Drinking Cause Breakouts?

Alcohol And Acne: Can Drinking Cause Breakouts?

Have you ever wondered if drinking alcohol risks your skin’s health? Does it make your skin prone to acne breakouts? While consuming alcohol might not directly affect your skin, it can affect your body systems, eventually taking a toll on your skin’s health.

Scroll down to know how drinking alcohol may affect your skin, making it susceptible to acne breakouts and other similar issues.


  • Does Alcohol Cause Acne?
  • How Does Alcohol Indirectly Affect Your Skin?
  • Different Types Of Alcohol And Their Effects On Your Skin
  • What Happens To Your Skin When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

Does Alcohol Cause Acne?

While some of you might think that drinking alcohol can cause you acne breakouts, that’s not the case. There is no direct connection between alcohol and acne breakouts. Research and studies haven’t established any such direct evidence to prove that drinking alcohol can cause acne.

However, alcohol may affect your body’s systems and eventually influence your skin’s health indirectly. Consuming alcohol in excessive amounts may indirectly lead to different skin issues, including acne breakout.

Also for a fact, stress too can be a reason behind your excessive drinking habit. Some people prefer to drink more alcohol to relieve their stress. So, strong drinking habits, stress, improper sleep and neglecting your skincare regimen may altogether contribute to acne breakouts or give you a difficult time in managing your existing acne flare-ups.

How Does Alcohol Indirectly Affect Your Skin?

  1. Dehydration

Keeping your body adequately hydrated is key to keeping it healthy. When your body is hydrated, it flushes out dead skin cells and toxins. Hydration enables your body to balance the key nutrients that your skin needs to maintain its optimum health.

Alcohol is diuretic. 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. Now when your skin is dry and dehydrated, the oil glands in your body trigger overproduction of oil to compensate for the loss of water. This way the excess oil makes your skin susceptible to acne breakouts

  1. Inflammation

One of the primary causes behind acne is inflammation. This usually happens when sebum and dead skin cells clog your follicles, leading to redness in your skin and swelling in some cases. Inflammation can occur due to many factors that include hormonal imbalance, excessive sugar intake, autoimmune diseases etc. Sugar is known to trigger inflammation, causing an increase in insulin levels, ultimately leading to an increased oil production.

Alcohol has high sugar levels. So, when you consume alcohol in excessive amounts, it increases your sugar level, causing a spike in your insulin level, resulting in breakouts.

  1. Immune System

Your immune system acts as a protective shield against all pathogens. When you consume alcohol in excessive amounts, you tend to weaken your immune system. Too much alcohol destroys the protective cells in your body. Studies have shown that consumption of alcohol has adverse immune-related health effects which can not be ignored.

An example of this is Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. Your immune system plays a key role in combating the actions of Propionibacterium acnes bacteria. When your body is exposed to alcohol, it fights off the bacteria with great difficulty. This causes cysts and pustules breakouts to develop.

  1. Hormonal Imbalances

Drinking alcohol affects your hormone levels too. It is known to affect your testosterone levels that directly results in acne breakouts. In men, alcohol drinking habits are known to lower testosterone levels whereas a study states that a small amount of alcohol intake can actually increase the testosterone levels in men. As per another study, alcohol influences the estradiol levels (which is a form of estrogen) in women.

When consuming alcohol, your testosterone levels encounter a sharp rise and trigger your oil glands. Excess oil clogs your pores, leading to occurrence of acne breakouts.

  1. Liver Diseases

Your liver flushes out the toxins from your body. Drinking alcohol in excessive amounts can adversely affect the functioning of your liver. If your liver fails to flush out the toxins, they are usually flushed out through other parts of your body like your skin. Thus, you may notice breakouts.

Different Types Of Alcohol And Their Effects On Your Skin

Type Of Alcohol

Effects On Skin

Clear Liquors

Gins and Vodka are examples of clear liquors. They have less calories and are low in congeners (mild chemical constituents used during alcohol fermentation) too. Due to less congeners, clear liquors usually do not not cause hangover, if taken in small amounts. However, drinking in excessive amounts may cause skin inflammation and dehydration.

Dark Liquors

Dark liquors have high amounts of congeners that cause you rough hangovers, leading to dehydration. It can also cause a spike in your blood sugar levels and increase chances of inflammation in your body.

Red Wine

Red wine has a large number of tannins, a natural compound that is mostly found in the skin and stem of grapes. It dilates your blood vessels and inflames your skin.

White Wine

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.


Beer also contributes to skin inflammation and dehydration. It has a congener called furfural which is responsible for such side effects.

Mixed Drinks

Mixed drinks or cocktails mostly contain a liquor and other sugary syrups or juices. It may taste good but seems harmful to your skin. There are chances that the sugar contained in it increases your blood sugar levels and makes your skin dehydrated.


What Happens To Your Skin When You Stop Drinking Alcohol?

  1. One Week After You Quit Drinking Alcohol

A week of refraining from alcohol may give you ample benefits. Firstly, you can start noticing visible improvements in your skin’s overall health. This is the time when your skin starts to restore hydration and heals the damages caused by drinking alcohol. You can slowly but steadily notice a healthier version of your skin.

  1. One Month After You Quit Drinking Alcohol

After a month of staying alcohol-free, you can see some significant changes in your skin. Your skin will appear healthy and beautiful. You can also notice an even tone. If you have gained weight due to alcohol consumption, at this point you may also experience weight loss.

  1. One Year After You Quit Drinking Alcohol

A year without alcohol would completely repair your skin and it would be back to normal again. During this time, your liver too will start restoring its normal functioning and your skin would appear healthier and glowing.

Also, remember your skin will be naturally healthy and glowing if you take care of it regularly. 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.

Wrapping Up

It is true that alcohol does not have any direct link to your acne breakout, but it can have indirect effects on your skin. Alcohol affects your body in multiple ways - whether it’s causing dehydration in your body, affecting your immune system or indirectly giving rise to skin issues. It’s always wise to keep your drinking habits to moderate levels and not indulge in excess. After all, your health is something that matters the most. If you are healthy from the core, your skin will glow too.

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.

Recommended: Dermasure Acne Treatment Pack