Alcohol has a great prevalence in our culture today both in regards to ingesting and for topical use. How often do you go to a social gathering where they are serving a variety of alcoholic drinks? Maybe its wine, hard alcohol or even beer. It seems to be the norm to have one, two or three drinks. If we aren’t careful this can lead down a slippery path as our bodies are not made to consume alcohol in excess. Additionally, have you checked the list of ingredients in your hair and skincare products? You’d probably be surprised to see alcohol as a listed ingredient! Did you know it’s actually considered a chemical under the name ethanol and is considered a psychoactive drug? Yikes! Let’s further explore both this idea of its use both internally and topically. Why is it harmful to ingest?\nAlcohol has both short and long-term effects on the body. Ingesting this chemical can lead to a long list of health concerns, especially if consumed often over a long period of time. Individuals can suffer from blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, anemia, malnutrition, mood swings, poor concentration, memory loss and high blood pressure to name a few. While alcohol has an effect on every system of the body, it especially wreaks havoc on the digestive, nervous and reproductive systems. When alcohol is consumed, processing it becomes the main priority of our body, compromising the function of other systems. Why use alcohol topically?\nOften, alcohol is used as a disinfectant and can be found in numerous cleaning products. After reading this, go take a look at your own household cleaning labels. I’m sure it’s snuck its way in there! Beauty essentials including hair and skincare products also include alcohol in the ingredient list. While alcohol may have an immediate cooling, refreshing feel on the skin, the large impact of dryness and inflammation certainly makes this ingredient one worth avoiding! At this point you may be wondering if there are any healthy alternatives for alcohol? Well there’s good news! There are several alternatives! Kombucha\nNot only is this fizzy probiotic drink tasty, it’s healthy for our gut! Swapping alcohol for Kombucha eliminates hangovers and works to bring health to your body! If you’ve never given this tea-based elixir a try, know that there are several brands and types out there. Experimenting is exciting and we highly encourage you to find your favorite flavor combo! Sparkling Juices\nJuices are fun if you aren’t necessarily looking for increased health benefits, but rather just a cool drink that’s alcohol- free. Again, there are a plethora of juice recipes. It’s almost overwhelming!u To note, the best way to enjoy a juice is by garnishing with some real fruits for a unique pop and burst of color! Oh and for some extra health benefits, too, of course! Mocktails\nDid you know almost any mixed drink can be made free of alcohol? Next time you are ordering a drink, ask for the non-alcoholic version. Not only is this healthier, but cheaper in price, too and just as tasty! Your body will certainly be thanking you for making this swap! We can’t leave out those alcohol- free topical alternatives! White Vinegar\nWith a mild, yet noticeable smell, this makes for an excellent cleaning alternative as well as a great product to keep on hand as a wound cleaner and itch reliever. It contains acetic acid which eats though the dirt and grease. Always keep a jug on hand! Hydrogen Peroxide\nAnother natural solution also very commonly used to aid in cleaning wounds. This disinfectant does a phenomenal job at cleaning germs making it suitable for a countertop cleaner. Witch Hazel\nThis plant-based, anti-inflammatory is a frequent ingredient in natural hair and skincare beauty products. Witch hazel harnesses the power to reduce skin irritations, making it great for sensitive and acne prone skin. Further, if there are small children around this product brings no worries if accidentally ingested. Have you ever considered using any of these alcohol-free alternatives? If not, over the next week try incorporating ones of these into your cleaning regimen or beauty routine. Headed out for a night with friends? This is the perfect opportunity to test out a mocktail of your choice! Can I hear a hip-hip hooray for going alcohol free? \n \nReferences:\n6 Surprising Ways Alcohol Affects Your Health — Not Just Your Liver. (2021). Retrieved 2 April 2021, from https:\/\/health.clevelandclinic.org\/6-surprising-ways-alcohol-affects-health-not-just-liver\/\nWhat makes Kombucha a great alternative to alcohol | Equinox Kombucha. (2021). Retrieved 31 March 2021, from https:\/\/equinoxkombucha.com\/blog\/lifestyle\/what-makes-kombucha-a-great-alternative-to-alcohol\/#:~:text=Kombucha%20is%20known%20for%20making,the%20most%20of%20your%20day.