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Hello Joanna,

I am not a heavy drinker, but I do enjoy having a drink or two when I am out with friends. Recently, I noticed that my skin has been breaking out more than usual. Could this be caused by alcohol and should I stop drinking to clear up my skin?

I personally don’t drink alcohol and never have, as it doesn’t agree with me. And because of its negative effects on the skin, not drinking is is actually beneficial to my complexion.

Alcohol has little nutritional value and can lead to poor liver function, reduced immunity, hormone disruption, and cell damage. All of these issues impact the quality and appearance of your skin, which may be what you are experiencing.

How Alcohol Affects Skin

Because it is a diuretic, alcohol pushes water out of the body and leaves skin, dehydrated, dry and flaky. It  also has an inflammatory effect on our bodies, which can cause skin to look red and puffy. 

Often times people combine alcohol with sugary juices and mixers.

Sugar is responsible for a process called glycation; the attachment of non-eliminated or non-digested sugar molecules to proteins in an abnormal way producing harmful AGE’s (advanced glycation end products). Gylcation is considered a key factor in the premature aging skin. It decreases the elasticity of the skin, enlarges pores and can lead to fine lines, breakouts and a dull complexion. 

Everything in Moderation

I also believe strongly in moderation and if you drink moderately, the pleasure can outweigh the negative side effects. If you enjoy wine, a good option is a half of a glass of red or white wine at dinner.

Wine contains antioxidants and among them is resveratrol which comes from the skin of the grape. Resveratrol prevents damage to blood vessels among other healthy benefits. 

My advice would be to cut back on the alcohol and see if this helps with the breakouts.