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January is always the start of something new, with everyone making resolutions about how they’re going to live a much healthier year. A common theme during the month of January is abstinence from alcohol, which usually comes as a result of an alcohol-laden festive season.
As a result, more and more people are undertaking Dry January. Now, we know that abstaining from alcohol can do wonders for your health, but could it also be the boost that your skin needs for the year ahead?

What does alcohol do to the skin?

Alcohol misuse can present with jaundice, pruritus, pigmentary alterations, urticaria, hair and nail changes, and oral changes. It is also a risk factor for skin cancer and infections.” – Neelesh P.JainMD, 2021

It dehydrates the skin

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means that it draws out water from the body, dehydrating your skin.

Dehydrated skin isn’t only uncomfortable, but it can also cause congestion, affect your skin’s ability to absorb products, and it can also make signs of aging look more pronounced.

It can worsen rosacea

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that causes flare-ups. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the consumption of white wine and liquor can increase the risk of rosacea in women (1).

It can cause inflammation

Inflammation can speed up the aging process, but that’s not the only way it affects the skin. It can also lead to breakouts, flare-ups, and dehydration.

Acne [longevitylive]

How can Dry January help my skin?

It takes around 28 days for the skin to regenerate itself, therefore Dry January is the perfect opportunity for you to detox alcohol from your skin.

Dry January will help leave your skin healthier by reducing inflammation, alleviating dryness, and combating pronounced signs of aging.

Minimizing the effects of alcohol on your skin

Now, while Dry January is a great way to detox your body, it’s not necessarily a realistic concept for everyone. Therefore, if you are worried about the effects of alcohol on your skin, there are ways in which you can minimize the potential damage.

Photo by Toni Cuenca from Pexels

Choose clearer alcohol

According to studies, the clearer the alcohol, the less inflammatory it is to the body. So, alcohols like wine and whisky contain tannins that have more inflammatory properties, whereas clear liquors like vodka and tequila are free of these tannins and are also processed quicker in the body.

Additionally, it would be advisable to stay clear of drinks like cocktails as they are rich in sugar and this too can have a negative effect on the skin.

Stay hydrated

As mentioned, alcohol can dehydrate the skin so if you are going to be drinking, then it is advisable that you stay hydrated. This can be done by drinking a cup of water for every alcoholic beverage that you have.


Want to know more?

It’s the new year and many of us are looking to get healthier and lose some weight during the new year. It seems that coconut water might be the answer to your 2020 weight loss goals.


Liu, S. W., Lien, M. H., & Fenske, N. A. (2010). The effects of alcohol and drug abuse on the skin. Clinics in dermatology, 28(4), 391–399.

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba

Pie Mulumba is a beauty and wellness writer who has a passion for poetry, equality, natural hair, and skin-care. With a journalism degree from Pearson's Institute of Higher Education, and identifiable by either her large afro or colorful locks, Pie aspires to continuously provide the latest information, be it beauty or wellness, on how one can adopt a healthy lifestyle on a day-to-day basis.

The content in this editorial is for general information only and is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. For more information on your medical condition and treatment options, speak to your healthcare professional.