It is common for people to say that fast foods, sweet things, and alcohol can cause acne. A close friend complained that she experienced an acne break-out after a boozy weekend in Brisbane, and I immediately believed that was the cause. I myself often find that after a big weekend, my skin will pay the price in the following week.

So does alcohol cause acne? Yes, but there’s more to it than you’d first consider.

Alcohol affects hormone levels, and an imbalance of testosterone or oestrogen levels can cause excessive production of sebum and the development of acne.

Alcohol is a hepatotoxin, which damages the cells that act as a detox for the body. Furthermore, it drains your body of nutrients- particularly b vitamins, and it dehydrates you, which is also bad for your skin!

However it is not just the consumption of alcohol that damages our skin, it is the behaviour associated with alcohol consumption that also contributes.

We often drink for a reason, some people turn to alcohol when they’re stressed. It calms you, and if you drink enough will remove you from a cognitive state that allows one to contemplate their problems. Stress is a cause of acne itself, as it also triggers fluctuations of hormones, as discussed in a previous blog.

Other behaviours resulting from the consumption of alcohol, or associated with it, can also contribute to poor quality skin. Should your drinking lead to a late night, the lack of sleep will impact upon the quality of your skin.

When drinking you could find yourself engaging in damaging behaviours that you usually wouldn’t. I am not unknown to become a social smoker after some drinks, and that is but one of a number of unusual behaviours which we might find ourselves engaged in, but otherwise condemn.

A boozy night could also see you not adhere to your usual skin-care routines. If you are like me, you may occasionally over-indulge at a party and find yourself waking up in the morning not having cleansed or applied topical solutions as you usually would before bed. That combined with the negative impacts of poor sleep, dehydration, and your off-put hormone levels can combine in an unfortunate way.

So it is indeed the truth that alcohol can contribute to acne, but there are in fact a number of factors which can contribute to poor quality skin. With this in mind, I’m going to give the liquor and late nights a rest!

Who is Nick Bell?

Nick joins SkinB5 as a writer, contributing monthly to the blog.A mid-twenties Melburnian cliche, the bearded student suffers wanderlust, a soft spot of his city’s cafe culture and a love of cycling. He writes from experience, having suffered acne himself throughout both high school and university,  and it’s something he still battles today. Nick also writes a personal blog where he is documenting his journey for clear skin with SkinB5, having previously given up after years of ineffective products and medications.