Inflammation, clogged pores, and bacteria can contribute to the development of acne. Some people may wonder whether dietary factors, such as alcohol, also play a role.
While there is no direct link between drinking alcohol and having acne, alcohol affects the body in ways that may indirectly cause or worsen this skin issue.
Below, we explore how drinking alcohol may influence acne.
Research has not established a direct link between alcohol consumption and the development of acne. However, alcohol affects many parts of the body and may influence skin health.
Some of alcohol’s effects that may indirectly cause or worsen acne include:
Dehydration can cause a range of problems and
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it increases the production of urine, flushing out more salt and water than usual. As a result, consuming alcohol can lead to dehydration.
Drinking plenty of water is the best way to stay hydrated. If a person is drinking alcohol, they should consider having a glass of water between alcoholic drinks.
Reduced immune function
A reduced immune response may, therefore, make a person more open to infection with
P. acnes are bacteria that colonize the skin, and when they enter clogged pores, they can cause or worsen inflamed acne lesions, such as pustules.
Many things can cause inflammation, including chronic disease, hormone imbalances, and dietary factors. Alcohol, especially combined with
Alcohol, meanwhile, can cause changes in hormone levels. For example, a study published in the
Buildup of toxins
Consuming alcohol can lead to alcoholic liver disease.
The liver is responsible for filtering toxins from the body, and frequent alcohol use can make it more difficult for the liver to remove all the toxins.
If the liver cannot effectively remove toxins, they may build up or leave the body through other pathways, such as the skin, reducing skin health.
Alcohol is a common ingredient in topical products such as facial cleansers, toners, and astringents.
- ethyl alcohol
- cetyl alcohol
- stearyl alcohol
- cetearyl alcohol
- lanolin alcohol
- isopropyl alcohol
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), it may be advisable to avoid cleansers that contain alcohol.
Alcohol in these products could make acne worse by irritating and overly drying the skin. The AAD recommend gentle cleansers for both dry and oily skin.
While there is no direct link between alcohol and acne, various harmful health effects of alcohol may indirectly cause acne or make it worse.
Alcohol’s effects on the immune system, liver function, inflammation, and hormones may reduce skin health and contribute to acne.
Also, the AAD recommend avoiding skin care products that contain alcohol, which could irritate or dry out the skin.