Effects of Smoking, Drinking and Junk Foods on Skin Health

Living an unhealthy lifestyle not only affects your general health but also the health of your skin. Our body is already under constant attack by various environmental hazards like pollution, smoke, exposure to sunlight, etc adding to it can have debilitating effects on your skin. Eating junk food, drinking alcohol in excess and smoking not only damage the overall health and fitness but can also have severe impacts on a person’s skin.

How Does Smoking Affect Skin Health?

Smoking cigarettes is highly addictive and can have serious impacts on a person’s health including an exponential increase in the risk of lung and mouth cancers and heart disease. A lesser known fact is that smoking can also affect your skin health.

How Does Smoking Damage Skin?

1. Sagging Skin

Smoking ages skin, in fact, the chemicals present in the cigarettes damage the collagen and elastin proteins. These are responsible for maintaining the strength and elasticity of your skin. So depletion of these proteins due to long-term smoking can cause your skin to sag.

2. Skin Tone

Smoking can negatively affect the production of red blood cells in your body. Fewer red blood cells can result in your skin losing its natural glow and tone. This leads to the formation of white patches on the skin.

3. Wrinkles

Nicotine present in the cigarettes is known to cause blood vessels to narrow down. This impedes the blood circulation and gradually, skin starts losing its shape and wrinkles are formed.

4. Eyebags Are Formed

Studies have shown that those who smoke are likely to feel unrested after sleep as the quality of the sleep matters for the body to feel rested. Eventually, effects of lack of sleep and rest start showing and eye bags are formed, resulting in face feeling heavier and affecting us badly throughout the day.

5. Nails Turn Yellow

Along with turning our teeth brown, nicotine in cigarettes also stain our fingers and nails and turn them yellow. While there are remedies to get rid of yellow fingers and nails, it is much better for the overall health to quit smoking.

6. Scars

Due to the fact that smoking can result in narrowing of blood vessels, the healing process of any wound suffered takes longer and can result in scarring once the wound is healed.

7 Stretch Marks

Although stretch marks can be caused by a number of reasons, cigarettes are definitely a contributing factor. Nicotine is known to damage connective tissues and fibres in our skin. This leads to loss of elasticity and strength in the skin.

Tips To Improve Skin Health

Here are a few ways to manage and reverse skin damage from smoking 

1. Moisturize Your Skin

Using a natural moisturizer which contains ingredients like aloe vera gel, honey, milk, coconut oil every day can help your skin to regain its moisture and prevent it from premature ageing.

2. Antioxidants

Antioxidants can help prevent skin damage because of their ability to repair the damaged caused by the free radicals. Try to incorporate a diet with antioxidants like carnosine or vitamin E. Making a habit of drinking green tea everyday morning can help in the longer run.

3. Stop Smoking

The best way to prevent debilitating skin health due to smoking is to stop smoking. Quitting smoking can be very difficult especially if you’re an addict but it is very much possible.

Effects Of Excess Alcohol Consumption On The Skin

Excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with a variety of health risks which range from liver damage to cancer. However, it’s not just the internal organs at risk from alcohol consumption, it also affects our appearance specifically the health, age and appearance of your skin.

In What Ways Does Alcohol Affect Skin?

The side effects of alcohol on the skin include 

1. Puffiness

Alcohol can cause our insides to become inflamed this effect can show up on the skin of a person. There can be redness, inflammation and puffiness on the skin.

2. Breakouts

Alcoholic drinks like cocktails tend to be high in sugar. If a person is consuming alcohol quite regularly this high sugar can actually lead to breakouts on the skin. Breakouts will cause an increase in the frequency of acne on your skin and will lead to dull, unhealthy skin.

3. Dehydration

Alcohol is a diuretic which means that it forces you to urinate frequently. So if you do not replenish the water lost by your body it will suffer from dehydration. Dehydration causes your skin to dry up which can cause flaking and makes fine lines and wrinkles much more noticeable.

4. Microbiome Disruption

There are essential bacteria living in our gut, these form the gut microbiome. Alcohol can cause disruption in the numbers if these useful bacteria which can cause an increase in the incidence of skin conditions like eczema.

5. Hormone Disruption

Increase in blood sugar due to the sugar present in alcohol will lead to elevated insulin levels. If alcohol consumption is very frequent this increase in insulin can cause a negative impact on the thyroid gland and the release of sex hormones which can cause hormonal imbalance. The hormonal imbalance will lead to skin problems like a flare-up of existing skin conditions.

Is It Possible To Reverse Skin Effects After Drinking Alcohol?

Abstaining from alcohol can help reverse the damage caused by alcohol overconsumption. Abstaining from alcohol for as short as 3 days can give your liver enough time to correctly process the alcohol and sugar present in your system.

How To Treat The Hungover Skin?

Hangovers can be brutal. To encourage your skin health especially after a night of rigorous drinking you can add vitamin A-containing products for your skincare. Natural, plant-based oils and moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid can help in combating hungover skin. The best way to kickstart your liver’s detoxification process is to have plenty of water.

Impact Of Junk Foods On Skin Health

What you eat will determine how you look. Your nutrition directly affects your body, a negative effect on the health of your body organs due to junk food is reflected in your skin. While your body will tolerate some of these foods in moderate levels, excess of these kind of food habits will have its negative consequences. The liver has the job of trying to rid your body of toxins hence an overburdened liver can lead to skin conditions like allergies and rashes, skin itching, acne, eczema, dryness, psoriasis, etc. Here are some of the worst foods for skin 

1. Refined Carbohydrates

Why Is It Bad

  • Disrupt and deplete healthy gut microbes.
  • Increase the oil production of your skin leading to an increase in clogged pores.
  • Refined carbs especially processed sugar can cause premature ageing of your skin.

What To Do

Avoid processed sugar, instead, choose natural sweeteners having a low glycemic index. Also, avoid artificial sweeteners like aspartame.

2. Fast Food

Why Is It Bad

  • Fast foods are deep fried in refined vegetable oils and can aggravate skin conditions.
  • They are pro-inflammatory foods and can aggravate skin conditions.

What To Do

Avoid all fast foods and deep-fried foods. Have healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, protein bars and vegetables.

3. Wheat

Why Is It Bad

  • The modern variety of wheat is heavily genetically engineered and contains high levels of gluten and phytic acid.
  • Most of the bread made from refined wheat flour and not from whole wheat flour. White refined flour can be unhealthy for your skin.

What To Do

Use grains other than wheat such as spelt, amaranth, kamut, buckwheat, brown rice and quinoa. These grains are rich in vitamins and minerals and contain less gluten than wheat.

4. Gluten

Why Is It Bad

  • Gluten is found in many whole grains most commonly wheat. It can be hard to digest.
  • Continuous gluten exposure can cause leaky gut which makes the intestinal wall more permeable and causes undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream. These can elicit an immune response on the skin like eczema or psoriasis.

What To Do

Try using gluten-free alternatives like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet and certified gluten-free oats. You can switch to coconut flour or almond flour instead of using wheat flour.

5. Processed Meats

Why Is It Bad

  • These meats usually have a lot of salt in them. This high level of sodium intake can cause water retention leading to puffy, swollen skin.
  • Some processed meats also contain additives like sodium nitrates and preservatives which can cause signs of premature ageing.

What To Do

Avoid processed meats, use organic meats instead. Organically grown meats are usually hormone and antibiotic free. They also contain less sodium and additives in comparison to processed meats.

6. Excess Spicy Food

Why Is It Bad

  • Eating spicy food generates heat in the body.
  • Spicy food can trigger flare-ups of existing conditions like acne and some inflammatory skin conditions.

What To Do

Try using natural herbs and coconut meat to flavour your food and avoid spicy food whenever possible.

7. Caffeine

Why Is It Bad

  • Regular caffeine consumption can lead to an increase in the production of stress hormones like cortisol.
  • Increase in stress hormone levels can cause skin breakouts and other inflammatory conditions.

What To Do

Avoid caffeinated drinks. Try replacing your coffee with decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea. Bone broth is said to have all the benefits of your morning coffee cup and more without its drawbacks.

Also Read:

Impact of Environment on Skin Health and How to Manage

 

 

Disclaimer: All the content on anveya.com/blogs is solely for information. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or a qualified health care provider. The information, suggestion or remedies mentioned on this site are provided without warranty of any kind, whether express or implied.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published