3 Ways Alcohol Affects The Skin & How To Care For Your Skin After A Heavy Session

Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good glass of wine or whiskey.  May has been of bank holiday weekends and good weather and there was certainly no exception.  Since I began looking after my skin more, I now notice the differences in the morning when I have had alcohol the night before vs when I haven’t.  My skin looks tired, dull and drier than usual so naturally I’m taking extra care of my skin.

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Affects Alcohol Has On The Skin

1. Dehydration

Alcohol decreases a hormone called anti-diuretic which is the body uses to reabsorb water.  Since there is less of this hormone obtainable the body loses more fluids than usual.  If you drink too much alcohol this leads to excess dehydration.  This can leave you with dry skin and more lines than usual.  As as having a headache and feeling tired.  The effects of alcohol vary from person to person but these are common symptoms.

2. Puffiness and Redness

Beer, wine and other alcoholic drinks contain histamine which is produced by yeast and bacteria.  Histamine is known to provoke allergy-like symptoms, even asthma.  Alcohol creates a histamine reaction which leads to the skin being inflamed and causing redness.  This is why sometimes you see some middle-aged/older people with permanent redness on their skin.  It’s usually because of a history of drinking.

3. Breakouts and Dull Complexion

Alcohol tends to be high in sugar.  Some more than others such as cider, cocktails and wine.  Alcohol contributes to the increase in hormone levels in men and women.  Increased hormones can lead to the skin producing more sebum, clogging pores and resulting in breakouts.

How I Care For My Skin After Long, Alcohol Induced Sessions and Products I Use

Constantly Hydrate

  • Water.  Since alcohol is so dehydrating I try to double my intake of water throughout the day at regular intervals.
  • Sports drinks.  Many if not all sports drinks contain electrolytes which are responsible for getting water to parts of the body where it is needed most.  Moreover, the dehydration caused by alcohol leads to the loss of valuable electrolytes and sports drinks replace them.

Starting The Night Before

I have had my moments whereby I forget to take my makeup off when I get home from a night out.  Honestly, there are times when I have been too lazy to take it off.  It happens.  Nevertheless, this can have some negative implications of the skin.  For example,

  • Breakouts which are caused by leftover makeup that clogs the pores.
  • Sometimes the makeup we use contains harsh chemicals.  By leaving it on over night, you’re doing further damage to your skin.
  • If you have pre-existing irritations on your skin, leaving makeup on will only make that worse.
  • Leaving makeup on over night contributes to ageing quicker.

Products I use

I have combination skin (oily forehead, chin, nose and dry cheeks) but despite this, when I drink my entire face usually feels very dry the next day.

Avene Thermal Water

Although the best way to keep and maintain hydration of the skin is drinking water, when my skin is feeling dehydrated and looking dull after a night out throughout the next day I like to regularly use Avene Thermal Water Spray.  It reduces redness, soothes inflamed skin and hydrates.  I also use this in my first step of my cleansing routine.

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Avene Thermal Water

Drops Of Youth Liquid Peel

In between cleansing I like to add the Drops of Youth Liquid Peel into my routine to remove any excess dirt, debris or make-up that may have been left on my skin from my routine the night before.  It leaves my face feeling fresh for the final part of my cleansing routine.

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Drops of Youth Liquid Peel

Clarins Cleansing Milk | 9 To 5 Cleansing Lotion by Lush

Cleansing milks are a rarity in my skin care routine because of their lotion like consistency.  It just doesn’t feel like my skin is being cleaned.  On the other hand, they’re a priority the morning after nights out because they really contribute to rehydrating my skin.

My go-to cleansing lotions are the Clarins Cleansing Milk and the 9 to 5 Cleansing Lotion by lush.  Both of these cleansers are hydrating and soothing to the skin.  I use one of these two cleansers after using the Avene thermal water spray.


Clarins SOS Pure Rebalancing Face Mask

Once I feel my skin is clean and feeling hydrated sometimes I like to add a face mask amidst my routine.  I use the SOS Pure Rebalancing Clay Mask which is for normal, oily, or combination skin.  My skin always feels rebalanced and matt after I have used this.

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SOS Pure Rebalancing Face Mask By Clarins


Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil

Last but not least I put a few drops of Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil on my face.  Although it’s an oil this one is for oily/combination skin.  As well as being hydrating, it protects the skin from dehydration and tightens the pores.

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Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil


Alcohol is never really going to be the healthiest thing you put into your body but it’s okay in moderation, like most things.  Here are some things to bare in mind though.

Short Term Effects of Alcohol

  • Anemia (loss of red blood cells)
  • Blackouts and memory lapses
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Decreased perception and coordination
  • Diarrhea
  • Distorted vision and hearing
  • Drowsiness
  • Headaches
  • Impaired judgment
  • Slurred speech
  • Upset stomach
  • Unconsciousness
  • Vomiting

Long Term Effects of Alcohol

  • Alcohol poisoning
  • Cancer of the mouth and throat
  • Gastritis (inflammation of stomach walls)
  • High blood pressure, stroke, and other heart-related diseases
  • Increased on-the-job injuries and loss of productivity
  • Liver disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Nerve damage
  • Permanent damage to the brain
  • Unintentional injuries such as car crash, falls, burns, drowning
  • Ulcers

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Avid Reader, Casual Comic Book Collector, Fashion and Beauty Fanatic, Food, Wine and Whisky Enthusiast, Freelance Photographer, Language Devotee, Polymath

2 thoughts on “3 Ways Alcohol Affects The Skin & How To Care For Your Skin After A Heavy Session

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