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How Does Alcohol Affect Your Skin?

Posted by Ellie Swain on Feb 8th 2021

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Skin?

For many of us, drinking alcohol is part of our lives. Perhaps weekend brunch with the girls always involves a glass of prosecco or two. Or maybe your weekday evenings are scattered with extended happy hour cocktails.

But no matter how fun alcohol may be, it isn’t good for your health, especially if you over-indulge.

Those boozy brunches and late-night dinner parties may seem fun, but if you continue to drink excessively, it can do some serious damage to your health. In this particular case, it can damage your skin.

While many of us tend to think about the adverse effects alcohol has on the liver, we often forget about what it does to our body’s biggest organ: our skin.

Let’s learn exactly how a few too many bevvies can affect the skin. And if you must drink, we’re also calling out the drinks you should cut out to protect your skin (here’s looking at you, sugary cocktails.)

Alcohol Dehydrates the Skin

Alcohol dehydrates the skin, causing your wrinkles and pores to be more noticeable. Keep knocking back the after-work drinks, and you’ll soon see that your skin loses its natural plumpness and healthy glow.

Alcohol is a diuretic, which is a substance that boosts the production of urine. This, in turn, dehydrates the body.

If you must drink alcohol, make sure to drink plenty of water too. Otherwise, it’s your skin that will pay. A good idea is to grab a glass of water in between drinks.

If your thirsty skin needs a little TLC, PCA Skin’s Hydrating Serum will help. The formula is packed full of antioxidants and moisture-binding ingredients to leave the complexion soft, plump, and hydrated. Plus, it reduces inflammation, too.

Alcohol Contributes To Rosacea

White wine lover? Sorry to break the bad news, but if you suffer from red and blotchy skin, you may want to lay off the chardonnay and Baileys. Alcohol consumption, especially white wine and liquor, boosts the risk of rosacea and redness in women.

However, it’s not all gloom and doom. Clear liquors, like vodka and gin, won’t increase your risk of rosacea.

Fortunately, there are also ways to reduce the appearance of rosacea. We suggest reaching for Neova’s Ultimate Redness Relief cream. The calming formula soothes and hydrates rosy-looking skin, and it’s gentle enough for rosacea-prone complexions. Though that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch your alcohol intake!

For those who flush easily, taking an antihistamine such as Pepcid before drinking can help lessen redness for some people. It may also be worth speaking to your doctor for a prescription medication for rosacea to apply topically.

Alcohol Increases Inflammation

Everyone knows that lying out in the sun is the quickest way to promote premature skin aging, but most don’t realize that the second major cause of skin aging is inflammation. So, it’s in our best interests to avoid inflammation.

Alcohol brings the blood up to the tissue leading to inflammation. This results in blotchiness, redness, and dehydration, and it’s not a good look.

When alcohol heightens inflammation and adjusts the skin's hormonal milieu, it can worsen certain inflammatory skin conditions, including acne and rosacea.

If you continue drinking heavily, these blood vessels can accumulate and lead to more persistent redness, which is why you often see alcoholics with significantly rosy cheeks.

Nobody wants acne or red-flushed skin, so it may be best to reduce your intake of alcohol at least.

What Are the Worst Drinks for the Skin?

If you still can’t resist a tipple, it pays to know which alcoholic drinks are the worst offenders. Try cutting out wines, cocktails, and chasers that are brimming with sugar. Excess sugar increases the likelihood of inflammation and acne breakouts.

Instead, opt for mixers like club soda and pure lemon or lime juice.

What Are the Least Offensive Drinks for the Skin?

Next time you’re at the bar deciding what to drink, choose carefully. Wine can be a good option, especially if you opt for red as it contains antioxidants such as polyphenols and resveratrol. These antioxidants offer beneficial effects in the body and skin when consumed in moderation.

If you’re looking for something stronger, clear liquors such as vodka and tequila provide the least amount of sugar and fewest added ingredients.

So, if you’re still looking for a good time with a bevvie or two, look out for clear liquors with a non-sugary mixer.

Do you want more skincare advice? Here’s how to create a natural skincare routine.