Alcohol is a substance that is known to be addictive and can do a lot of harm to the body when consumed frequently. While it’s common knowledge that drinking too much alcohol can lead to liver damage or heart disease, what may not be as widely known is it can be harmful to your skin.

Alcohol consumption can lead to several skin problems, ranging from mild (dehydration and puffiness) to problematic (inflammation and acne breakouts). While these effects aren’t as deadly as liver damage, they can be annoying to deal with.

But why is this? How does alcohol cause these problems? Here are some of the reasons why drinking alcohol can have harmful effects on your skin. We’ll also look at what you can do to reduce these harmful effects.


Alcohol is a diuretic that causes the body to lose fluids. This can lead to dehydration, which can make the skin look dry, dull, and wrinkled.

In order to avoid dehydration, you’ll want to ensure you’re drinking plenty of water. When you go out drinking or have returned from a night of drinking, you’ll need to drink a lot of water to counteract the dehydration you’ll experience from drinking alcohol. Staying hydrated can keep your skin looking fresh.


Alcohol can also lead to puffiness and swelling around the eyes. Alcohol causes the body to retain fluid, which leads to a puffy appearance.

To reduce puffiness, you can try using a cool compress or drinking plenty of water. You might also be able to reduce puffiness if you sleep with your head upright. You should also consider avoiding eating salty foods because they can worsen puffiness.


Alcohol consumption can also cause inflammation in the body. Alcohol can increase the blood flow to your face, leading to red, blotchy skin, and can make existing skin conditions worse.

If you’re struggling with inflammation, you can try using a cool compress or applying a topical anti-inflammatory cream. You’ll also want to avoid spicy foods, sugar, or drinking more alcoholic beverages, as they can make the inflammation worse.


Rosacea is a condition where your skin will easily blush or look flushed compared to others. Now drinking alcohol doesn’t necessarily cause rosacea, but studies have shown it can increase someone’s chances of getting it.

One of the easiest solutions to avoiding rosacea is to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume. If you have rosacea, it’s best to avoid drinking alcohol altogether. Alcohol can worsen the symptoms of rosacea and make the condition harder to manage.

Acne breakouts

Right next to inflammation, acne breakouts are a pain to deal with, especially as you get older. Too much alcohol consumption can lead to acne breakouts. This is because alcohol can increase sebum levels (a type of oil) that your skin produces. Sebum can clog pores, which can lead to acne breakouts.

If you find yourself struggling with acne breakouts, you can try using a topical acne treatment or an over-the-counter medication. You’ll also not want to touch your face too often or pop any pimples. You should make sure to drink plenty of water and avoid eating any greasy foods.

Drinking alcohol can have harmful effects on your skin. These effects range from mild to problematic, but they can all be avoided by reducing your alcohol consumption and maintaining a healthy skincare routine.

If you find yourself struggling with any of these skin problems, treatments and solutions are available. Consider the tips mentioned above and see what other options are out there.