Here's How Your Skin Will React When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

For many, having a drink means you are relaxing, taking the edge off of a long week, enjoying time with friends, or all of the above! Alcohol accompanies many of our most exciting times. We celebrate weddings, birthdays, and accomplishments with family and friends, and oftentimes alcohol is involved. Those trying to make sure they don't consume too much too often may already be aware of the negative side effects that can come from drinking. With too much alcohol, you can experience weight gain and hangovers, and for some heavy drinkers, heart and liver problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control.


Those who decide to indulge in moderation can still experience some of these side effects of drinking, but what may be less known is the effect drinking alcohol has on our skin. So, if you are experiencing skin irritation or noticing a not-so-great difference in your overall complexion, you may want to skip the alcohol during your next celebration.

It causes inflammation

Although alcohol is our go-to for ultimate celebration, we have to remember that our bodies treat it as a toxin. According to Transcend Recovery, when we drink alcohol, our body has to work extra hard to get rid of two toxins: acetaldehyde and acetic acid. What's happening is that the liver is working overtime to get us back to a neutral and healthy place. Because our bodies treat the presence of alcohol like poison, it affects more than just our liver. Alcohols contain quite a bit of sugar, and too much sugar can have a negative impact on our skin.


Sugar makes our skin lose its elasticity, causing it to appear stiff and dry. Goodieco explains that without the collagen necessary to repair our skin cells, our skin can sag and take longer for cuts to heal, and it becomes easier for dark spots to form. Some consider alcohol a necessity for a night out, but our bodies would rather us forego the wine and opt for a healthier option.

Alcohol causes bloating

If you've ever had a long night out where quite a bit of alcohol was consumed, you know that puffy feeling that can come afterward. Many people report feeling bloated and uncomfortable for days after an alcohol excursion. The same feeling can happen to your face. Your normally bright eyes and soft skin will change to a rounder appearance for a couple of days after your drinking excursion. Your eyes can not only puff up and make it look like you've been crying all night, but you'll also start to notice your cheeks, chin, and jawline will thicken.


A 2010 study found a correlation between alcohol and inflammation, so it's no wonder that we see it show in our faces the same way it appears in our bellies. When you drink, you may notice red, puffy skin, dark skin under your eyes, and broken capillaries. In order to feel fresh and lean, consider cutting down on how much you drink.

It causes wrinkles

Alcohol just doesn't affect how our skin and bodies feel, it can also play a part in how our skin looks. Alcohol dehydrates our bodies, and that can impact how fresh our skin appears, according to Medical News Today. And no matter how much alcohol you consume, your skin's hydration is still affected because your skin isn't getting the nutrients it needs. The more we drink, the more noticeable forehead wrinkles, crow's feet, and laugh lines become when we look in the mirror.


In order to really see how negatively alcohol impacts our skin's elasticity, try cutting out alcohol for a week. By cutting back on our alcohol intake or adding in more water while drinking, you can combat the impact of dehydration on your skin's appearance. By cutting out drinking altogether, your skin should be able to bounce back to its healthy, hydrated condition in no time.

It can cause skin irritation

Those who suffer from skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea know how frustrating it is to live with flare-ups. They can appear out of nowhere, and the irritation is very difficult to cover up. While there is no proof that drinking alcohol causes issues with chronic skin conditions, those who suffer from skin issues like eczema and psoriasis may notice flare-ups after a night out with friends. 


Eczema sufferers specifically may want to abstain from alcohol completely to lessen their symptoms. The reason the flare-ups happen has to do with the way the body breaks down the alcohol. Medical News Today says that the body breaks alcohol down into histamine, which is a chemical the body releases when allergic reactions amp up. Because of this response from the body, itching and skin irritation can worsen, making symptoms experienced by those who suffer from eczema and psoriasis a lot more noticeable.

It can trigger acne

We know that alcohol is a toxin, and it really doesn't have many measurable benefits for our bodies. By filling up on alcohol, you may deprive your body of some much-needed nutrients. No amount of vitamin and mineral supplements will make up for this.


Because consuming alcohol can fill you up, you may be unlikely to eat the protein, fruits, and vegetables your body craves. In addition, if drinking causes you to become hungrier, you are more likely to reach for salty snacks that have zero benefits to your body. This impacts your skin because these types of snacks lack nutrients and have been known to trigger acne, skin dryness, and irritation. While there are some studies claiming that red wine could be beneficial for your heart health, it can still be detrimental to the skin's health, so the side effects may outweigh some of the benefits, especially if the appearance of healthy-looking skin is important to you.

How to improve your skin

Although alcohol has negative impacts on our skin, there is something you can do to reverse the damage. If you cut out alcohol from your diet, you'll notice improvements in your skin's condition as soon as within a day. Insider says that your skin will still be dehydrated one day after drinking, but your liver is working to process all of the toxins, and you may notice other benefits to your skin. Even though it will take a while for your skin to repair completely, you should notice the irritation, bloating, and acne improve within a couple of days. In addition, your eczema flare-ups should start to calm, and your rosacea should also improve.


Many people report that a month after abstaining from alcohol, they notice an overall brighter complexion and fewer blemishes. Although alcohol accompanies most of our celebrations, by reaching for a mocktail or water instead, you'll be able to celebrate healthy skin as well.