LIFESTYLE

This Is What 20 Years Of Heavy Drinking Could Do To Your Face

28/10/2014 12:29 GMT | Updated 28/10/2014 12:59 GMT

We all know that drinking alcohol in excess can seriously damage our health - liver disease, high blood pressure, mental health problems, to name but a few - but did you know it can also affect your appearance?

Binge drinking and alcoholism dehydrates the skin and deprives it of vital nutrients. This can lead to spots, premature ageing, puffiness and redness.

California-based company Rehabs has created a tool to show the effects that long-term drinking may have on a person's face.

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The way it works is simple. Users upload a photograph or take a new one with their webcam, and the tool alters their appearance to show how they would look after two, five, 10 and 20 years of heavy drinking.

HuffPost UK decided to try it out for ourselves. And while the tool is neither particularly high tech or particularly realistic - "It looks like I've had orange highlighter drawn all over my face," complained one editor - the idea is clear.

HuffPost UK after 20 years of heavy drinking

"The purpose of the program is to create a shock factor for users, preying on the vanity, in hopes that the very ugly future of their actions will incite behavioural change," a spokesperson from Rehabs told MailOnline.

According to UK-based drinking charity Drink Aware, long-term heavy drinking can lead to Rosacea, a skin condition that causes those affected to blush easily and can eventually lead to facial disfigurement.

To try the tool for yourself, visit the MailOnline.