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Be extra vigilant with sunscreen, as alcohol may leave skin vulnerable to damage from UV rays. “While a hat and sunglasses can only provide so much protection,” says Camp, “a moisturizer with SPF is important to protect from often overlooked sources of UV exposure, such as sunlight reflected from water and sand.” According to Casey, if you already have broken capillaries, cutting back on drinking may allow them to become less noticeable as they are less dilated. Unfortunately, the only way to truly remove them from the skin is with expensive laser procedures. As with many skincare and health-related problems, in this case, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure. But its breakdown product, acetaldehyde, is a very potent vasodilator in the skin,” Soleymani said.

how alcohol affects your skin

Everyone loves holding a fancy cocktail glass in their hand, but your faves like Pornstar Martinis and Cosmopolitans are also bad news if you want to keep a clear complexion. The high sugar content in most cocktails can lead to inflammation, which increases cell damage and is a cause of acne. Despite red wine being hailed as the ‘healthiest’ choice of alcohol because it contains antioxidants, it is actually one of the how alcohol affects your skin most damaging alcohols for your skin. According to Dr Ana, “Unfiltered red wine requires higher levels of processing by the body.” The effects of alcohol on your skin range from redness and puffiness to acne. Though most people are probably familiar with the drying and sleep disruption effects of alcohol, more research is coming to light about the direct effects of alcohol on the aging of our cells and our DNA itself.

Healthy Skin in Balance: Moderation and Care

Alcoholic drinks are high in calories and have no nutritional benefit to your body. Alcohol can have temporary and long-term effects on your physical appearance. The severity of these changes usually depends on how long and how often you drink. If you’re struggling with alcohol use, but are having a difficult time cutting back, Ria Health offers resources that can help. We offer medical support, regular coaching sessions, prescription anti-craving medication, and more—all from your smartphone. If you’re worried about alcohol’s effects on skin, the single best thing you can do is drink less.

how alcohol affects your skin

Parenting advice, hot topics, best buys and family finance tips delivered straight to your inbox. The antioxidants found in beer are limited and it should still be drunk in moderation. If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol dependency, please see a physician or contact SAMHSA, a free helpline for substance abuse. Brendan Camp, MD is a double board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical and cosmetic dermatology. Unwinding with your favorite cocktail can signal the end of a long day’s work, and release some much needed (if temporary) serotonin.

What are the short and long-term effects of alcohol on the skin?

Death rates are highest in men and adults aged 50 to 64, though they are increasing more quickly among women and younger adults. Sign up to our newsletter to get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox. Easy and often cheap, premixed cocktails such as Bucks Fizz or Bellini’s are usually full of added sugar and preservatives and colourings. Alcohol can change the appearance of your mouth and the skin on your face. For more information about alcohol and cancer, please visit the National Cancer Institute’s webpage “Alcohol and Cancer Risk” (last accessed October 21, 2021).

  • “Alcohol causes dehydration, and dehydration can cause the skin to look pale, dry, and more prone to wrinkling,” board-certified dermatologist and founder of MaeiMD Rebecca Marcus, M.D.
  • Treatments will vary based on the condition, so a person should speak with a doctor about the best treatment options for them.
  • “This can minimize harmful effects of alcohol on the skin by hydrating the tissues and skin,” she says.
  • It’s common in people who also have asthma, sinus disease, or problems with aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Dr Ana recommends catching up on sleep after a night out and putting an extra pillow down too.