Cigarette smoking and heavy alcohol consumption are notable causes of a range of short- and…
The Drinking Mirror App Shows Alcohol’s Effect on Your Face
Problem drinking thrives on unawareness. While people may know in theory that drinking alcohol to excess is bad for them, most have no clear idea about what actually represents “too much” alcohol consumption. After all, we have all heard that drinking in moderation has some health benefits, and this may make it seem as if casual social drinking is a harmless behavior with no real consequences.
What we need is a way to quantify the true effects of alcohol consumption on the human body, so we can separate the facts from the myths. Then people will finally be able to understand, with some degree of certainly, what drinking means for their health and their appearance.
Now, thanks to the fine folks responsible for the Scottish government’s “Drop a Glass Size” anti-drinking campaign, we have a nice little digital tool that can provide us with exactly the type of data that can make a difference. Called the Drinking Mirror, this innovative mobile/web app gives its users an excellent approximation of what they will look like 10 years down the line if they continue to drink alcohol at their present pace. Alternatively, the Drinking Mirror app can also show how much better they would look if they were to cut down on their weekly consumption of alcohol, possibly by reducing the size of the glass they use when they are sampling their favorite alcoholic beverage (and hence the name “Drop a Glass Size”)
To use this app, upload a recent photo of yourself, enter accurate information about your drinking habits, and then sit back and watch the fun as the Drinking Mirror provides you with an image of what your face could look like in a few years if you do or don’t change your ways. Available for download on iPhone, Android, or on the computer over the website drinksmarter.org, the Drinking Mirror app allows users to come face-to-face, so to speak, with their own mortality, giving them a bird’s eye view into a future that may be likely but is not yet set in stone.
The Mirror Speaks
“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” If the immortal words of the wicked queen in Snow White are repeated by those who choose to look at themselves in the Drinking Mirror, they might not like the answer they receive any more than their fairy tale predecessor did. Primarily because of alcohol’s capacity to cause dehydration of the skin, regular drinking will leave its mark on the faces of those who choose to imbibe frequently in the form of deeper wrinkles, puffier cheeks, rougher and patchier textures, and increased ruddiness or redness of the face.
While it is safe to say these are not the most disastrous results imaginable for problem drinkers, they do symbolize the more comprehensive damage that excessive alcohol consumption can cause in the human body. It must be remembered that just like the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, our skin is also an organ – the body’s largest, in fact – and if one organ starts showing signs of deterioration because of overexposure to alcohol, you can be sure that other organs will also suffer from the effects of this ongoing chemical onslaught.
It would clearly be a stretch to portray this new app as earth-shaking, and naïve to think one digitally enhanced photograph would be enough to convince a hard-core alcoholic to stop drinking. But the Drinking Mirror could be the sort of thing that will get people at least thinking about what their alcohol habit may be doing to them, which was precisely the goal the organizers of the Scottish government campaign had when they came up with the idea. The damage alcohol overuse can do to the human face is real, and while the Drinking Mirror bases the images it produces on a projection, what it shows its users does symbolize a very real process that is taking place in their bodies. Every action we take has consequences, and there is no such thing as a free ride or a free lunch when it comes to the toxic substances we choose to put inside of us.
Back to the Future
Whatever the positive effects of drinking in moderation may be, there are no positive aspects of drinking to excess. The Drinking Mirror offers a glimpse of a deeper biological reality, and its usefulness comes from its ability to shake people up and get them to realize what they are doing to themselves whenever they choose to drink alcohol – or at least when they choose to drink it frequently.
This new app is certainly worth downloading, and if you have the chance to use it, you might be surprised by what you see when you look at yourself as you really are – or more correctly, as you really will be if you don’t change your ways.