Alcohol and Acne: All You Need To Know

Acne can be triggered by many different factors such as hormones, sleep, cosmetic products, as well as what we eat and drink. Here we will explore the correlation between alcohol and the impacts that it can have on the skin.


Whilst alcohol isn’t likely to trigger an acne breakout overnight, regular consumption can have a detrimental impact on the skin due to a variety of factors. The main factors of how alcohol impacts the skin include:


The regular consumption of water is essential for healthy skin. Water keeps your body hydrated and refreshed and your skin in optimal condition. Alcohol, on the other hand, diminishes the levels of water within your body as it is a “diuretic”, meaning it increases the frequency of passing urine, which can flush out the water and salt levels within your body. This can lead to the body becoming dehydrated which reduces the condition of the skin and can lead to acne. Frequently drinking water when consuming alcohol and before you go to bed can increase hydration levels.

Reduced Immune System Functionality

Your immune system protects your body from bacteria and viruses, and other microbes. This happens because the immune system is made from cytokines and other various protective cells that ensure you are protected from foreign bodies. Consumption of alcohol can reduce the immune system functionality, which ultimately makes you more prone to foreign body attacks which can lead to breakouts in the skin.

High sugar levels that cause inflammation

Many alcoholic drinks contain sugar, and when drinks are mixed the sugar levels can considerably increase. Excessive sugar can cause inflammation in your body as well as raise your blood sugar levels which can dehydrate the skin. To reduce the risk of your skin breaking out, we recommend reducing the consumption of alcoholic drinks that are high in sugar.

Liver and Toxin Removals

Studies show that excessive alcohol consumption can destroy the cells of the liver, reducing its functionality, and in serious cases, can even lead to liver disease. The liver plays a significant role in removing toxins from your body, so a damaged liver is likely to be less effective which can impact your skin and body.

Hormones Imbalance

Hormones play a major role in the functioning of your body. With the excessive consumption of alcohol, your normal hormone levels can fluctuate. This causes a disturbance in the rhythmicity of the body and can lead to acne breakouts.


As shown in the sections above, as well as the liver and immune system, the regular consumption of alcohol can have a negative impact on the skin which can aggravate existing acne or encourage acne to develop. Whilst many people enjoy alcohol, we would suggest drinking within moderation and trying not to exceed more than 14 units per week on a regular basis.

When drinking alcohol, we would encourage you to avoid sugary alcoholic drinks, and ensure that you are consuming water before, during and after drinking alcohol to keep your body refreshed and hydrated.

If your acne is impacting your confidence, or you have tried multiple home remedies or over the counter medications without any success, you will likely benefit from seeking advice from a Consultant Dermatologist. Here at Stratum Clinics, our Skin Specialists have many years of experience and can provide solutions that are tailored specifically to you. We provide a range of acne treatments and welcome you to contact us or call our team on 0800 048 9230 to learn more today.


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