Bellagena is a skin care studio and med spa located in Bradenton, Florida
Yes, Drinking Alcohol Wrecks Your Skin, an article by Bellagena Med Spa of Bradenton, Florida

Yes, Drinking Alcohol Wrecks Your Skin

Written by:

Julia Padilla - Carr

Julia had the vision of creating a clinical skin care studio with the traditional spa atmosphere for many years. Julia is a Licensed Aesthetician, Licensed Electrologist, and Certified Laser Hair Removal Technician in the State of Florida.

We’re not trying to kill your buzz, but alcohol is a skin nightmare.

To be realistic: Your friendly Bradenton aesthetician is probably not going to call you out for the occasional glass of wine. And no one can tell from your skin that you had a couple of beers at the Bradenton Marauders ballgame (so long as you wore your sunscreen).

Of course, science goes back and forth about how much alcohol affects your health in general. But the science on your skin is pretty well set: Drinking alcohol, especially in excess or on a regular basis, wrecks your skin. Here’s how.

What does alcohol do to your skin’s appearance?

When you drink in excess, and/or on a regular basis, that alcohol use will be evident first an foremost in your skin. Your face and other parts of your body will exhibit signs of alcohol use that include:

  • Wrinkles
  • Redness
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Oiliness
  • Inflammation
  • Paleness
  • Increased sensitivity to sunlight and burning
  • Acne
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema


(With prolonged, extreme alcohol use, your skin’s issues get exponentially worse, including jaundice and infection. At that point, stopping drinking will be necessary, and a serious medical intervention may be needed.)

Why does alcohol cause skin problems?

Even if we still think we’re having fun and feeling good, just a few drinks can cause a number of problems in our body. Alcohol is often directly responsible for:

  • Dehydration
  • Flushing
  • Loss of sleep
  • Inhibited absorption of nutrients
  • Poor nutrition
  • Interruption of skincare routines


In our drinking culture, we tend to think of these issues caused by alcohol as “minor inconveniences.” But in fact, these are the problems that are wreaking havoc on your skin.

Alcohol Use and Dehydration

Dehydration is a major skin health issue—perhaps the most major skin health issue in moderate drinkers. Hydration affects virtually every skin function, including elasticity, UV protection, and balanced oil (sebum) production.

Skin can lose its moisture from the inside and the outside. When your whole body is dehydrated, your bloodstream can’t deliver enough water to your skin. That situation dehydrates every layer of dermis from the inside out.

And that level of dehydrated skin is what happens when you drink a moderate amount of alcohol or more.

Why does alcohol dehydrate you?

Alcohol is a diuretic, pure and simple. It tells your body—especially your kidneys—to remove water from the bloodstream and excrete it as urine.

Alcohol also suppresses your body’s production of a hormone called vasopressin. Vasopressin normally tells your body to hold onto its water. With less vasopressin, you become dehydrated even faster.

And by the way, dehydration translates to problems with your hair too.

How to Boost Skin Recovery After Boozing

The first tip, of course, is don’t drink alcohol.

But unless you’re teetotal, you’ll need have some other tips in mind for caring for your skin after alcohol consumption.

Drink water with your alcohol. Don’t wait until your skin is already dehydrated and forming new wrinkles. Keep up with the hydration in real time.

Don’t skip your skincare. It’s tempting to crash without practicing your nightly routine. But that just puts your skin’s health that much farther behind.

Don’t skip your sleep, either. Not only should you prioritize rest after alcohol, you might need even more sleep to make up for the disruptions that alcohol causes.

Exercise. No need to punish yourself—after all, you’re already dehydrated—but physical activity can counteract the inflammation and boost your skin’s healing.

Lay off the booze afterword. Had a rough night? That’s fine, just don’t let it happen again—at least not for a little while. Your skin need at least a few days to recover, and the longer you go without drinking again, the better it will be.

Of course, skin type, history, age, and other lifestyle factors will all affect how your skin specifically responds to alcohol. For more tips on maintaining healthy skin, ask your Bradenton skincare experts at Bellagena.

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