How Alcohol Affects Your Skin

If you, like millions of others, woke up on January first after a champagne-soaked New Years Eve celebration and immediately added “no more drinking” to your list of resolutions, the last thing you want right now is a lecture.

Instead, we’ve prepared some useful, non-judgemental information to support your last minute resolution and shed some light on how over-imbibing affects your skin.

The Problems

Dehydration

Your body requires a lot of hydration to properly digest alcohol. When you drink more than 2 a day, your body reallocates all of its hydration from other important functions, like maintaining the moisture balance in your skin, into the processing of alcohol.

Dehydration is why you have such a pounding headache when you wake up after a long night of drinking and it’s also why chronic drinkers are much more prone to wrinkles and crows feet at an earlier age.

Inflammation

Alcohol can cause a histamine reaction in the skin which results in redness and irritation. This reaction is more apparent for some than others but, regardless of its severity in the moment, this inflammation can slowly become permanent over an extended period of time.

Sleep Deprivation

As you may already be aware, your quality of sleep has a direct correlation to the look and feel of your skin. Unfortunately, if you have a few drinks before you go to bed, your body releases a hormone called norepinephrine that can suppress the portion of the sleep cycle during which your body heals itself.

So even though alcohol is a depressant and can make you drowsy, the type of sleep you’ll be getting after tying one on is much worse than what your skin needs to be healthy.

So What Can Be Done?

Alright, that’s enough doom and gloom. After all, we understand the conditional nature of spiteful, hung-over resolutions and in a week you may feel like having a glass of wine or two to unwind after a long day.

So, if you are going to drink, what are the best ways to stem the tide of skin damage that alcohol can cause?

Stay Hydrated

This one is a bit of a no-brainer since it’s common knowledge that hydration is the best way to avoid a hangover. But, now that you know your dehydration after drinking has both short-term (hangover) and long-term (wrinkles) negative effects, do your best to equal out the amount of water you drink to the amount of alcohol you drink.

Drink Selectively

The more complicated a drink is, the worse it can end up being for your skin. The best thing you can do for your skin when you’re out drinking is to stick to either clear liquors like vodka, gin, or tequila, or red wine.

Clear liquors don’t have grain or any other additive that will slow down the time it takes your liver to process the alcohol so they’re in and out of your body much quicker.

Red wine in moderation can actually be good for your skin since it contains a potent antioxidant called resveratrol. But remember moderation is key if you want to claim your nightly glass of wine is helping your skin.

Space Your Drinking Out

Your liver can’t handle loads of alcohol at once so you’re much better off drinking one or two a night than going ham on the weekends. Also, the older you get, the slower it takes for the alcohol to get through your system so make sure to give your body a chance to catch up before you go out drinking again the next night.


Happy New Year from everyone here at Lira Clinical! If your resolution was to take better care of your skin this year, get started on the right foot by checking out all of the incredible lines of skin care products available at LiraClinical.com!

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