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How does drinking alcohol affect the skin?

Dr. Doris Day, MD
Dermatology
If you are in the habit of having more than one or two drinks a day, or if you binge drink at parties or on weekends, you’re not only endangering your health in general but you’re making your skin old before its time. Alcohol dehydrates you skin, thus depriving it of the moisture that makes for a youthful glow. The dehydration also deprives your skin of essential nutrients.

In addition, alcohol dilates your blood vessels, a process that can cause your face to flush unattractively. True, this condition is usually temporary, but it can lead to the chronic red blotches characteristic of Rosacea. Worse yet, excessive drinking can cause unsightly broken blood vessels, and these are permanent unless you opt for laser treatments.

Be kind to your skin as well as to your entire system by limiting yourself to one or at most two drinks a day if you’re a woman, and two a day if you’re a man. Remember a drink equals one four-ounce glass of wine, or one 12-ounce beer, or one shot of hard liquor. And if you do go over that limit, perhaps on a special occasion or a holiday, be sure to rehydrate your skin right away by drinking plenty of water.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
While the consumption of alcohol does not directly impact the skin, it does lead to dehydration. For optimal skin health, it is important to continue drinking water alongside the alcohol and after your evening has concluded.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.