It’s no surprise that most of our alcohol intakes dramatically increase over the Christmas holidays known for overindulgence. We go from pouring ourselves a small glass of wine to wind down after work a few days a week, to drinking every night like it’s New Year’s Eve. 

Our skin looks worse than ever and we go to blame our bad diet and eating more pigs in blankets than we should have, but what many people don’t know is that alcohol also plays a role in the downfall of our skin. 

So, what are the effects of alcohol on our skin? Here are 5 reasons why alcohol isn’t your friend…

Dehydrates the Skin

If you’re familiar with hangovers (we promise we’re not judging), you know the feeling of waking up and feeling super dehydrated as if you’ve spent the night partying in the Sahara Desert. 

Despite drinking the daily recommended amount of water in champagne, it doesn’t count as alcohol is a diuretic, causing you to pee more than you need to and drawing high levels of water away from the body. This dehydration works its way into our skin, depriving it of essential moisture that keeps it hydrated and plump, but that’s not all.

When the skin is dehydrated, we’re more vulnerable to fine lines and wrinkles as the skin loses its volume. Drinking less alcohol isn’t something we had to think about when we were younger, but now that we’re more likely to run into wrinkles, you may want to call it quits after a glass or two. 

Worsens Rosacea Symptoms

Drinking alcohol stimulates the production of inflammatory cytokines, which can lead to the widening of blood vessels and aggravating rosacea skin types. It’s also the reason that some of us look a little red in the face whilst drinking alcohol. If this sounds like you, heavy drinking over several years can actually make this redness permanent!

Red wine is the main culprit of worsening rosacea symptoms. So, the next time you’re out, stay away from red wine. It’s pretty easy to remember even after a few drinks. Repeat after me: “red wine = red face”. 

It Can Cause Acne 

Most of us tend to forget that alcohol is rich in sugar – some types of alcohol contain just as much as that greasy takeout you grabbed on the way home from a night out! Consuming high levels of sugar has been shown to activate the hormone IGF-1, causing the overproduction of oil (sebum) in the skin. This excess oil on the surface of your skin is more likely to block your pores and lead to breakouts and acne. Oh, and give you super oily skin. 

If you’re a big drinker with oily skin, it’s worth cutting back on alcohol to see whether your oily skin improves. 

Increases the Size of Pores

Regularly drinking alcohol will dilate your pores, making them appear bigger and can turn itty-bitty pores into giant craters on your face. Plus, you’re even more likely to suffer from pimples as more dirt, oil, and bacteria can get stuck in your pores.