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Yes, alcohol does affect your skin and here's how

Hangovers aren't the only thing you have to contend with after a few drinks, as experts reveal the impact just one boozy night can have on your skin

If you thought that a hangover is the worst that can happen after a boozy night out (or in), sadly you’re in for a rude awakening. As according to experts, all it takes is one night of excessive drinking for skin to bear the brunt.

"The body views alcohol as a poisonous substance so our prime detoxifying organ, the liver, is charged with ridding it from our system," explains Lorna Driver-Davies, Senior Nutritional Therapist at Wild Nutrition.

"During this process the liver metabolises the alcohol into an even more toxic substance called acetaldehyde and in order to make it less harmful a host of nutrients, minerals and antioxidants are needed.

"However, those same nutrients and antioxidants also play a vital role in supporting our skin’s repair and renewal process to slow down ageing, prevent breakouts, nourish and hydrate. And since our skin is not a vital organ, our body prioritises ridding the system of toxins over giving the skin the vitamins and minerals it needs," adds Driver-Davis.

Cue a slew of skin issues that come on fast and take weeks to treat. Think acne, increased pore size, puffiness, fine lines and wrinkles, dryness, flaking and even psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.

Read on to discover the three most common skin concerns and how to negate the fall out...


Research shows that the sugar found in most alcoholic beverages like champagne, wine, and your favourite cocktail has a part to play in acne development. "It can elevate insulin, which in turn can cause a hormonal imbalance that may also be seen on the skin," says Maryam Zamani, Founder of MZ Skin, Oculoplastic Surgeon and Aesthetic Doctor. This is due to the overstimulation of the skin’s oil glands, leading to excess sebum production. This sebum then mixes with dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria and hey presto new spots.

Treat with: ZO Skin Health Complexion Renewel Pads
Salicylic acid drenched pads help minimise surface oil and exfoliate pore-clogging dead skin cells and dirt.


Alcohol is a diuretic so you’ll find you lose a lot of water already, but add to the fact that “alcohol consumption floods your body with toxins, and negatively affects the quality of your sleep – diminishing the body's ability to conduct adequate repair overnight. And you’ll find this weakens the skin’s protective acid mantle," shares Dr Zamani.

The acid mantle makes up one third of your skin barrier and one of its main jobs is to protect the skin from transepidermal water loss, i.e stop the skin from losing moisture and becoming dehydrated. So, when it’s compromised, you’ll notice your skin becomes dull, dry, flaky and fine lines and wrinkles are more apparent.

Treat with: Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Liquid Rehydration Serum
Bursting with Hyaluronic acid and Vitamin B5, this deeply hydrating, serum sinks into skin, flooding it with moisture fast.


Your favourite tipple can lead to a cascade of inflammation, which can cause swelling in the body. Add dehydration into the mix and you’ll find your skin will attempt to hold on to as much water as possible which can lead to puffiness.

This is often most notable in the eye area which "at just 0.05mm thick, the skin around the eyes is the most delicate on our bodies, making it particularly vulnerable in times of 'stress'," explains Dr Zamani.

"With a decreased ability to produce sebum, this area is more prone to moisture loss, and over time, both elastin and collagen production wanes too. This is without the effects of alcohol consumption. So, if you factor in the skin’s impaired ability to repair itself, it’s inevitable that your eye area will look tired and puffy as a result," she adds.

Treat with: MZ Skin Depuff & Define Contouring Eye Rescue
Rich in caffeine and peptides this serum-like cream prevents the accumulation of fluid and fatty deposits that can lead to puffiness and bags.

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