Home Skincare 5 Damaging Effects of Alcohol on Your Skin
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5 Damaging Effects of Alcohol on Your Skin

by Sandy Taylor

Enjoying a drink or two isn’t a bad thing and shouldn’t be considered as something abnormal. Unfortunately, many people take it too far and consider drinking as a valid stress relief especially after a long day at work. 

Consuming alcohol can have terrible consequences on your skin, therefore it’s important to make sure you drink only in moderate amounts and if possible, try to stick to quality drinks from reputable manufacturers. If you’re going to bars, make sure to go to places that have a good reputation so you won’t end up drinking something that can cause you to feel ill later.

When it comes to personal well-being, alcohol can do some serious damage to  your skin. Here are some ways that drinking alcohol can affect your skin.

1. Excessive Drinking Can Lead To Skin Disorders

Alcohol is nothing but a toxin without any nutritional values. According to research done by dermatologists for the health journal, Clinics in Dermatology, excessive drinking can contribute to skin disorders such as  jaundice, pruritus, hyperpigmentation and urticaria (hives)

All of these, of course, can be visible on your skin, which is why it’s necessary to lower your amount of alcohol consumption. If you still must drink, due to peer pressure or any other reason, make sure to limit your consumption to once or twice a week, but preferably, less than that. 

2. Alcohol Dehydrates Your Skin

Alcohol, due to its diuretic effect, forces water out of the body, which leads to dehydration. And because of the lack of fluids in the body, the skin is often left flaky, dry, with visible fine lines and wrinkles. So, if you know you’re going to be drinking, always make sure to rehydrate after each glass of drink, so you’ll be able to make up for the loss of water. 

3. Drinking Leads to Acne Breakouts and Aging

A lot of alcoholic drinks contain high sugar levels, so if you like to drink often, you can expect to see breakouts on your skin. Sugar leads to skin cells’ crystallization, also known as glycation. According to research, sugar makes your skin age faster by chemically cross linking two collagen fibers, making them hard to repair.  In addition, glycation can aggravate skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. 

That means that, due to drinking, your skin will be left with pimples, uneven texture and dull complexion. Therefore, it’s best to consume drinks that are very low in sugar, such as pinot noir that you can get from mixed wine cases of great quality. 

4. Drinking Can Cause Red Skin, Puffiness and Hypertension

You’ve probably seen a seasoned drinker with red skin and puffy face. That’s not a coincidence since alcohol has inflammatory effects on human bodies. So, the more you drink, the more likely is to get skin redness, puffiness and hypertension

Also, many people suffer from undiagnosed alcohol intolerance (which is different from an allergy) and if they happen to drink a bit more, that can surely be visible on their skin. So, if you experience severe hangover symptoms even after drinking very little, or your skin feels dull and exhausted after consuming one or two drinks only, chances are you might be intolerant to alcohol.

If you experience skin redness the day after drinking, check out my  guide on the best foundations to use for rosacea and redness. These foundations can help you cover up the redness if you’re in a rush to head out. 

5. Drinking Can Cause Hormonal Issues

As we’ve established previously, most alcoholic drinks are very high in sugar, therefore they can cause significant issues to the hormonal balance, mainly the thyroid and sex hormones, and it’s well-known that when hormones get disrupted, it shows on the skin, too. 

Besides skin issues, hormonal imbalance can lead to depression, irritability and problems with concentrating that can all indirectly harm your skin, or at least make you less motivated to take the right measures to keep your skin healthy and nourished. Building a consistent skincare routine and sticking to it can be greatly beneficial to your skin, even if you like to drink occasionally.

Final thoughts

As you can see, drinking too much can be quite dangerous to one’s health and appearance. Your skin is your largest organ, and it surely deserves great care. Alcohol can be seductive, and since it’s such a social drink, it’s understandable that saying no isn’t always an option. But if you expect to drink, due to attending a party or similar event, make sure to pick your liquors wisely, and don’t forget to consume enough water so you won’t feel severely dehydrated later. 


About the Author: Fiona Wood is a lifestyle blogger based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a fan of beauty, fashion, and healthy lifestyle. In spare time, she plays tennis and travels around the world.

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