Q: I get a really red face after a pint or two down the pub. It looks like I’m embarrassed or nervous and I’m sure other people have noticed it. Is there anything I can do to keep my face in check?
Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:
There’s a good chance that you have either a) a condition called rosacea, which is simply being exacerbated by an innocent drink after work or b) an issue metabolizing alcohol efficiently. Rosacea is pretty common among 30+ guys of Irish-Celtic or Western European origin and it ususally shows up as heavy blushing around the cheeks, forehead and chin; sometimes blood vessels become visible.
Other stuff can trigger rosacea, from a spicy curry or harsh weather to the brand of skincare / shaving products you use. Unfortunately there will be a bit of trial and error when it comes to finding out what sets off a flare up in your particular case, so just be aware if you suddenly turn red because of something other than alcohol.
In the case of alcohol, however, the redness may be due to a build up of acetaldehyde, which is a byproduct of alcohol metabolism. Ironically, this byproduct is actually more toxic than those Sambuca shooters you put away the night before and, crucially, it’s what causes those really debilitating hangovers.
Now while your liver has natural enzymes to tackle acetaldehyde overload, your natural supply can run out, triggering a hangover so vicious it’ll turn hardened lushes teetotal in a matter of minutes. Apparently milk and eggs are supposed to help since they’re packed with cysteine, an amino acid that helps break down all that toxic acetaldehyde. If you can’t cut back on the booze - which, let's face it, is the sensible option - remember to rustle up an omelet before and after a trip down the pub, perhaps?
Whether it’s rosacea, mild skin sensitivity or a difficulty metabolizing alcohol, you’ll need to get very selective about the kinds of skincare products that end up in your shopping basket. I'll address these in Part 2…
Find Ahmed on theexfoliator.com