Alcohol and acne: can drinking cause breakouts?

The negative effects of alcohol on skin (drink responsibly!)

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Curology Team
Apr 20, 2019 · 3 min read

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We’re here to share what we know — but don’t take it as medical advice. Talk to your medical provider if you have questions.

Is alcohol bad for you? It seems there’s no straight answer, as long as you drink in moderation. There are so many different opinions on alcohol and our health out there. Wine is good for you! a thousand-and-one magazine articles announce triumphantly; have a glass of wine a night to help your heart and be as effortlessly cool as a typical Parisian! On the other hand, we’re all familiar with the health risks of drinking — and the damage that too much sugar inarguably does to our body’s systems. We all like to unwind at the end of the day (and some of us earlier in the day, no judgment), so let’s do some myth-busting here: how does drinking alcohol affect your skin, really?

How does alcohol affect the body?

What does alcohol do to your body? It messes with your hormones, just like sugar or stress can. That’s because alcohol spikes your blood sugar, which sets off what we call a hormonal “domino effect.” When you consume too much sugar or drink too much alcohol, you’re setting off a chain reaction that can result in not just a hangover, but an acne breakout, too. Alcohol also dehydrates your body, so don’t forget to drink plenty of water! It’s a good idea to have a glass of water in between alcoholic drinks. At the very least, drink a tall glass of water after you’re done drinking to rehydrate yourself.

The effects of alcohol on skin

Can drinking alcohol cause pimples? The short answer is yes it can, sort of. Drinking alcohol like wine, beer, liquor, etc. doesn’t directly cause acne, but it causes a hormone domino effect that might. Drinking alcohol, especially when you drink to excess, can throw off your blood sugar — and when you mess with your blood sugar, you set off a hormonal domino effect that can cause acne. Studies show that drinking alcohol increases levels of the hormones estrogen and its metabolites (aka breakdown products). This can have plenty of negative effects on the body besides just on your skin, which is why it’s so important to be mindful of how much and how frequently you get your drink on.

We’re the last ones who’ll try to convince you not to enjoy yourself with a drink (responsibly and in moderation, of course), but rest assured: treating and preventing acne is easy with Curology. The custom mix of active ingredients in your superbottle helps keep your skin clear, no matter what life throws at you.

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💧Drink 👏 more 👏 water💧

Never underestimate the importance of those seemingly minor, make-or-break decisions such as, “should I order that sweet boozy cocktail, or sip on soda water instead?” If you’ve been a little too indulgent, be it at the bar or the barbecue, drink plenty of water afterwards. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate—you’ll feel better for it the morning after.

Keep calm and put your cream on

All that said, don’t beat yourself up if you enjoy a drink and don’t intend to give that up. You can help your skin avoid the negative aftermath of that nightcap, happy hour, or cocktail party by treating your skin daily with a custom formula, designed for your unique skin by your very own Curology provider. Sign up for a free trial at to try it out and see for yourself!

Custom superbottle for breakouts | Free Trial button

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Curology Team

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