How Alcohol Affects Your Skin

We all know that this time of year can wreak havoc on our skin (cold, dry weather) but have you considered that your Christmas partying may be the cause? Alcohol can have huge repercussions for your skin, and some drinks can be worse than others.

The side effects

So how exactly will you notice if alcohol is having a negative effect on your skin? Well, it may cause one of the following.


We’ve all woken up the morning after the night before to find ourselves severely dehydrated and the same is true of our skin. Alcohol is a diuretic forcing the water out of our bodies, and it can also make it more difficult to rehydrate afterwards. This can cause dry, flaky skin and more visible fine lines and wrinkles.


Alcohol also has an inflammatory effect on our bodies, which can show up in our skin as redness or puffiness. Plus, the late nights that are usually linked to drinking will only enhance that.


Not only is the actual alcohol itself bad for your skin, but most alcoholic drinks are also usually high in sugar, which can often lead to breakouts.

Hormone disruption

Again, it’s the sugar in alcohol that can cause you a problem here, as the high levels can kick-start an insulin response, which can have a negative effect on your thyroid and sex hormones. Hormone imbalance or your ‘time of the month’ can often lead to bad skin.

Microbiome disturbance

Alcohol can deplete healthy levels of the important bacteria that live in our gut, called the microbiome. This helps to regulate our immune system, and in turn, our skin, so any disruption to this can have a visible knock-on effect.

The main culprits

So if you’re trying to be your skin’s best friend this festive season, then you might want to stay away from these drinks.


Most cocktails have high levels of sugar and alcohol which causes inflammation. This can result in sensitivity, breakouts, redness and cell damage.


Although red wine contains antioxidants which are arguably good for you, it also causes blood vessels to expand which causes redness. And white wine is high in sugar, plus it contains sulphites which can irritate the skin.

Energy drink

Whether it’s a vodka Red Bull or a jagerbomb, energy drink can be terrible for your skin because not only is it high in sugar, but also in caffeine and chemicals.This can cause inflammation and irritation, plus your sleep will be inhibited which could lead to tired-looking skin.

The advice

If you’re going out partying then choose your drinks wisely and opt for spirits such as vodka with non-sugary mixers. Be sure to give your skin a little extra TLC to counteract the negative effects and drink as much water as possible, to revitalise both your skin and yourself.

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