How Alcohol Damages Your Skin and What to do About it

How Alcohol Damages Your Skin and What to do About it

For many of us there's nothing we enjoy more than a glass of wine, craft brew or a cocktail after work. Come weekend you can even find some of us sipping mimosa's at brunch or out Saturday night partying with friends! But, come Sunday morning we are first to notice our splotchy, hungover faces in the dreary morning light of our bathroom mirrors. Turns out all the booze is harming our skin more than we knew! Keep reading to learn how alcohol can adversely affect your complexion, and how to counter-act it's not-so-pretty effects!


Alcohol, whether wine, beer or liquor, is very harsh on skin. Why, you ask? It depletes your body of the water it needs to stay (and look) hydrated. It's not only a diuretic, but also slows the body's ability to reabsorb water. So, consider alcohol a double whammy; it forces water out and makes it harder for your body to rehydrate. You can see it in your skin - tired and sallow looking, with much more visible fine lines, wrinkles and pores.

The Damage Goes Deep

Think that's bad enough? You're wrong! Not only does it dehydrate your skin, it also depletes the body's levels of vitamin A, a critical antioxidant that speeds up cell renewal, giving you your normal, healthy glow. Worse yet, low levels of vitamin A make it much harder for your skin to fight off free radicals, doing more damage to the deep layers of your skin.

Not So Rosy Glow

Ever notice that your face looks a bit flushed when you've been drinking? That's because alcohol acts as a vasodilator, opening your blood vessels up. Drink too much and this can cause your blood vessels to burst, leaving permanent spider veins, on your face. This excess dilation can also cause a puffy complexion. Aside from all this the sugar and sodium in mixed drinks can cause excess oil production in your skin, inflammation and extreme puffiness and dark circles under your eyes.

The Good News

Once you begin to rehydrate your skin will start to return to normal within a few days. Your skin's texture will improve, your pores will shrink back to their normal size and your vitamin A and antioxidant levels will level out. This will happen faster if you choose to be mindful and eat healthy in the days you're recovering from a hangover.