wine drinking

Putting a pause on your alcohol consumption can work wonders for your physical health (and wallet), but what kind of effect can it have on your complexion? Apparently, an incredible one, at least in one woman’s case.

40-year-old Laura Hogarth from Scotland drank around 5 large glasses of wine per week — 15 units, which is one short of the recommended amount for women in accordance to her country’s national guidelines. So, monitored by Dr. Nick Lowe, professor of dermatology, she ceased drinking for one month to see the effects on her skin. The results were rather amazing, as you can see in the Daily Mail’s original piece.

According to Hogarth, the positive effects of stopping drinking were an all-over thing:

“By now I’m noticing a difference in my skin’s dryness, and not just on my face.

“It sounds unpleasant, but when I used to take off leggings or trousers I often noticed dry flakes of skin left behind. Now there’s hardly anything. 

“Equally the backs of my hands are looking less dry and — unless I’m imagining it — marginally  less wrinkly.”

I think what’s fascinating here is that 5 glasses of wine per week really doesn’t seem like too much. In fact, most of the twenty-somethings I know drink at least that much, if not more. The fact that it may have had such a dramatic effect on her skin tone is crazy — and makes me wonder whether alcohol is having a terrible impact on my own. Dr. Lowe explained why these effects happen:

“Alcohol makes skin look red or flushed, which is more obvious in paler complexions like Laura’s. In both the ‘before’ picture and the ‘after one week’ picture her face looks red.

“It can take weeks of no drinking for the blood vessels to constrict fully and redness to disappear altogether.

“If you drink regularly over a number of years — and especially in larger quantities — small peripheral veins can become permanently enlarged after being repetitively expanded, causing thread veins and permanent skin damage.”

Now, it just so happens that this little mini-experiment comes at the same time as my own roommate has put a stop to her alcohol consumption for thirty days (Sober September!), so I’m actually witnessing a similar trial at home right now. And while my roommate — and Hogarth — may be exceptional, and are by no means indicative of any vast generalizations one could make on this subject, I have noticed a dramatic difference in her appearance and demeanor. She has more energy, her stomach is flatter, she has more glow to her complexion, her hair is shinier — all since she stopped drinking just a matter of three weeks ago.

The reason my roommate originally stopped drinking was actually my idea, which I waited until after Fashion Week to carry out because I’m a hypocritical, lazy jerk who wanted to at least have some white wine upon arriving home after walking around in heels several days in a row. (Excuses, excuses, I know.) Now, though, I’m actually following through with my idea. I’ll be sure to fill you folks in on the results, provided the results don’t involve me being cranky and whiney and entirely too obnoxious to share.

[via Daily Mail, photo via lowjumpingfrog/Flickr]