Natural Alternatives to Coffee and Alcohol
Two of the most common dependencies in today's society are on coffee and alcohol. Although many people try to give these habits up for their health, they may not be aware of the the negative impacts on their skin. Although coffee and alcohol are not entirely bad, they should be consumed in moderation, as they can lead to premature aging of the skin. Learn about some natural alternatives to coffee and alcohol to reduce your consumption and slow down aging!
5 Signs Your Skin is Aging Too Fast
1. Red Eyes
Aside from just allergies, red eyes can be symptomatic of stress, too much screen time, a lack of sleep, and even age related diseases like osteoarthritis.
2. Droopy Eyelids
Eyes tell a lot about someone’s overall health, but specifically pay attention to the skin around your eyes. Do your eyelids droop or do you have fatty deposits around your eyes? These can be signs of oxidative stress caused by a diet consisting primarily of processed foods.
3. Changes in Skin Texture and/or Tone
Dry, flaky skin can be a sign of dehydration. It can also be related to more serious conditions inside your body, like your thyroid. Your thyroid works to balance your hormones and keep your energy levels up. This can be reflected in drier, more irritated skin.
Sagging skin can feel like a normal part of the aging process, but it can definitely be kept at a distance with proper care. No one is immune to getting wrinkles, but more visible lines are a sign of improper skin care, stress, and overexposure to the sun, dehydration and more serious issues related to the digestive tract.
When you look in the mirror, do you see stress and worry on your face? Is there a furrowed brow or lines around your mouth that have accumulated over time? Stress, lack of sleep, phobias, emotional duress, weight gain, insomnia, higher than normal blood pressure and panic attacks are all symptoms of stress.
5 Common Causes of Prematurely Aging Skin
- Alcohol, Candy and Coffee
- Lack of sleep
- Inconsistent skin care regimen
- Not wearing enough sunscreen
If you don’t see any of your habits in the list above that could be contributing to an accelerated rate in which your skin may be aging, consider these 13 foods that make you look older.
- Charred meat – The hydrocarbons in charred meat break down collagen in your skin. Just scrape off the black stuff before you eat it, and learn how to boost collagen in your face.
- Salty foods – Ever noticed your skin looking ‘puffy’? Could be related to your sodium intake.
- Processed meats – Another high in salt food and also, loaded with preservatives that trigger inflammation.
- Red meat – Free radicals sound familiar? Red meat generates free radicals and can ultimately lead to your skins ability to generate collagen.
- Energy drinks – While they may give you the pep of a teenager, your skin will show the dehydrating effects. Not to mention their ability to strip enamel from your teeth causing them to stain and break down.
- Anything caffeinated – Dehydrated, dull skin that looks aged is the result of overconsumption of caffeinated beverages.
- Coffee – The acidic beverage can erode surface enamel on your teeth leading to stains and erosion. Also contributing towards dehydration and skins inability to retain moisture.
- Trans fat – Heart disease? Inflammation? Plus trans fats make you more vulnerable to UV rays which are the primary resource for aging skin.
- Lemonade – You may be confused here, but the acidic nature of lemons and adding sugar to the mix leads to wear on your enamel and the buildup of sugar.
- Spicy food – The blood vessels in your skin become more reactive when you eat spicy foods and can contribute to blotchy looking skin.
- White wine – The damage to teeth caused from white wine is enough to make the list. The acid damages the enamel and makes your teeth more vulnerable to stains.
- Alcohol – A healthy liver is directly associated with healthy skin. Toxins build up and your skin is more prone to developing acne and wrinkles.
- Sweets – The more sugar you eat, the more damaging to your skin’s collagen. In addition to the buildup of bacteria and tooth decay, your skin suffers from sugar overload.
Alcohol and coffee are two of the most depended on causes, so we're going to focus on those. Let's discuss how these drinks can lead to premature aging of the skin, and see what you can do to change it. It's not too late!
Aging Effects of Coffee
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, especially around the office when you need a quick pick-me-up. It gets your metabolism going and is a common way to jump start your day. Many people sip on coffee throughout the day as well. Most people consume anywhere from 2-4 cups a day. In fact, the national average coffee consumption per day is 3.2 cups. And since 82% of American adults drink coffee, that is roughly… 600 million cups of coffee each day. If you have a habit of consuming coffee every day, clearly you’re not alone. But what are the effects?
Now, before you give up coffee completely, know that it does have some benefits. Some argue that the drink can help protect against diabetes, liver disease, and actually promote a healthy heart. Applied topically, coffee can help treat redness and reduce inflammation, reduce appearance of under-eye circles, and get rid of cellulite. Read more about the pros and cons of coffee here.
However, specifically speaking about skin, consider these consequences of drinking coffee:
Coffee acts as a diuretic and prevents your body from utilizing the water your body may need. Your skin can get dried out and even look washed out. When your skin gets dry and lacks moisture, it has a tendency to look aged. Wrinkles, fine lines, age spots and dry skin develop as a result of not getting enough moisture.
Discoloration of teeth can contribute to you looking older than you actually are, leading to the dreaded coffee smile. Pigments from the dark color of coffee becomes embedded in the cracks and ridges of your enamel and can cause permanent, yellowing stains.
Aging Effects of Alcohol
Consuming alcohol can have several negative effects on your skin, including:
- Premature wrinkles
- Loss of collagen
There are actually NO nutrients in alcohol. It causes a depletion of oxygen within the blood stream and can diminish the skin’s ability to regenerate new cells. While cutting out drinking alcohol entirely may not be something you’re willing to do, the United States Dietary Guidelines recommends that you limit your alcoholic intake to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men based on a 5 liquid ounce serving.
Red, blotchy skin
As alcohol is metabolized, it widens the blood vessels and pushes blood to the face. Over time, this redness can cause puffiness and swelling, even permanently. Consuming large amounts of alcohol for an extended period of time can widen these vessels and they will continue to grow. Eventually, this can result in loss of skin tone and even permanent redness. Skin can appear blotchy and can contribute to broken vessels near the nose and face.
The dehydrating characteristic of alcohol contributes to your body’s overall levels of hydration. Without consistently drinking water to replenish and rehydrate the skin, dryer looking skin can begin to look weathered, aged, and dull.
Your eyes can also become red and irritated. This is often referred to as eyes looking ‘bloodshot.’ Over an extended period of time it can cause damage to the optic neuritis and can result in blindness (although only in extreme cases).
Dry, brittle hair
You hair is another aspect of drinking alcohol that can contribute to premature aging. Dry, weak and brittle hair can be the result of excessive alcohol.
For people who do like to have an occasional drink, there are studies that show moderate drinking can actually decrease your levels of cholesterol and lower the risk of a heart attack. It has also been shown to lower the risk of diabetes and dementia. So if you are going to drink alcohol, also drink lots of water!
If you are willing and ready to take the leap, and leave alcohol behind you – you’re in luck! Skin is like any other organ in the body and has the ability to regenerate. While the results will depend on how much damage has been done, it is possible to improve the overall appearance of your skin by eliminating alcohol from your diet.
NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO COFFEE
Perhaps leaving your love of coffee or an occasional drink seems a little overwhelming a too hard to manage given the stresses of your life, but consider these alternatives if you are ready and willing to make some changes that can greatly improve the overall quality of your skin and improve the appearance of wrinkles and signs of premature aging:
For something to get you through the day or for your morning pick me up, try one of these 6 options.
This is a type of yeast that is combined with other ingredients like tea, sugar and flavors to make a delicious drink. It’s also been used to treat memory loss, regulating bowel movements, helping with high blood pressure and even in cancer prevention. Read more about the beauty benefits of kombucha, and watch the video from Muchies to learn how to easily make this drink at home:
Other than kombucha, there are many different probiotic beverage options on the market. This drink alternative can assist with your digestive function and help to regulate your digestive health, maintain gut health and boost your immune system.
Another growing trend in the marketplace, it’s a clear, milky liquid that comes from the center of a coconut and is packed full of electrolytes which are great for hydration.
Hot Apple Cider
If you prefer a warm beverage, hot apple cider may be the perfect solution for you. Its warmth can be equally satisfying on a cold day. It’s naturally sweet and offers the benefits of vitamins and nutrients found in apples.
When flavored with fruit extract, sparkling water can be delicious and improve your levels of hydration. There are a variety of options available and can be a refreshing alternative to the afternoon coffee.
Most workplaces that provide coffee are also providing tea. There is a multitude of blends and it can be served hot or cold. You can get the caffeine-free option and pass on the sugar for an even healthier alternative to a cup of black coffee that is lacking in vitamins and minerals, unlike tea.
NATURAL ALTERNATIVES TO ALCOHOL
If you’re looking for alternatives to alcohol as a means to unwind, relax, or help you push through the day, here are 3 options that may be a healthier option:
Known by many names including kava pepper, kawa kawa, kava root and kew, kava is native to the South Pacific and has been historically used in medicine. It’s known to calm stress and anxiety. It has been commonly used in the treatment of headaches, muscle pain, depression and ADHD; Kava affects the central nervous system. It can be a social drink, much like alcohol, without the negative effects or the addictive characteristics.
This is derived from tea leaves, but may also be found in edible mushrooms. It’s also known for its calming effects without causing drowsiness, L-theanine is commonly found in tea. Some people complain of side effects like headaches or dizziness, but it has been shown beneficial to most consumers. Also a productive alternative to alcohol without the negative consequences, L-theanine calms the nerves and helps to alleviate stress.
The valerian herb is also known as baldrian garden heliotrope, all-heal or amantilla. It’s commonly used to treat sleep disorders like insomnia. The herb can be used to treat anxiety, stress, upset stomach, asthma and migraines. It can also be added to bath water for help with restlessness.
Slow Down Aging
If you’re looking for an activity to keep you busy as opposed to alcohol consumption, try taking a walk, meditation, spending time with family and friends or discovering a new hobby. There are a million clubs out there, and you won't know which ones you love until you try them.
Are you a regular consumer of coffee and/or alcohol? Have you already started to see the effects on your skin? If you have noticed the changes in your skin tone, clarity, smoothness, even teeth color and hair health, it’s not too late. Take control of your skin care by implementing some strategies to combat premature aging skin and get back to that glowing youthful complexion you once saw.
- Reduce fine lines and wrinkles by eliminating or limiting your consumption of coffee and alcohol. Get enough rest at 8 solid hours and drink LOTS of water!
- Try a scalp massage to increase blood flow and stimulate the hair follicles. You can also try using a coconut or olive oil hair mask for added moisture.
- Eat more antioxidant rich foods to help reduce that bloodshot eye look: almonds, cucumbers, garlic and sweet potatoes.
- Whiten your teeth by talking to your dental health care professional. There are less expensive alternatives that may not be as effective, but consult a trusted professional for guidance to whiten your teeth and look younger.
- Moisturize dry hands to help minimize the look of dehydrated skin. Your face, neck and under eyes are also extremely important areas to keep hydrated and looking fresh. Try this Anti-Aging Moisturizer with SPF to keep your skin moisturized with coconut oil, moringa oil, vitamin E, and edelweiss.
Be inspired to implement some changes to improve the quality of your skin and slow the signs of aging. Reach out to friends and family for support and discover new hobbies and interests together - try out some of the popular wellness trends of 2018 to see if they're enjoyable for you!