Can drinking alcohol cause acne?

Alcohol and acne

Alcohol and acne

Acne can seriously harm your self-confidence and make you less social. A lot of people feel anxious when they have acne and it is normal. We all have gone through the acne phase at least once in our lives and it can get worse if we do not take some strict steps towards our lifestyle. 

Acne can be caused for a lot of reasons, like clogged pores, oil secretion, inflammation, or bacteria but a lot of our lifestyle choices also play a direct role in inflating acne. Today we will be talking about how alcohol plays a major role in causing acne. 

While researchers have not been able to find a direct contact between alcohol and acne they have often talked about how alcohol affects our body and our body’s reaction can cause acne. Drinking once in a while is acceptable, however, if you are drinking regularly then it will not only affect your body but life too. 

How does alcohol cause acne directly or indirectly? 

Let us now look at the connection between and various body parts to see how this will affect acne in the future. 


Drinking ample amounts of water and keeping your body hydrated at all times is a must. Drinking water not only removes toxins from the body but also keeps the body healthy and happy. A hydrated body can balance the key nutrients in the body that are also required by the skin to maintain its optimum health.

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it promotes diuresis, which increases urine production, which flushes out a lot of liquid out of your body. This diuretic function leaves your body and skin dehydrated, when the skin is dehydrated it sends signals to the oil glands for overproduction of oil to compensate for all the water that has been lost. This is exactly why our skin becomes oily when we drink alcohol.


Another prime reason for alcohol causes acne is inflammation, this usually happens when sebum and dead skin cells clog your follicles, which can lead to redness and swelling in many cases. Alcohol contains sugar which is also a major trigger for inflammation, increase in sugar can inflate insulin levels, which will lead to increased oil production on the skin causing acne.

Immune System

Our immune system is the protective shield that helps us fight against all pathogens, when we consume alcohol in huge quantities our immune system becomes weak. Too much alcohol in our body can destroy the protective cells of the immune system that gets us going, people who consume alcohol regularly can develop some serious issues.

Hormonal Imbalances

Drinking alcohol has a direct impact on your hormones, it affects your testosterone levels that result in acne and breakout. In men, a huge amount of alcohol consumption daily reduces the levels of testosterone which affects their performance, however, a small amount of alcohol once in a while has shown greater levels of testosterone. 

When you consume alcohol, the testosterone levels see a sharp rise which triggers the oil glands to produce excess amounts of oil which cause acne and breakouts.

Liver Diseases

Our liver is one of the most important body parts which helps in flushing out the toxins from the body, when we drink alcohol in excessive amounts it can cause an imbalance in the functioning of our liver. If our liver fails to flush out the toxins, our other body parts will have to come into play to save the day. 

How different types of alcohol act on your skin? 

After finding out how alcohol affects our body in different ways let us get into defining the effects of each type of alcohol on our body and skin. Here are all types of alcohol and their effects.

Clear liquor

Clear liquors, such as gin and vodka taste incredible when mixed with other things, usually, clear liquors are low in calories and congeners. Congeners are the chemicals that are produced during the process of alcohol fermentation, the fewer congeners in your drink the better.

Dark liquor

Dark liquors are known to contain a huge amount of congeners. Congeners tend to enhance the alcohol’s flavor, they also increase your risk of hangover and dehydration.

Dark liquors can also raise your blood sugar levels and increase inflammation.


Beer contains a different type of congener called furfural. It’s a yeast inhibitor that is added during the process of fermentation. Beer can also lead to inflammation and dehydration.

White wine

White wine may not cause many effects on you, they are unlikely to cause hangovers but it can still dehydrate your skin and increase overall inflammation. 

Red wine

Red wine high in tannins, which is a congener used in wines, can not only dilate your blood vessels but can also make your skin inflamed.

Take Away 

Drinking alcohol in moderation is completely fine, we all enjoy the occasional drinks. But make sure you are following a proper skin care routine and keeping yourself hydrated at all times, do not make alcohol a lifestyle as it will only do you harm.

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