To immediately clear up any confusion, yes, it is a fact that alcohol wreaks havoc on the skin. Many people enjoy going out and having a few drinks every once in a while. However, they may not appreciate waking up the next morning and seeing the effects of alcohol on their skin.
Alcohol is metabolized through a specific enzyme in the liver and is known as a hepatoxin, meaning it is toxic to the cells that detoxify the body. Liver failure can cause damage to the skin such as large pores or pasty-looking skin. When alcohol is metabolized, an enzyme in the liver releases a byproduct called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is also a known toxin to the body; however, this toxin dehydrates the body causing hangovers and skin dehydration.
Shortly after my 30th birthday, during a particularly stressful time at work, I found myself with a breakout of epic proportions. (Like, call-in-sick-so-nobody-has-to-see-me bad.) So I recruited the big guns: glycolic acid face wash, prescription retinol, and antibacterial spot treatments.
But no matter how many new acne products I tried—and I tried a lot in my panicked state—my skin just kept getting bumpier and more inflamed, especially on the lower half of my face. A dermatologist prescribed me a steroid cream, which helped to a certain extent, but things never fully cleared up. For the next five years, my chin was perpetually red and covered in pimples of varying size and severity, which I blamed on stress and hormones
Until a few months ago, I had clear skin. Then one day, I woke up and my cheeks had exploded with blackheads. Despite a diligent skin-care regimen, it looked like I was perpetually forgetting to take off my makeup before I went to bed and sleeping on a pillowcase that hadn’t been washed in eight months. I pulled out my usual arsenal of products containing glycolic and lactic acids, but nevertheless these clogged pores persisted. They’d go away for a few days, then emerge again like the regenerated heads of the Hydra.
I relayed my woeful tale of cheek acne to celebrity aesthetician and Take Care Spa founder Sadie Adams. She reached down, felt my face, and told me something that I honestly wasn’t expecting: I had tons of tension in my jaw from clenching it all the time. And that, she said, was probably what was causing my cheeks and jawline to break out. Curious to know more, I consulted other pros to figure out just how common this could actually be. More on that now.
My goal is to be your Age Management Retreat. Ladies, I speak your Age! I'm 60 (!) and have encountered, or will soon, the aging skin issues we 'd like to avoid.