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Alcohol and Acne: What Booze is Doing to Your Skin

Shiloh Garcia
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Shiloh Garcia
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Your first drink can be a magical experience that resembles something like a right of passage ceremony. Whether a sophisticated soirée or a sloppy mess of a time, it's a stepping stone into adulthood! 

My first experience with drinking was just enough to leave me utterly unimpressed, but curiously crawling back for more. It was simply unforgettable, largely because my skin started freaking out a few days later!

The truth: alcohol has a deep dark secret, and her name is ACNE. 

The effect that drinking has on the skin might not hit you at first, but when it does you'll wish you had a plan of action! Lucky for you, you won't have to devise this skin-saving plan on your own.

 Clear skin can be yours today! 

Here are all the details about alcohol and acne, as well as a few tips on achieving that gentle glow. 

You'll be the envy of all your wasted friends!


What's The Deal With Alcohol and Acne? 

I'll give it to you straight- alcohol and acne are the unlikely pair that you never thought would make it, but do! When alcohol enters the body, a series of chemical processes happen. Here are three of the main side effects of drinking alcohol.

Dehydration & Depletion of Nutrients

Every time you drink (in excess, mind you), you run the risk of dehydration, which can cause dry skin.

Every drink is loaded with empty calories and sugars that make alcohol’s nutritional value almost nonexistent. In other words, your body isn't using anything from the alcohol you're consuming. This can lead to malnutrition if done in excess. 

Alcohol also has been known to disrupt organ and hormone function, reduce the body's immunity, and cause cell damage! 

Major downer!

Increased Risk of Rosacea

Those with rosacea might need to rethink that glass of pinot grigio. Why? The relationship between alcohol and rosacea can be traced back to white wines. 

Known as a vasodilator, or a substance that opens blood vessels and prevents artery walls from narrowing, alcohol can increase the chances of flushing in the face. Ultimately, this can lead to rosacea. 

The next time that you pick a wine, consider a red wine (more on that later). 

Inflammation 

Haven't you heard that inflammation is the hidden reason behind acne and aging? No? Well, here is how it works.

Inflammation consistently puts your skin under stress which can lead to acne, and in the long run, aging. 

The sad news: Alcohol causes a surge of blood to go to the tissues, and before you know it, inflammation creeps up. From blotchiness to redness, your skin will begin to show the effects of the newfound inflammation. 

Make sure you keep our travel size Luminous Clear Skin Kit on hand! 

Now that you've learned about alcohol's main side effects, here is a breakdown of what happens to your body (and skin) over time. 


The Alcohol Detox 

Drinking can be a good time and yield some of the most outrageous memories that you'll tell your kids and grandkids about for years to come. But, the operative word here is "tell." You don't want those past drinks showing lasting signs on your face. 

From rosé to rum, a lot happens to your skin when alcohol is present. Here is a snapshot of what can happen over time.

After An Hour: Your body feels the initial effects of alcohol (and it probably feels good!). This first hour is when your body starts working overtime to cut out excess toxins. 

Dermatologists say that after the first hour, your body goes into hyperdrive, clearing your skin and the rest of your body from the toxic substance you just ingested. How does it do this? It enters a state of detox to get the alcohol out of the bloodstream and prevent any form of alcohol poisoning. If that was not enough, your liver and pancreas start putting in the hard work to break down the alcohol. The pancreas also produces extra insulin due to shock. 

After A Day: Your skin is dehydrated and will be screaming for some water. While you may be experiencing a mind-numbing hangover, your skin is singing the same tune! You can expect your face to reward you with blotchy, dry skin. As if you needed anything else on your plate!

After A Week: At this point, the skin is hitting a good stride. Your skin will start to improve as it slowly forgives you for those drinks. So, trade-in that blotchiness for a more dewy, healthy complexion as your body resets to its original hydration level. (If you don't give your body this reset time, you could fall right back into hour one territory! Nobody has time for that!)

Word to the wise: As the lipid barrier begins to heal itself from the inflammation that occurred in the days before, you may go through a slight purge

And no, I'm not talking about the movie.

A skin purge is when you have more breakouts than usual as the skin begins to push out all of the toxins that could be clogging your skin. 

Keep our Clear Skin Elixir on hand. 

After A Month: After a month of being free from the cosmo’s, you’ll be happier with your skin and ready to take the world by storm. You'll experience less inflammation, a more even complexion, and hydration to the max!

Bonus: If you were an active drinker, one month without a drink might even cause you to lose weight! 

After A Year: If your ultimate plan is a life without alcohol, this one's for you! 

By the year mark, your liver will be in significantly better shape from the damage inflicted on it by alcohol. It will be able to detoxify your body better, and this will show in all areas! 

You will start to see a full-body makeover. Your skin will also be healthier and have a natural radiance.   

I know that all of this information may seem overwhelming at first, but baby steps are all you need to have healthy skin. Also, no one said that drinking was off the table. It is very much still on the table! Here are a few tips for skin-friendly drinking. 


Is Some Alcohol Worse than Others? 

The truth is that not all alcohol is created equal. Those who drink (even occasionally), know that alcohol varies in potency, sometimes dramatically!

So the next time that you're looking at the alcohol menu, apply these notes! 

Dermatologists believe that beer and dark liquors are some of the worst alcoholic drinks for your skin. Usually, these drinks have more additives (like salt and sugar) and cause a high amount of stress on your liver, making it difficult for it to metabolize. In short, these types of drinks can dehydrate you like nobody's business and cause extreme stress on the body.  

The least harmful drinks include clear liquor (not in excess) and the odd man out, red wine. These, in general, have fewer additives. Also, red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant that helps the tissues and skin eliminate harmful free radicals.

Who said you had to give up everything, right? 


How to Drink Without Ruining Your Skin 

Gaining clear skin after an alcohol indulge is not impossible, it just takes strategy and determination! Here are some tips to get you on the right track!

  • Drink water in between each alcoholic drink to stay hydrated.

Cute and Hydrated!
  • Don’t forget to do your morning and evening skincare routine to help fight the effects of alcohol (stay consistent for those times when you need it most).
  • Don’t drink on an empty stomach (to reduce and cushion the immediate shock).
  • Think about your drink selection carefully and choose a more skin-safe option.

Having the occasional drink doesn't have to result in continuous breakouts. The key is to plan ahead. All-natural skincare is the safeguard for those times when life happens and the good times roll. The next time you're in the mood for a drink, think about it, drink responsibly, and make sure that you're fortifying your skin with the best you can give it! 

Cheers for good times and even better skin!

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Shiloh Garcia
Written by
Shiloh Garcia
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Shiloh is a Copywriter at Averr Aglow. A wordsmith by day, she loves all things creating. If she's not blogging or writing an Instagram post, then she's singing to everyone and dreaming of California summers. If there is ever a time that you can’t find her, know that she is somewhere talking to complete strangers. Seriously.