Is Alcohol Bad for Your Skin? Experts Weigh In

People drinking alcohol

There's nothing like a glass of wine at the end of a long day or happy hour with friends. The bad news is, alcohol takes its toll on your body. You not only feel the effects of drinking but also see them.

While alcohol may help you unwind, it may also cause you to stress out when you see your skin. Regular or excessive drinking can wreak havoc on your skin. You can spend all the money in the world on topical skincare products, but if you're drinking too much, it won't make a big difference. 

We are going to go over what the experts have to say about alcohol’s effects on your skin. We will also explore how much is too much and what you can do after drinking to restore your skin. 

Is Alcohol Bad for Your Skin? 

Unfortunately, for those who love a nice cocktail, alcohol is bad for your skin. There are several negative side effects of drinking too much. Let's break down some of the ways alcohol can impact your body.


If you are drinking two drinks a day, you could be inflicting a lot of damage. Alcohol alters your mucous membrane, which covers the surface of your internal organs. It affects things like your pancreas, liver, and your skin. This disruption is because alcohol is a diuretic that causes your body to expel fluids much quicker than usual.

The first thing you may notice is dehydration. When you compare someone who has been drinking for decades to someone who hasn't, that is when you see how massive the differences can be. Dehydration can make your eyes look puffy and your skin look dull. 

Sleep Issues

After a night out, you may crash and sleep for several hours. However, even if you do sleep, it's not the rejuvenating kind of rest your body needs. Although alcohol makes you drowsy, it messes with your sleep cycle

Drinking before bed can suppress your REM sleep for your first two cycles. Alcohol sedates you and sends you into a deeper sleep quicker, which creates an imbalance between slow-wave sleep and REM sleep. When your sleep cycle is off, you may develop bags under your eyes, puffiness, and other issues.

How Alcohol Ages Your Skin 

Drinking too much can cause premature aging. Essentially, excessive drinking leads to the same reaction in your body that aging does. You're effectively speeding up the clock when you drink a lot. While it might feel like a good time at the moment, you may not be happy with what you see in the mirror later. 

As previously mentioned, alcohol causes dehydration. Chronic drying of the skin can make your skin look older than it is. When skin is dehydrated, it can crack and create wrinkles. The noticeable dehydration side effects quickly lead to more problems.

Alcohol can affect nutrition levels, leading to less healthy nutrients carrying oxygen throughout your body. It depletes your vitamin A levels. Vitamin A is a vital antioxidant for your skin because it helps regenerate new cells. It also aids the production of collagen, which is one of your skin's key building blocks. 

Without collagen, your skin loses that youthful fullness and can start showing signs of fine lines and wrinkles. When you don't have enough collagen, you also lose elasticity, which keeps your skin taut. 

In addition, heavy drinking can lead to your body releasing stress hormones. While a small amount of stress can be a good thing, too much stress can have many adverse effects on your body. It causes premature aging as well as hurting other parts of your body and mind. 

The longer you drink in excess, the more bodily harm you may inflict. Over time it leads to physical disturbances, including premature aging. 

Can I Still Drink? 

Now that we've gone over all the scary stuff, are you ready for some good news? These negative side effects don't mean you need to stop drinking altogether to achieve healthy, radiant skin. While you may need to cut back (depending on how much you're consuming), alcohol can still be a part of your life. 

You may be happy to hear some studies have shown that drinking in small amounts can have positive effects. One study's results revealed that alcohol helps lower cholesterol in subjects, particularly older men, putting them at a lower risk for heart attacks. 

Alcohol can help to lower the chance of developing diabetes by improving the body's sensitivity to insulin. However, keep in mind drinking in excess can decrease your body's blood sugar levels to dangerous levels, especially in people with Type 1 diabetes. 

How Much Is Too Much? 

So what's the magic number of drinks to get the benefits and none of the side effects? Well, that varies somewhat between men and women and person to person. However, studies show that two or more drinks a day usually leads to problems. 

Aim for every other day or less. When you're in your 20's, alcohol leaves your body in about three hours. However, if you're 40 or older, it stays in your system for an average of 33 hours. Therefore, if you’re younger you can probably get away with drinking a little more than older people. 

What Kind of Drinks Are Best? 

A general rule to follow is the clearer the alcohol, the better. Different alcohols will impact your skin in different ways, but alcohol like vodka, gin, and tequila usually get out of your system faster.  

Post-Drinking Routines 

If you let loose and have a good time but want to soften the blow that alcohol has on the body, there are things you can do. The first rule you should follow is hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Did we mention hydration? As we went over, dehydration leads to many undesirable side effects, so the quicker you can replenish your body, the better. 

If you wake up with puffiness, try a lymphatic massage to de-puff and push out the toxins. After you cleanse and moisturize, apply makeup to give yourself that slept all night look, even if you haven't. HIDE Premium Foundation is a liquid formulation that can provide you with an even complexion while offering an extra layer of hydration. 

After foundation, Hide Premium Concealer can cover any imperfections, like redness from drinking. It can also cover fine lines, bags, and acne. If you choose a shade one shade lighter than your foundation, you can brighten up the face to make you look fresh and awake.

HIDE products are long-lasting, so they'll stay in place all day. If you have to head into work the day after a fun night, it has you covered (literally). 

Drink and Be Merry in Moderation 

Consuming too much alcohol can have adverse effects on your skin and overall health. It causes dehydration, redness, and poor sleep. It also leads to premature aging, leaving your skin with fine lines and wrinkles. 

However, there are some benefits to drinking in moderation. You don't have to give up your favorite cocktail, but you may want to drink less. When you do drink, HIDE premium products are there to help make your skin look perfect again.



The Effects of Alcohol on Skin, And How to Manage Them | Vogue

Alcohol and Sleep | Sleep Foundation

Alcohol and the Aging Process | Web MD

How Fast Can Alcohol Age You? | The Dr. Oz Show