Since 2008, the Dry July Foundation has been encouraging Aussies to go alcohol free for the month of July in support of those battling cancer.
Those of you who know even a little about my story will know that cancer is something that has directly impacted my family, and in turn, is one of the main reasons I now do what I do. Maybe you or your family have been impacted by cancer too. Maybe not. But did you know that going dry this July could not only benefit those affected by cancer, BUT the health of your skin too? Yep, double bonus!
Alcohol and healthy skin don't exactly go hand in hand. In fact, one study showed that those who drank more than twice a week had significantly worse acne than those who didn't drink at all.
Alcohol offers us what I like to refer to as 'empty calories' - we're putting into our bodies something empty of nutritional benefits. Not only this, but alcohol also steals nutrients from our skin. And - as a diuretic - alcohol also robs our skin of hydration, which is why our skin can look so dull + lacklustre, and our fine lines a little less fine, after a night out.
You might also notice a flushed appearance in your face when you're on the drink. This happens for two reasons: firstly, the blood flow to the skin is affected by alcohol, causing flushing of the skin; and, secondly, because alcohol releases histamine, which can not only produce flushing, but also worsening of acne and other skin complaints if histamine is a trigger for you (and its actually a surprisingly common intolerance!).
Drinking alcohol inflames not only the tissues of the skin, but of the entire body - just one of the reasons it irritates skin conditions like rosacea or psoriasis so badly.
Alcohol also places stress on the liver: the hub of our detoxification system, allowing us to utilise what it is that we do need and excrete that which we don't. Including excess hormones, like oestrogen, which is increased for both men and women indulging in a few.
If you're going to indulge, do so in moderation. And consider white spirits with non-sugary mixers (think vodka + soda, or gin + tonic) or a quality, organic (Peacetree Estate are my faves!) red vino over sugar-full white wine, bubbles, cider or pre-mixed drinks.
Or heck, why not just go dry for the entire month of July?! Your skin will thank you for it.