Can Alcohol Make You Age Faster?

Can alcohol age you? This is a question that may have crossed your mind, especially if you can’t sleep without taking several drinks. And while this doesn’t always happen, alcohol can cause you to age faster in a number of ways. It leads to puffiness, dehydration, redness, premature wrinkles and loss of collagen. The good news is that these signs will depend on how much alcohol, and how frequently you take it. In fact, a little alcohol has some benefits.

Does Alcohol Age You?

Yes. Alcohol affects how you age by dehydrating your body, causing depletion of nutrients, adversely affecting your sleep and causing dilation of blood vessels.


Alcohol causes your body to lose more fluids than you should. When this happens over the long term, it shows on the skin which develops fine lines that change into wrinkles. Dehydration also makes your hair dry and brittle which leads to split ends. So, does alcohol age you through dehydration? Yes. But you can reduce dehydration by taking as much water as the alcohol. Additionally, use a good quality cleanser and moisturizer to condition your skin.

Nutrient Depletion

Alcohol causes serious depletion of several nutrients including vitamin A, zinc and some electrolytes. These nutrients have various functions in the body. Vitamin A for instance is necessary in the synthesis of collagen that constitutes part of the skin. And together with zinc among other nutrients, vitamin A is also required for the maintenance of good health in addition to other functions.

In order to reverse nutrient depletion as a result of alcohol consumption, take foods and drinks rich in nutrients and electrolytes like whole grains, bananas, orange juice and chicken broth. Taking lots of water will also help.


You may have noticed that your face becomes red after some drinking. This is a result of the vasodilation or widening of your blood vessels caused by alcohol and may also be accompanied by puffiness. These signs usually disappear once the alcohol gets out of your system. However, if you regularly take too much alcohol, you might develop permanent, spidery red veins and wrinkles that make you look older.

Sleep Deprivation

To age well, you need to get adequate sleep regularly. Some people will wonder, how does alcohol age you when a few drinks help you sleep? But research studies have found that although alcohol may get you to sleep faster, it deprives you of restful sleep, otherwise known as REM (rapid eye movement) sleep.

Weight Gain

Alcohol contains sugar which causes your insulin levels to rise in an effort to stabilize it. This leads to conversion of the sugar into fat which is stored around the waist and belly. When this continues to happen over a long period, it leads to significant weight gain of as much as 10 pounds or more.

What Can You Do About It?

While it is not a matter of "does alcohol age you?" rather taking too much and frequently is bad for your skin and health in general. However, a little alcohol benefits your body. Studies have established that compared to teetotalers, people who take alcohol in moderation have lower cholesterol levels and a decreased risk of developing heart attacks. It also lowers your risk of getting dementia and the risk of diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity.

But what is moderate drinking?

The United States government dietary guidelines defines moderate drinking as not more than one drink in case of a woman, and not more than two drinks in case of a man. Note that one drink is either of the following:

  • Beer – 12 fluid ounces
  • Wine – 5 fluid ounces
  • Distilled liquor (80o proof) – 1.5 fluid ounces

Note also that besides sticking to moderate drinking, avoid alcoholic beverages with additives like added sugar and other mixers as these can have negative effects on your skin. If you like liquors, go for a clear drink like vodka or gin.

So, even as you enjoy your drink, note that the answer to the question,"does alcohol age you" is yes. Therefore, don’t overdo it, and mind what you take.

Other Habits That May Age You

In addition to alcohol, there are other habits that can age you prematurely, including the following:

  • Smoking: Smoking causes wrinkles around the mouth besides leading to sagging of facial skin as well as in other parts of the body.
  • Absence of fruits and vegetables in the diet: Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants which slow down aging. However, to maximize their benefits, you need to eat them several times a day.
  • Drinking too little water: Your body needs about 10, 8-ounce glasses of water daily to remain healthy. Otherwise you get dehydrated leading to premature aging besides other issues.
  • Eating dessert: Desserts normally contain lots of sugar, excess of which causes wrinkles, skin sagging, acne and puffiness.
  • Junk food: Junk food contains transfat that inflames body organs including skin which causes aging.
  • Inadequate sleep: Studies have shown that a grownup should get 7 – 9 hours of sleep per day. Sleeping for less than 6 hours leads to weight gain, high blood pressure, poor immunity, poor memory, eye bags and premature aging.
  • Watching too much TV: Any time you watch TV for one hour, you cut out 22 minutes of your life. Besides, sitting for 30 minutes lead to sugar deposits in your cells and ultimately make you overweight.
  • Slouching: Habitual bad posture can cause deformity.
  • Not taking care of your eyes: Note that skin around your eyes wrinkles easily because it is thinner than the rest of your facial skin.
  • Only exercising to lose weight: Regular exercises help keep your body strong and healthy.
  • Too much makeup: Makeup products contain many chemicals, some of which irritate the skin, strip it of natural oils and cause wrinkling and premature aging.
  • Sunbathing: If you plan to sunbathe, apply a good sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn and wrinkles.
  • Blasting music on headphones: Regular loud noise leads to impaired hearing and premature aging.
  • Crash diet: Crash dieting leads to low energy levels. This can cause mood swings and depression. 
  • Stress: When you are chronically stressed, your body releases free radicals which damage various tissues and organs including the skin, blood vessels and brain tissues. This leads to premature aging, hardened arteries, poor memory, learning problems and bad moods.
  • Not meeting friends: Friendships can help protect you against obesity, depression, and heart disease.
  • Holding onto grudges: This has many adverse effects in the body, including anxiety, high blood sugar levels, diabetes, high blood pressure and weight gain. Forgiving and moving on saves you from these and other problems including stress and depression.