Truth or myth: drinking alcohol makes my acne worse

As if having spots isn’t bad enough, we’re also frequently being told that we have to change our diet and lifestyle. For instance, many sources of information about acne affirm that we should be avoiding alcohol, eating more vegetables, and cutting back on fatty foods including dairy. However, the information offered online for instance, can be conflicting. So how true is it that our diet is actually responsible for breakouts? We speak to consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Kluk who tells us if there’s any truth in the claim that alcohol makes acne worse.

Alcohol can lead to hormonal imbalances

Unlike some of the other foods and drinks we are told to avoid, Dr Kluk explains that the studies carried out to determine the relationship between acne and alcohol confirm that alcohol can affect the balance of our hormones, which in turn can aggravate our acne.

Hormonal imbalances can make acne worse because our sebaceous glands, (the glands which produce the oily substance on our skin which is called ‘sebum’) are overly stimulated, which leads to an overproduction of sebum. The excess sebum can then mix with bacteria and dead skin cells in our pores, which then creates new spots.

Alcohol and lack of sleep make acne worse

Don’t cancel your weekend plans just yet though. Dr Kluk told us that there simply isn’t enough evidence to say that alcohol directly causes breakouts.  What the dermatologist did however point out, is that stress is a known cause of acne flare ups. So if you are drinking heavily, not getting enough sleep, and neglecting your skincare regime, you may find it harder to keep your acne under control. For these reasons Dr Kluk suggests sticking to the recommended weekly alcohol limits, so that your skincare regime isn’t completely thrown out of kilter.

 

Tags:
  1. Nutrition

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