While alcohol rarely causes acne directly it can indirectly affect your skin in many ways.
Should you become a teetotaler to avoid acne or can you drink yourself to oblivion on Saturday night and wake up with clear skin on Sunday afternoon?
Like anything related to acne how alcohol affects your skin varies between different people. Some people breakout after every drink, while others can drink as much as they want without any effect on their skin.
Even if you don’t notice any direct and immediate effect on your acne keeping drinks to the minimum can help you to get that permanently clear skin you dream of.
While there is little direct evidence that alcohol is linked to acne no one denies that alcohol is bad for your health. In the big picture what’s bad for your health is bad for your skin also.
Here are few examples of how drinking alcohol can cause acne.
- Regular drinking depresses the immune system. Your immune system keeps the acne causing bacteria at bay. However weakened immune system makes it easier for p. acnes bacteria to colonize your skin pores.
- Alcohol messes up your hormones. Acne is linked to imbalances in testosterone and estrogen balance (these hormones affect the rate at which your skin pores produce sebum, among other things).
- Alcohol harms the liver. When it comes to getting clear the liver is perhaps the most important organ. It regulates many hormones, plays a role in maintaining steady blood sugar levels and removes toxins from your body. Anything that depresses the liver function is potentially bad for your skin.
- Alcohol may aggravate Candida. This is especially true for drinks that contain yeast (beer) and sugars (cocktails and most mixed drinks). Candida overgrowth often leads to acne.
- Alcohol causes dehydration. The body uses water to remove inflammatory toxins. Hydration slows down the detox process, which means these inflammatory toxins are pushed through the skin and potentially aggravate your acne.
- Alcohol is an astringent that shrinks the skin pores and makes the more prone to clogging.
- Alcohol inhibits sleep. A drink or two in the evening may help you to fall asleep easier but it worsens the quality of your sleep. Alcohol makes it harder for you to enter the deep sleep phases that are critical to health and clear skin.
Simply because alcohol may aggravate your acne doesn’t mean you have to become a teetotaler. It’s ok to have a life and go out with your friends. Total abstinence may cause social isolation, and the stress it causes is more damaging to your skin than downing few drinks occasionally.
In case of alcohol and acne moderation is the best policy.