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How does alcohol affect our skin?

If you’re participating in ‘SOBER OCTOBER’, this is how it could impact your skin health

Amelia CranstounContent Editor
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How does alcohol affect our skin?
Written byAmelia CranstounContent Editor
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In a fantastic campaign to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support, more people are joining this viral campaign called Sober October. It means abstaining from alcohol consumption for the entire month. By the end of October, participants hope to see the benefits of life without alcohol.  Alcohol consumption can have various negative impacts on the skin, and taking a break from drinking can lead to noticeable improvements. Here’s our take on how alcohol affects the skin.

How does drinking alcohol impact my skin health? 

For those of you who enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail or a glass of wine with your meal, don’t worry - we’re not saying your skin suffers with the odd drink here and there!  While moderate alcohol consumption may not have a significant impact on everyone, excessive or chronic drinking can lead to several skin-related issues:

  • Acne and Breakouts: Alcohol can disrupt the balance of hormones and increase inflammation, which may contribute to acne breakouts. It can also affect the skin's ability to heal and regenerate, potentially prolonging the duration of blemishes.

  • Premature Ageing: Excessive alcohol consumption can accelerate the signs of ageing. It may lead to the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibres in the skin, resulting in sagging, fine lines, and wrinkles.

  • Increased Sensitivity: Alcohol can sensitise the skin, making it more prone to irritation and allergic reactions when exposed to skincare products or environmental factors.

  • Skin Conditions: Alcohol can exacerbate certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema. It can trigger or worsen outbreaks in individuals who are already prone to these conditions.

How will abstaining from alcohol benefit my skin?

Here are some ways abstaining from alcohol during Stoptober can benefit your skin:

  • Hydration: Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases urine production and can lead to dehydration. Dehydrated skin can appear dry, dull, and less plump. By avoiding alcohol, you can better maintain your skin's natural hydration.

  • Reduced Redness: Alcohol can dilate blood vessels, leading to redness and flushing, particularly on the face. Quitting alcohol can help reduce these symptoms, leading to a more even skin tone.

  • Less Puffiness: Alcohol can contribute to inflammation and water retention, which can result in facial puffiness and bags under the eyes. Giving up alcohol can reduce puffiness and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

  • Improved Sleep: Alcohol can disrupt your sleep patterns, leading to poor-quality sleep. Adequate sleep is crucial for skin repair and regeneration. Quitting alcohol can result in better sleep, leading to a fresher complexion.

  • Decreased Acne and Breakouts: Alcohol can increase inflammation and contribute to acne breakouts. Reducing alcohol intake can help control acne and promote clearer skin.

  • Reduced Risk of Skin Conditions: Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with certain skin conditions, such as rosacea. Abstaining from alcohol can reduce the risk of developing or exacerbating such conditions.

  • Improved Skin Barrier: Alcohol can compromise the skin's natural barrier function, making it more susceptible to environmental damage. Giving up alcohol can allow your skin to rebuild its protective barrier.

  • Better Absorption of Nutrients: Alcohol can interfere with nutrient absorption, potentially depriving your skin of essential vitamins and minerals. Quitting alcohol can help your body absorb nutrients more effectively, which can benefit your skin.

  • Enhanced Overall Well-being: Reducing alcohol consumption can lead to improved mental and emotional well-being, which can indirectly impact your skin. Stress and anxiety can exacerbate skin issues, so managing these factors can promote healthier skin.

Remember that the specific impact of quitting alcohol on your skin may vary depending on factors such as your individual skin type, how much you were drinking previously, and your overall health. However, taking a break from alcohol during Sober October can be a positive step toward improving your skin's appearance and overall health. It's also essential to maintain a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and practice good skincare routines to maximise the benefits to your skin.

If you’re finding your skin is changing (alcohol-related or not!) and you’d like some independent advice on improving your skin, Renude could help. Take our skin quiz and connect with an experienced aesthetician who will create a personalised skincare routine just for you. 

Amelia CranstounContent Editor
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