When we hear about preventable causes of premature aging, the discussion usually centers on smoking. We are told, correctly so, that tobacco use accelerates the signs of aging, including wrinkles, sagging around the eyes, and other issues that cause people to appear older. But what about drinking alcohol? Does it affect our looks, and if so, in what ways?
The effects of overindulging in alcohol include a ruddy complexion, dry skin (which increases wrinkles), weight gain, bloating, dark circles under the eyes, and, overall, premature aging. And the Scottish government is attempting to raise public awareness of the effects of alcohol on your looks through the availability of a new app. It’s called the “Drinking Mirror”, and what it does is to show you the future effects of drinking on your face. You supply the photo (that app also allows you to take a picture then and there). You also tell the app how much you drink. What you end up with is a picture of how you’ll look in ten years if you continue to drink at the same rate. You can then compare and see the difference if you drop a glass or two each week.
The developer advertises the app (which, by the way, is free) as showing a user how much better they’ll look if they decrease their alcohol consumption. On the other hand, some of the press surrounding the app has not been particularly supportive of the program. One article cites the purpose of the app as a way “to scare vain women away from drinking alcohol.”
Reviews by users also vary. One was upset because the app just made her look fat. Others, however, praised the app with comments such as a “wake-up call for alcohol.”
Whatever you think of the app, the point that the folks in Scotland are trying to get across is that alcohol use has significant and specific effects on the way we look. Those effects involve not only our faces, but also our bodies. And quite apart from our looks, the health risks of too much alcohol have been well-publicized.
The good news is that many of the effects of over-indulgence can be successfully treated with cosmetic procedures such as Botox, facelifts, and others. And reducing your alcohol consumption now can avoid additional problems in the future.