Alcohol And Acne: Can Drinking Cause Breakouts?

Drinking alcohol can be an enjoyable pastime, but you need to do so responsibly so that you don’t harm your liver or your skin. Alcohol and acne are one scenario, but drinking, especially for a long duration, can make a person’s appearance seem to age. Vasopressin is a hormone that helps the body retain water. Since alcohol can cause the elimination of water in the body and dehydrate the skin, it results in the formation of lines and wrinkles. While there is no direct link between alcohol and acne, various harmful health effects of alcohol may indirectly cause acne or make it worse.

alcohol pimples

In women, drinking alcohol (whether we’re talking about a glass of wine or a cocktail) can affect hormones such as testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and estradiol. An increase in the levels of these hormones may cause the skin’s natural oil production to rise beyond optimal levels. When the skin overproduces sebum, it is more susceptible to clogged pores and acne breakouts. Now, alcohol does not directly attack the skin, but it affects the immune system and hormones that play a role in skin care.

How Does Alcohol Indirectly Affect Your Skin?

Drinking alcohol, especially certain types of drinks, can throw off your blood sugar levels⁵ and set off a hormonal domino effect that can result in acne. When your skin is dry and in need of water, your body’s oil glands begin to produce more oil in order to make up for the water loss. This excess oil can increase your risk of acne breakouts.

alcohol pimples

Acne may result from things that are out of your control, like your genetics, but environmental and lifestyle factors also influence whether or not you develop acne. Though more research is needed,multiple studiespoint to diet as a potential lifestyle factor in how likely you are to develop acne. Red wine found top alcohol trigger for conspicuous facial condition .

Help! I’m Pretty Sure All This Booze Is Giving Me Acne

Alcohol, meanwhile, can cause changes in hormone levels. Over-consumption of alcohol can lead to severe dehydration and can have many negative effects to the body. Dehydration directly effects the skin because it deprives the skin of vital vitamins and nutrients and hinders the ability to flush out inflammatory toxins. Excessive or binge drinking over time can cause liver damage, which is probably the most important organ in maintaining clear skin. Alcohol and acne often go hand-in-hand because alcohol can affect the balance of your hormones.

  • Red wine found top alcohol trigger for conspicuous facial condition .
  • That includes organic and wild-crafted ingredients when possible.
  • Although poor skin hygiene can contribute to acne, acne ultimately stems from the overproduction of hormones that overstimulate the oil-producing sebaceous glands.
  • Furthermore, when your immune system has to work harder to fight off bacteria and diseases, your immune system might go into overdrive and this isn’t a good thing.
  • It’s also a good idea to do a patch test before applying pure rubbing alcohol, or your own diluted oils, to your face.

Daniel Kern is the Chief Scientific Officer at This article is the result of Dan’s collaboration with’s team of doctors and medical writers. Again, these hypotheses should be met with skepticism since we do not have quality data from randomized studies from which to draw any conclusions. For some of us, alcohol is a beverage we like to consume in our pastime. For others, it might be vaping and for areas where it’s legal, your occasional Joe might enjoy lighting up the blunt on the weekends.

Possible side effects

Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information. So, don’t worry the next time you want to go out and have a drink with your friends or co-workers. Remember to hydrate with plenty of water, and make sure to wash your face. A good alternative if you’re severely dehydrated is coconut water. It contains potassium and sodium which helps replenish your body with the nutrients it needs.

alcohol pimples

If the liver cannot effectively remove toxins, they may build up or leave the body through other pathways, such as the skin, reducing skin health. In addition, alcohol and its metabolites can cause inflammation of liver cells and eliminate antioxidants, leading to oxidative stress. P. acnes are bacteria that colonize the skin, and when they enter clogged pores, they can cause or worsen inflamed acne lesions, such as pustules. Also, make it a point to practice healthy lifestyle habits, eat a healthy diet, and follow a proper skincare regimen to achieve healthy and beautiful skin. Knowing which type of acne you have is key to successfully clearing it from your skin.

Is there a specific type of acne that flares with alcohol consumption? And don’t think that you’re off the hook because you already have a breakout. Acne can “absolutely” make already existing acne worse, according to both experts. This means it promotes diuresis, the increased production of urine While your urine function is increased, your body flushes out excess liquids. This diuretic function naturally leaves your skin dehydrated.

Your body processes alcohol as a sugar, which can contribute to inflammation. If you have mixed drinks containing sugary juices and syrups, your risk for inflammation essentially doubles. If having a glass of wine with friends brings you serious joy and helps you unwind, that’s hardly unhealthy. Feeling joyful is excellent for your physical health, and reduced stress hormones means your body can allocate more resources to repairing your skin and helping it glow. And finally, having too much to drink can wreak havoc on your hormones, which also affect how much oil your skin produces and can lead to breakouts.

There are many things that cause acne and alcohol is one of them. Have you ever wondered why you wake up Monday morning from a weekend of drinking with 4 new pimples? A weakened immune system makes it easier for bacteria to get under skin, causing blemishes and acne to appear.

Research suggests that an overactive immune system can make acne even worse as an immune system in overdrive will trigger inflammation. If you or a loved one needs drug or alcohol addiction treatment, please do not hesitate to call our team. We always have someone available to answer any questions that you may have.

How Alcohol Negatively Impacts Skin

To maintain the health of your skin, get skincare products based on your skin type. Know your skin first, then build up a proper skincare regimen that suits your skin. White wine has similar effects like red wine, although the hangover symptoms are comparatively mild. However, it can still dehydrate your skin and cause inflammation in your body. Alcoholic drinks that are high in sugar may suppress the immune system and create the ideal situation for bacterial growth. These two factors coupled together may increase the risk of skin infections that could further damage the skin.

There is no direct evidence that drinking alcohol can cause acne. However, alcohol may affect many parts of the body which play a part in how healthy your skin is. Therefore, while there is no certain connection between alcohol and acne, drinking alcohol in excessive amounts may indirectly contribute to an acne outbreak. Thus, drinking excessively can reduce liver functionality which would, in turn, cause a sharp change in hormonal levels. And as we’ve mentioned before, unbalanced hormone levels can play a direct role in acne production.

So yes, alcohol and aging, just like acne, are a reality and can happen quickly if a person does not take necessary precautions or drinks constantly. If you want to treat a pimple, dab on an over-the-counter blemish spot treatment rather than using rubbing alcohol. The regular use of these acne-specific medications can often stop pimples before they start. Undiluted rubbing alcohol has a different effect on the skin.

Sign up for the Sunday Edit newsletter to stay in-the-know on all things skincare and beyond. The skin is the largest organ of the body, and its health is very much related to what is put into the body. In fact, the skin is the largest organ of the human body, and it plays a vital role in protecting us from the outside world. Arizona has a high number of alcohol-related deaths compared to its population.

But the relationship between your immune system, bacteria, and alcohol is worth considering. Alcohol intake and systemic markers of inflammation—shape of the association according to sex and body mass index. We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice.

When your body is exposed to alcohol, it fights off the bacteria with great difficulty. Alcohol is classified as a hepatotoxin, which is just a fancy way of saying it causes damage to the liver. When you’re drinking alcohol, you’re exposing your body to something that damages the cells responsible for detoxification throughout your body. The downside to using strong disinfecting ingredients like rubbing alcohol for acne is that there’s little scientific proof backing such methods. Human studies are needed to properly assess the effects of rubbing alcohol to determine whether this is a helpful form of acne treatment.

For instance, people usually only become dehydrated from alcohol if they’re not balancing their beverage with water on the side. When vasopressin is reduced, the bladder fills up with fluid more often and pumps up your urine production. This flushes out any excess salt or liquid you might have. So unless you’re alternating between tequila shots eco sober house price and bottles of water, alcohol’s diuretic function will eventually leave and your skin dehydrated. When you’re hydrated, your body can easily eliminate dead skin cells and other toxic waste from your body. Your body is also able to balance natural oils and not overproduce or underproduce other key nutrients that go into maintaining healthy skin.

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Verywell Health’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Consuming alcohol can lead to alcoholic liver disease. Stay in the loop on all things skincare with our weekly newsletter.

Simply removing excess oil from the skin isn’t enough to clear up pimples. To do that, you will likely need proven acne treatment medications. For toning, opt for a non-alcohol-based astringent containing acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid. Some astringents also contain witch hazel, a natural alternative that can prevent moisture loss and reduces skin inflammation. It might seem illogical that some liquids actually dehydrate the body, but that’s what alcohol does. In alcohol’s instance, as the body metabolizes it, it releases a byproduct called acetaldehyde, which Spizuoco says is toxic to body tissues and skin .

Of the many bodily processes impacted by alcohol, sleep ranks among the most vulnerable. And by interfering with your sleep cycle, alcohol effectively and significantly compromises your body’s cellular rejuvenation cycle. As that pertains to superficial cells, it means that your skin looks more dull, and its texture is rougher.

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