Your face can reveal the true toll of your lifestyle, according to dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons – and alcohol in particular has a huge effect on your appearance.
But other factors also play a part in the way you look.
1 PUDGY, SAGGY FACE
Cause: Alcohol and lack of exercise
Alcohol stresses the body, leading to the production of a hormone called cortisol, which in turn causes water retention in the cheeks and fat to collect around the face – this can leave you looking bloated. Booze also overstimulates salivary glands, making them swell, which adds to the chubby facial look. The sugar in alcohol affects the production of collagen and elastin fibres in your skin, making your face look saggy. Not exercising also has a negative impact on collagen production.
2 THIN, GAUNT FACE
Cause: Over-exercising and yo-yo dieting
While a lack of exercise can affect your face, so can too much, leaving you with hollow, saggy cheeks. When you exercise strenuously, blood is diverted from the face to other parts of the body and fat pads in the cheeks are deprived of oxygen, so that they start to die off slowly. Meanwhile, losing weight and putting it back on again with yo-yo dieting can cause the skin to stretch and lose elasticity, giving you jowls.
3 PALLID COMPLEXION
Cause: Not eating the right veges, being overweight
Scottish researchers have found that eating three portions of fruit and vege a day, containing pigments called carotenoids, can give skin a natural glow. Good sources include carrots, kumara, pumpkin, spinach, capsicum, tomatoes and papaya. If you don’t get enough of these, you could look pallid. Even if you do eat them, you may not reap the benefits if you are overweight because carotenoid pigments are fat-soluble, and can be absorbed by the fat in your body before they can help your skin.
4 FLUSHED SKIN
Cause: Caffeine, lack of sunlight
Too much coffee can dehydrate the skin, making it appear red and parched.
If you drink more than three cups of coffee a day, you should have a glass of water for every extra cup to rehydrate yourself.
You can also end up with red, flaky skin if you don’t get enough sunlight. That’s because too few UV rays can lead to low vitamin D levels, and if your body doesn’t have enough vitamin D to create new skin cells, you will end up with dry, flaky red skin.
5 MOUTH CRACKS
Cause: Not eating your greens
Cracks in the corner of the mouth can be a sign of a vitamin B deficiency, as not getting enough of this can lead to redness and cracking. You may also have a thickened tongue. Vegetables such as peas are high in vitamin B.
6 WATERY EYES
Cause: Screen time, lack of sleep
Watery eyes can be a sign of dry eyes. That’s because the tear glands react to your eyes being dry by producing tears to lubricate them. Staring at
a screen you are less likely to blink, and as blinking generates tears, you can end up with dry eyes. Your body produces tears while you are asleep, so missing out on shut-eye can also mean your eyes get very dry and end up watering.