as red cheeks, dilated capillaries, skin irritations, pigmentation and wrinkles. Drinking too much alcohol puts a strain on the liver and the entire cells of the body as toxicity results if the alcohol is not removed thoroughly from the system. This explains the hangover symptoms experienced from over indulging the night before. Hangover symptoms include nausea, dehydration, a sensitive stomach (due to the cells in the stomach wall being irritated by alcohol) and cravings for junk food to elevate blood glucose levels. Long term alcohol consumption can lead to psychological conditions such as mood swings, memory loss and depression.  If you repeat the same stories over and over when you have had a few too many watch out, this is a sign of low vitamin B!  Alcohol can deplete vital nutrients from the body particularly the water soluble vitamins B and C, leading to devitalised skin prone to irritation and breakouts. Too much alcohol can increase the need for increased levels of nutrients to detoxify the alcohol. The alcohol will also cause some nutrients to be excreted at greater rates than normal. Support the party season by eating nutrient dense fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables and lean proteins such as fish, chicken and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains.   Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking 8 glasses of filtered water a day and try alternating an alcoholic drink with a sparkling mineral water to avoid drinking to excess. Alcohol can deplete the following nutrients so make sure you are topped up with adequate nutrients both internally via your diet and externally with high quality topical vitamin containing serums such as vitamin B 3, l. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and vitamin A or Retinol.    Alcohol robbers   Vitamin B Complex Deficiency of the B vitamins occurs with chronic alcohol consumption due to impaired absorption, utilisation and storage and reduced dietary intake of B vitamins. Redness, sensitivity and even pigmentation can appear on the skin. Tremors and memory loss can also be apparent. Zinc Low dietary zinc due to a poor diet high in processed foods and malabsorption issues can make it more difficult for the body to process alcohol. The body requires zinc dependant enzymes for metabolism and therefore low zinc can affect almost every bodily function. Zinc deficiency can show in the skin as poor wound healing, excessive stretch marks, break outs and white flecks on the nails. Vitamin A Chronic alcohol consumption can often lead to malabsorption and dietary deficiencies of vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy glowing skin and a deficiency can result in poor skin healthy, dryness, premature ageing and “chicken skin’.     Vitamin C Vitamin C is required for healthy collagen production, protection against premature ageing and is also needed for the body to aid with detoxification of alcohol. Vitamin C supplementation can be beneficial in the treatment for alcohol toxicity or commonly known as a hangover. Vitamin C deficiency shows in the skin as redness, dilated capillaries, and premature ageing and pigmentation issues. It is important not to take any internal nutritional supplements without consulting a medical practitioner or nutritionist as nutritional requirements vary for each individual.   When it comes to your skincare needs, a visit to a qualified skin expert can determine which ingredients are most suitable to apply topically for your individual skin needs. So there we have it - have a merry Christmas, eat well, drink well and don’t forget your topical A, B’s and C’s to keep your skin in tip top condition this Christmas.   MMx

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