As the holidays come and go, we are all probably feeling a little guilty from over indulging. From the sweets and the carbo loaded foods to the excessive drinking, holiday season definitely caught up with me and well, wreaked absolute havoc on my skin. To be honest it was a little bit worse than expected, but with my college graduation right around the corner, no after school graduation plans, and constant traveling between in laws and grandparents, the stress laid on pretty thick and so did the holiday beverages.
- I’ve always heard of alcohol causing acne or maybe I just assumed it does- because well, you’re putting a literal toxin into your body and creating a dehydrated environment, but I’ve never known EXACTLY why. While drinking in moderation isn’t a problem for most, everyone is different, and it turns out, that second drink might be a bad idea for several reasons.
- Drinking regularly can destroy your immune system. Your immune system keeps the balance of good and bad bacteria in check. It’s your body’s defense against infection and illness. It also destroys bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Therefor, a weakened immune system makes it easier for bacteria to build up in your pores, resulting in clogged pores and a greater surge of acne.
- Frequently drinking can effect your hormone levels. One massive factor in the causation of acne is an imbalance or a surge of testosterone and estrogen. This is because the oil glands that produce sebum are sensitive to testosterone and a surge in testosterone leads to a surge in breakouts!
- Many people (yours included) use drinking as a coping mechanism for stress. Stress is likely to effect your hormones and create a spike in cortisol, so the two combined are likely to lead to problems and have a negative effect on your skin.
- Your liver! Of course alcohol leads to liver damage, and your liver is extremely important when it comes to the clarity of your skin. It regulates your hormones, helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, and remove toxins from your body. Alcohol is a toxin to the cells that detoxify your body. Something that reduces liver function is likely bad for your skin as well.
- Alcohol causes Candida overgrowth. Candida is a fungus that is found in high yeast and sugary products, think beer, wine, and mixed drinks. When overgrown it can result in outbreaks on the skin that look like acne but aren’t!
- Dehydration! Alcohol lowers your body’s water content, which is critical for removing inflammatory toxins. These toxins can result in inflammatory and aggravated acne. In addition to dehydration, alcohol causes aging skin- leaving your skin dry, cracked, and red. Additionally, dehydration can have the effect of increasing impurities in the body. Our bodies use water in countless ways to break down impurities within the body. Without enough water in our bodies we run the risk of increasing acne because they have no other way of leaving our system.
In short alcohol can effect the immune system, disrupt your hormones, interrupt the detoxification process, and increase dehydration all leading to bigger and badder breakouts but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should never drink again (or the opportunity won’t arise).
Everything in moderation
While binge drinking nightly isn’t preferable, drinking in moderation can actually boast positive health benefits which could lead to better skin. For example a glass of red wine each night is linked to better sleep, this is due to a hormone called melatonin which helps you fall asleep and stay asleep. If you do choose to drink and are concerned about your skin, opt for drinks lower in sugar (clear liquor, red wine) and stick to just one glass! So again, while having the occasional drink won’t won’t affect your skin too harshly, regular alcohol consumption leads to worsened breakouts, redness, and irritation.