Why Dry January is good for your skin

The truth about the impact of alcohol

We all know that too much alcohol can take its toll on our health. And it’s not so good for our skin either.

Here’s the lowdown on how alcohol can damage our skin, and why going alcohol-free this January can help get your skin back on track.


The skin is your body’s largest organ, but drinking alcohol leaves it dehydrated. That’s because alcohol hinders the production of vasopressin – an anti-diuretic hormone which makes your kidneys work harder to remove excess water.  

This is why your skin probably feels tight and looks lacklustre after a heavy night.


Dehydrated skin is one of the known causes of the signs of ageing. Alcohol also robs your body of Vitamin A, which is crucial for cell renewal. A lack of Vitamin A can make your complexion look dull and grey.  


Ever wondered what causes flushing after drinking? Alcohol inflames the body’s tissues and creates a histamine reaction that causes redness.  Alcohol also increases the blood flow, which dilates the blood vessels in our face. This can lead to broken capillaries and red spots that are difficult to get rid of.

If you have a skin condition like rosacea or acne, alcohol can also aggravate it. Many alcoholic drinks are loaded with sugar, which causes insulin levels to spike, further inflaming the skin.


As your body is depleted of vital nutrients, electrolytes and fluids, it looks to store whatever it can. Any water intake can make tissues swell and in turn make your face bloated and puffy.

Drinking lots of water and hydrating from within can help keep your skin looking radiant, youthful and fresh. But going further and giving up alcohol for a while can do even more to combat the effects of alcohol.

What happens to your body in Dry January

How much and how often you drink will determine how you feel if you go alcohol-free for a month. But, these are some of the changes you can expect according to GP Richard Spence:

To begin with, energy and mood levels are likely to be low. Sleep patterns may be disrupted to too.

If you’re exercising, make sure you drink plenty of water. Without alcohol in your system, you’ll find it much easier to maintain hydration levels.

By week two you may feel more motivated and even have lost a bit of weight. Your quality of sleep should improve too, helping you feel more energised and active.

All this has a positive effect on our skin. By the end of the month, you should notice any redness or blotchiness is starting to fade, and your complexion looks clearer and healthier.

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