We all know it happens. You drank far too much alcohol and far too little water. The dark circles under your eyes have returned, your lips are as dry as can be, and your head is pounding.

Because New Year's Eve is a night of celebration, it is perfectly acceptable to enjoy a few celebratory drinks with friends and family.

We wanted to share our favorite tips on how to reduce the effects of alcohol on your skin.

What are the effects of alcohol on the skin?

Drinking alcohol results in two things. Dehydration and inflammation.

Cosmetic Services - face of a young woman, a loupe shows dry skin

The effects of dehydration from alcohol:

  • Loss of elasticity, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin
  • Dryness
  • Dullness
  • Enlarged pores

The number one thing alcohol does is dehydrate your entire body, including your skin. When skin is dehydrated, it appears sallow, fine wrinkles become more visible.

Alcohol dehydration can also enlarge the pores of the skin, causing a rise in blackheads and whiteheads. If not treated properly, this can lead to acne and rosacea.

Dehydration is also the primary cause of your skin’s poor appearance when you wake up. Drinking water is obviously a good thing to do, but the effects of that internal hydration won’t show up right away externally


The effects of inflammation from alcohol:

  • Increased redness or flushing of the skin  
  • Acne  
  • Blotchiness  
  • Puffiness  
  • Rosacea

Sugar content in alcoholic drinks (especially cocktails and wine) can be quite high, and this can be seen in your skin if you drink more than the recommended amount. Sugar in alcoholic drinks has been shown to activate the hormone IGF-1, which produces an overproduction of oil in your skin, increasing your risk of breakouts or acne.

If you suffer from the skin condition rosacea, it’s highly likely that alcohol will exaberate your symptoms. Due to its vasodilatory impact, alcohol use is also a culprit for producing inflammatory signals within the skin, resulting in redness and flushing (it opens up the blood vessels and increases the blood flow above the normal levels).

Cosmetic Services - a cheek with acne


Cosmetic Services - woman washing her face in front of a mirror

Tips for curing your skin hangover …


  1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your skin and body are both in desperate need of water.

  2. Cleanse and Exfoliate. Even after last night’s face wash, a good cleansing and exfoliating will help to get rid of that dry feeling.

  3. Mask time = Detox time! A detox mask can help prevent any upcoming flare-ups. Look for ingredients like clay, charcoal, or antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

  4. Grab your favourite moisturizer and an eye cream containing caffeine, which helps to de-puff and illuminate the skin around your eyes.


RAHN-Good-to-Know_Skin Hangover

PDF, 7 Pages, 3.3 MB

Your personal contact

Sandra Gut

Sandra Gut

Portfolio & Application Laboratory Manager Cosmetics

RAHN (UK) Ltd.