The Effect of Alcohol on the Skin

effect of alcohol on the skinThe effect of alcohol on the skin can easily be seen on a heavy drinker. Bloated face, spider veins, blotchy skin are just a few of the obvious effects. Just as the excessive consumption of so many foods and drinks can adversely affect our general health so does excessive alcohol intake.

The purpose of this article is not to scaremonger over the dangers of alcoholic drinks but just to indicate the skin problems that can arise after a bout of heavy alcoholic drinking or a longer term regular ‘hitting the bottle’.

Most of us who are just moderate irregular drinkers really have nothing to fear, our skin looks and texture are unlikely to be noticeably changed from what nature intended by having a ‘glass or two’.

Of course there will be some unlucky ones who have particularly sensitive skin when even one night on the tiles will result in a blotchy red face or worse the morning after or that may even last longer but, in general, the odd night out or a regular glass or two of wine or beer should cause no particular skin problems.

However, alcohol is a toxin and as it cannot be digested, too much can lead to unsightly effects on the skin.

Blotchy Skin

If you insist on drinking more than the general guidelines of 2-3 units per day for a woman and 3-4 units for men, you will develop blotchy skin. This blotchiness will be more apparent after a bingeing session. A blotchy face will make you look ill and older than you are. Drinking can cause a flushed complexion which although at first may look attractive will lead to a permanently blotchy face. Your face will become puffy, red and bloated looking.


Alcohol deletes the body of Vitamin A, which  is necessary to protect the overall health of the skin. Lack of vitamin A will lower skin cell renewal which will leave dead cells on the skin surface and give a sallow appearance. Vitamin A also contains antioxidant properties which fight against free radicals which in turn can break down the skins structure. The result will be a sallow complexion and reduction in suppleness and thickness of the skin. This in turn will promote bacterial attacks causing spots and worse.

Facial Spider Veins

Spider veins on the face are unattractive. One reason for spider veins to develop on the face can be excessive drinking which causes the blood vessels to dilate and burst. If you suffer from the skin disorder, rosacea, drinking too much alcohol can result in a flare up. Spider veins can be seen around the nose and on the cheeks of heavy drinkers.

Premature Aging of the Skin

Premature aging is encouraged by a depletion of Vitamin A in the skin. Vitamin A encourages collagen production in the skin. Natural aging effects are the slowing down of collagen and elastin, which leads to wrinkles and thin skin. Alcohol excess will exacerbate premature aging.


Alcohol, as well as caffeine,  is a diuretic. If you drink too much in the evening you will need to go to the bathroom several times in the night. Not only does this interfere with normal sleep patterns which are necessary to maintain good skin health, but you will feel dried out in the morning and have a huge thirst. Skin will look dry and wrinkles will be more pronounced. Dry skinned people are affected more.

The effect of alcohol on the skin can be quite pronounced. Therefore it surely makes sense to watch the amount of alcohol you consume.


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Category: Facial Skin

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