Whether it’s meeting up with friends for cocktails after work, enjoying a drink with an evening meal or having a glass of wine at home to unwind after a busy day, modern women are consuming more alcohol than ever.
Many regularly exceed the government’s daily drinking guidelines of 2-3 units a day which, as well as putting their health at risk, also means they are in danger of looking beyond their years due to the effects long-term drinking can have on the appearance.
To bring the warning home, an app has been developed where women can look in a ‘drinking mirror’ and see how they will look in years to come if they over-indulge now.
Royal flush: The app shows using this picture of the Duchess of Cambridge how drinking excess alcohol can give red, wrinkled skin
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As the pictures of celebrities we put through the drinking mirror show, the results are not pretty. Red skin, deep wrinkles and weight gain could all be expected if they drank ten 175ml glasses of wine a week.
The app, available to download on Android and use online by clicking here, allows users to upload a picture of themselves and see how they will appear in the future based on how many glasses of wine they drink a week.
The app is part of a health campaign by the Scottish government to encourage people to think about reducing the amount they drink this year.
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According to their data, 38 per cent of women regularly exceed daily or weekly drinking guidelines.
The wider campaign asks women to ‘drop a glass size’ and think about how many units they are consuming each week.
Dr Samantha Robson, a GP and skin specialist in Aberdeen, who helped launch the campaign, said: ‘Alcohol undoubtedly has an effect on our appearance in the short and long-term. As well as causing bloating and dark circles under your eyes, alcohol dries out skin and can lead to wrinkles and premature ageing.
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‘But drinking more than you should over time can have other, more permanent, detrimental effects on your skin and, more importantly, your overall health.
‘Many women don’t think about the longer-term effects of drinking or that on average it takes them longer than a man to recover from the damage caused by a big night.
‘But cutting down a glass size, or having a break some nights, the result could make a huge difference to how they look and feel.’
Alcohol deaths among women aged 30 to 44 doubled in the past 20 years and the liver disease and cirrhosis death rate has trebled in the age group since the mid 1980s.
Health Secretary Alex Neil said: ‘Evidence shows us that most people who drink alcohol, particularly at home, have no idea of how much they are actually consuming.
‘This campaign will show people how small changes to their drinking habits can have a significant impact on their health and wellbeing.’