What alcohol really does to your skin

And how to keep it healthy 

Booze is everywhere. It’s at your cousin’s graduation, at your dinner date with your husband, at Christmas celebration, at parties with your girlfriends and for some of us, at home discreetly before having to spend time with our mother-in-law. We all know by now excesses in alcohol go a long way, and have damaging effects on your brain, your heart, your kidneys, and especially your liver. But we rarely think of the effects of alcoholic beverages on the largest organ we own: our skin. 
While we are out trying to find all the best ways to look flawless, from face masks to foundations, it’s easy to forget that good skin start from within, through a good diet.
Let us tell you a little more about what damages you’re looking at with that third glass of wine, and our best damage control tips.


Alcoholic beverages often contain high amounts of sugar. The sugar contained in alcohol can lead to a process called ‘glycation’, which happens when it crystallises your skin cells, leading to zits and dull skin.

What to do about it

Stay away from cocktails and sweet white wine, as they are particularly high in sugar. Prefer red wine, or liquor on the rocks whenever you can.


The number one effect alcohol will have on your body is keeping it from being hydrated. 
Not only does it actively dehydrate our cells, it also prevents further hydration, as alcohol is a natural diuretic that forces water out of your body. Your skin will be left dry, flaky, less radiant, and more prone to showing fine lines due to lack of fluids. 

What to do about it 

Before your big night out, or your occasional glass of wine, make sure to drink have a glass of milk to give your stomach a protective layer that will allow your body to absorb the alcohol slower. While you’re partying, have a glass of water for each glass of alcohol to load up on healthy fluids. 

Microbiome disturbance 

Alcohol plays an important role when it comes to the bacteria that live in our gut — the microbiome. The microbiome exists to regulate our immune system, which is important in managing inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema. Unfortunately, alcohol kills off our microbiome, leaving us vulnerable to skin inflammation and other symptoms. 

What to do about it 

Include probiotics in your diet. After a few drinks, it is vital to reconstruct your gut micro-system. Probiotics are full of good bacteria that already live in your intestin. You can find probiotics in certain types of yogurt or pickles. 

Hormone disruption 

The sugar found in alcohol can trigger an insulin response. High levels of insulin do affect your thyroid, as well as your sex hormones, causing hormonal disruption and skin issues. 

What to do about it 

Top your glass of water with a spoon of apple cider vinegar, while alternating alcohol and hydration. This will keep on insulin levels low, and keep your hormones working as per usual 
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