affects of alcohol on skin

This Is Exactly What Happens To Your Skin When You Drink Alcohol

It's fair to say that 2020 has been eventful. And while we all have our own coping mechanisms to find a little joy in every day, having the odd glass of wine or G&T is certainly up there as one of the more popular choices. In the summer, we sipped on Pimms and Pinot Grigio and with the chillier nights drawing in, a warming Baileys nightcap or glass of Merlot by the fire can be a festive way to enjoy the season. But, what are these tasty tipples doing to our skin?

Well, as you can expect, it's not good news. Like many vices, too much alcohol can have a catastrophic impact on the cellular make-up of our complexion. Just two drinks a day can affect the pancreas, liver, our immunity, hormones and insulin levels – all of which have a detrimental effect on the quality and ageing of the skin. As a diuretic, it forces water out of the body and makes it more difficult to rehydrate afterwards, leaving our skin dry, dehydrated and dull.

Not only that, having a cheeky glass or two also inflames the tissues of our body, creating a histamine reaction (hence the redness we see in our skin after wine in particular), and a puffy appearance. Due to the sugars prevalent in alcohol (especially wine), we can also be prone to more breakouts and broken capillaries, eventually leading to more chronic skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema.

And while a hot toddy may have been the cure-all remedy of our grandparents, drinking alcohol actually significantly reduces our immune responses by depleting the microbiome in our gut; bacteria that we need, to balance inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema.

Far from us to be the party poopers, a glass of our favourite tipple can sometimes be just the tonic. And when you do over-indulge, there are ways to help aid your skin's recovery (see our top tips below).

but to really see a difference, why not join the hoards of millennials who are now sober-curious (a term given to those who drink less, or not at all)? With so many delicious alcohol-free drinks on the market (our favourite is Seedlips, the non-alcoholic gin), your skin will thank you for it.

Choose wisely

If you are going to drink, the general consensus is that the clearer the liquid, the better. Vodka, gin and tequila will all pass through the body a lot quicker, with potato vodka being the best of a bad bunch.

Cut back

Drinking every other day or less is best when it comes to saving your skin. Research has shown that when you’re 20 years old alcohol leaves your body in three hours, whereas when you’re 40 years old, it takes an average of 33 hours. So, when you think that 3-day hangover is because you're not a teen anymore, there's science to back that up!


We know that alcohol is seriously dehydrating, so drinking a glass of water with every glass of wine or spirit will balance out your hydration levels more sympathetically.

Replace your collagen

Alcohol is a serial culprit at depleting collagen levels in skin. Try taking a food supplement of collagen daily and use our Willowberry Nutrient Boost Cleansing Balm; the vitamin A content in rosehip oil helps to support cell regeneration and help promote the production of collagen and elastin, while the ultra-nourishing formula will help to bring your skin back to life.


Article by Jessica Harris

Willowberry is 'Nutritious Natural' skincare for grown-ups for your best skin. Launched in 2017, Willowberry is an award-winning independent British brand that has gained a cult following. Loved by top make-up artists, the streamlined, highly effective range protects skin’s natural barrier function to nourish and transform grown-up skin, with indulgent formulas that feed the skin and soul.