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Alcohol and your skin

Christmas and the New Year is a time when many of us have enjoyed getting together with friends and family. We have also combined this social time with alcoholic drinks – and often quite a few of them over the relatively short festive period!

It’s no wonder that Dry January is considered a great way to give our bodies a break from alcohol consumption, and some of the unhealthy aspects that tend to accompany it.

But what exactly are the effects that alcohol has on our skin, and how can we take steps to address them?

Here, we explain the facts about alcohol and skin health, with some helpful treatment tips.

How does alcohol affect the skin?

Drinking alcohol has several impacts on our bodies and these tend to be most apparent in our skin:


Alcohol is a diuretic. This means that it causes us to pee more often. Alcohol has this effect because it supresses the hormone vasopressin, which regulates water reabsorption in our kidneys. This means that our bladders fill up more frequently.

This loss of water through urine is dehydrating for the body, and the skin.

Loss of fluid in the skin has several impacts. Dehydrated skin may be drier and therefore itchy or flaky. The overall appearance of the complexion tends to be duller, and fine lines are more noticeable.  


One of the effects of drinking alcohol is flushing of the skin. This is a result of vasodilation, which is when blood vessels widen to allow more blood flow.

Alcohol is known to increase vasodilation, which why we can feel warm, sweaty or experience flushed skin when we drink it.


Because alcohol is dehydrating to the body, this can prompt the skin to hold onto water, which can cause temporary puffiness. This can be particularly obvious in the face.


Sugar is known to contribute to inflammation in our bodies.

Alcoholic drinks such as beer and sweetened drink mixers are high in carbohydrates, which can raise blood sugar levels. This also means that the risk of inflammation is increased.

There is a connection between inflammation and acne breakouts, so people who are prone to acne may notice that they are more likely to experience break outs when they have been consuming alcoholic drinks that are high in carbohydrates or sugars.

Sleep quality

Alcohol negatively impacts the amount of deep and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep that we get.

REM sleep is particularly restorative for our bodies and it is beneficial for cell regeneration.

Therefore, during periods when we have been drinking more alcohol, we may find that we are more tired, that we have dark circles under our eyes, and that our skin appears duller.  

Skin health and alcohol

There are simple ways to responsibly enjoy alcohol, whilst limiting its impact on the health and vitality of our skin.

Limiting the amount of alcohol consumed, and ensuring that you have plenty of water or low-sugar soft drinks, in between alcoholic drinks, is a good approach.

Skin hydration

Hyaluronic acid-based treatments, such as skin boosters, are extremely effective at restoring moisture and vitality to the skin.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring chemical in our bodies. It acts as a magnet for water in the skin, helping it to feel plump and smooth.

Skin boosters are rich is hyaluronic acid. This injectable treatment works in the skin at a cellular level to deeply hydrate and encourage the body’s natural restorative processes.

Skin boosters continue to work in the skin following treatment, restoring vitality to dehydrated skin.

We now offer a broad range of skin boosters, each formulated to hydrate, plump and rejuvenate the skin. We will recommend the right skin booster to achieve your desired results.

Our range now incorporates:

Before and after Profhilo skin booster treatment – our patient’s skin has been visibly hydrated, which has a volumizing and rejuvenating effect.

Managing acne breakouts

If you suffer regularly with acne breakouts, our dermatologist can offer expert advice.

At a specialist skin consultation, we will thoroughly assess your skin and we can recommend pharmaceutical-grade skincare products that can help manage future breakouts.

If you have scarring due to acne breakouts in the past, we have a range of gentle treatments, which can significantly reduce the appearance of scarring. These include scar fillers, to plump out indentations, or a specialist skin peel, to deeply exfoliate and even out skin texture.

Before and after treatment for acne – our patient’s skin is visibly clearer and the appearance of scarring has been significantly improved.

Skin nourishment

After the excesses of the Christmas and New Year period, it is the perfect time to treat your skin to some well-earned nourishment.

One of our bespoke facials is an excellent way to nourish and condition your skin. We tailor our approach to give your skin the treatment it needs – to hydrate and purify your skin in the most effective way for your skin type. We’ll ensure your skin feels cared for and restored.

For a deeper approach to skin nourishment, fractional mesotherapy delivers vital nutrients directly into the skin using microneedles.

The blend of nutrients is tailored to each patient’s requirements to target specific issues, or to provide a general restorative, hydrating and rejuvenating effect.

Talk to us about your skin health

If you would like to talk to us about managing the health and appearance of your skin, we offer a free initial consultation. You can book online, call us or email

Alcohol support and information

For wider information and support regarding consuming alcohol, Drinkaware has a range of advice and tips, and the NHS offers signposting to support organisations.