Cheers to Your Skin? Understanding Alcohol's Impact During the Festive Season

Cheers to Your Skin? Understanding Alcohol's Impact During the Festive Season

As we embrace the festive spirit with sun-drenched afternoons and celebratory toasts, it's important to pause and consider how our merry-making rituals, particularly alcohol consumption, affect our skin – our body's largest organ.

While a glass of wine or a cold beer often go hand-in-hand with relaxation and celebration, the relationship between alcohol and skin health is complex. Here we look at what science tells us about how alcohol interacts with our skin, offering insights to help us balance celebration with skin care.

What Alcohol Does

Often, the immediate effects of alcohol, like a warm, flushed appearance, are seen as harmless and temporary. However, the long-term impact on skin health can be much more profound, affecting everything from hydration to ageing. 

Here is what we know about the effects of alcohol on our skin:

  • Dehydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, leading to increased water loss and potentially resulting in dull, dehydrated skin (1). 
  • Inflammation: Regular alcohol consumption can trigger inflammatory responses (2), exacerbating conditions like rosacea or eczema in the skin (3).
  • Ageing: Studies have shown that excessive alcohol can accelerate the skin ageing process, leading to collagen loss, premature wrinkles and loss of elasticity (4).
  • Nutrient Absorption: Alcohol can impact the absorption of nutrients vital for skin health, like vitamins A, B, and C, as well as some minerals including zinc, selenium and iron (5).

A Balancing Act

The impact of alcohol on our skin is a reflection of its effects on the rest of our body. Every part of our body, and therefore our overall health, can be negatively impacted by the regular consumption of alcohol.

During this festive season, we believe it’s worth considering moderation and balance in our celebrations. Keeping well hydrated, choosing lower-alcohol options, and alternating with non-alcoholic beverages can help reduce the negative effects of alcohol.

As we all know, using clean, high quality skin care products is only part of the equation - truly healthy skin requires a holistic approach.  We believe that making smart lifestyle choices together with use of nutritious, synthetic-free skin care is key to maintaining a healthy glow for a lifetime. 

  1. Roberts, K.E. Mechanism of dehydration following alcohol ingestion (1963) Arch. Int. Med. 112: 154-157

  2. Wang, J.H. et al. Alcohol, inflammation, and gut-liver-brain interactions in tissue damage and disease development (2010) World J. Gastroenterol. 16:1304-1313

  3. Gisondi, P. High prevalence of alcohol use disorders in patients with inflammatory skin diseases applies to both psoriasis and eczema. (2017) British Journal of Dermatology 177:606-607

  4. Goodman, D.J. et al Impact of smoking and alcohol use on facial aging in women: results of a large multinational, multiracial, cross-sectional survey. (2019) J. Clin. Aesthet. Dermatology 12:28-39

  5. Swain, J.H. The influence of alcohol consumption on intestinal nutrient absorption: a comprehensive review. (2023) Nutrients 15:1571

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