Does Alcohol Dry Out Skin?

Does Alcohol Dry Out Skin
– In the short term, drinking alcohol can cause dry skin, flushing, dark circles, and decreased elasticity. Prolonged alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorder can lead to or aggravate a variety of skin conditions. Eliminating alcohol from a person’s diet and lifestyle should help the skin to clear up.

Will my skin improve if I stop drinking?

1. Your Skin Looks Brighter – Have you ever noticed how tired you look after a long night of drinking? Well, it’s not just because of the hangover you’re likely experiencing. It’s also because of the effect that alcohol has on your body, including your skin.

  1. The more you drink, the more dehydrated your skin gets, causing it to appear dry and porous.
  2. Alcohol also deprives your skin of necessary nutrients which can lead to waxiness and rashes, and make you more susceptible to sun damage.
  3. These side effects can have a lasting impact, lead to more wrinkles, and speed up your skin’s aging process.

Fortunately, your skin can bounce back from the effects of alcohol. By giving your body a month-long break from drinking, you’re allowing your skin to rehydrate and regenerate. The best part is that you don’t have to wait an entire month to start seeing the changes.

Why does rubbing alcohol dry your skin out?

Rubbing Alcohol Effects on Skin – Rubbing alcohol (isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol) is antiseptic, meaning that it prevents the growth of disease-causing microorganisms. This makes it useful for cleaning wounds and sanitizing the skin before an injection.

  1. Although isopropanol is found in many skincare products—most specifically astringents that clean and tighten skin—it is diluted to levels that are less harsh on the skin.
  2. Some may tolerate this well, while those with sensitive skin may not.
  3. Undiluted rubbing alcohol has a different effect on the skin.

Unlike products specifically formulated for facial skin, rubbing alcohol has a very high alcohol content (typically at least 70%). This can affect sebum, your skin’s natural oils. Sebum has many key functions essential to skin health. It:

  • Lubricates the skin to protect against friction
  • Locks in moisture by preventing evaporation
  • Makes skin impervious to external moisture that can cause dryness during evaporation
  • Transports antioxidants (like vitamin E ) from sebaceous glands to the skin, protecting it from harmful free radicals
  • Provides protection against harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun
  • Has antibacterial properties that can reduce the risk of skin infections
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease tissue redness and swelling

By stripping the skin of sebum, you remove the natural protections that can help the skin heal if you have acne. Even the occasional use of rubbing alcohol can cause skin irritation, dryness, and inflammation.

Does alcohol dry out oily skin?

‘Alcohols can damage the skin’s natural protective layer and seriously reduce the presence of the natural oils your skin needs to stay healthy. They are very drying and harsh on the skin, causing irritation and detracting from the skin’s natural regeneration,’ says Lesley.

Does your face change when you stop drinking alcohol?

Choose Your Health First – While we might all worry about our appearance, it’s really our health that should be put first. Even if you’re a casual drinker, alcohol will have a toll on your health in one form or another. One of the most visual changes is how it affects our appearance.

  1. As soon as you give up alcohol, it’s amazing just how fast your appearance will change.
  2. You’ll look more vibrant, in shape, and healthy.
  3. In addition to all of these big changes above, you’ll also experience less puffiness, less bloating, a slimmer appearance, clearer eyes, and smoother skin.
  4. Your smile will change as well, your dental health will improve because alcohol has a bad impact on dents, gum, breath, and oral hygiene.

You will be more flexible in choosing dental insurance plan if your dental health is on a better level. Better yet, you don’t have to wait to see a difference. As soon as your body is able to clear the last of the alcohol from your system, you’ll notice some big changes.

Is alcohol drying to face?

Look at the Location of Alcohol on the Ingredients List – Just like a food label, you can get a sense for how much alcohol is in a product by examining where it lands on the ingredients list. “In small or reasonable concentrations, products can still benefit from the good effects of alcohol to optimize their product while reducing the bad effects,” says Frieling.

If alcohol is one of the top ingredients, it’s likely to be drying, says Fine. With chronic use, this could disrupt your skin’s barrier. A disrupted barrier allows moisture to escape skin and gives potential irritants entry in, resulting in redness and inflamed skin. A reasonable place for alcohol to appear is lower on the ingredients list.

“If it is lower in the list, past sixth, it may not be concentrated enough to deplete your skin’s barrier,” says Frieling. She recommends opting out of using products that contain ethanol, methanol, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol, and benzyl alcohol, “especially if these are listed high in the ingredients, as they can pose a problem for dry skin,” she says.

What happens after 2 weeks of not drinking?

Week two of giving up alcohol – After two weeks off alcohol, you will continue to reap the benefits of better sleep and hydration. As alcohol is an irritant to the stomach lining, after a fortnight you will also see a reduction in symptoms such as reflux where the stomach acid burns your throat.

What a month without alcohol really does?

Here’s what a month without alcohol really does to your body is well and truly upon us and if you’ve committed to a month sans booze, bravo. We aren’t here to tell you what to do and if Dry January is your idea of utter hell then we raise a glass to you.

If you are partaking in the 31 day alcohol-free challenge and starting to crave a glass of vino as we approach the weekend (just me then?), we’re here to motivate you to keep going by debunking exactly what happens to your body when you quit booze for a month. So, you’re trying a month without alcohol but what’s in it for you? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot.

According to Alcohol Change UK, who spearheaded the Dry January challenge, giving up alcohol this month will help you and have more energy, improve your and concentration, give you brighter, help you save money and feel an amazing sense of achievement.

  1. Want more proof? We called on Dr Usman Quershi, GP and founder of Luxe Skin by Dr Q, to break down exactly what a month of giving up alcohol will really do to your body.
  2. What are the most significant health implications of drinking heavily, and are these easy to reverse after a month of not drinking? Long-term health implications of drinking can include weight gain, skin conditions, heart disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, digestive issues, and certain cancers are even more likely in those that drink too much too often.

Alcohol is a depressant and can increase the symptoms of and disorders. Tiredness, brain fog and memory loss can be caused by regular alcohol consumption too. If you ditch drinking for a month, it will significantly improve your overall health and well-being.

  • You will be able to sleep better, feeling less fatigued and sluggish.
  • Concentration and memory levels will increase as a result of better sleep and it’s likely your mood and mental health will improve too.
  • Skin will feel more hydrated and healthy, and any dryness, puffiness or redness should improve.
  • You’ll find it easier to lose weight and be able to digest food better.

Your blood pressure will decrease, and your liver function will also start to improve. However, these results won’t last long if we go back to regularly drinking heavily. What does alcohol do to sleep, and how does cutting it out impact it? Drinking can often make it easier to fall asleep.

After a few weeks, the liver function will improve, meaning it can do its job properly to rid toxins, metabolise carbohydrates and fats into nutrients, and much more.As this happens, you will feel healthier more energetic with improved digestion, stabilised weight, better skin health, and you might even notice a boost in your mood.Will we see the benefits to physical health immediately?After just one week, you should notice a difference in your physical and mental health and this will improve as the month goes on.Cheers (with a non-alcoholic cocktail like GLAMOUR’s favourite, – the Official Cocktails of Dry January, in partnership with ) to that!

See also:  Can You Drink Alcohol With Braces?

: Here’s what a month without alcohol really does to your body

Will I look younger if I quit drinking?

Final Thoughts – You can’t expect to quit drinking in a single day and become pretty overnight. Instead, there is a lot that goes into changing your appearance when drinking. It is crucial that you dedicate yourself to the entire detox process, so you will get the results you are hoping for.

  • The first step to treating alcoholism is recognizing the issue.
  • Once you accept the problem, you will be ready to take the initiative.
  • Those who quit drinking will notice a positive change in their appearance, but it will take a lot of time and patience until you can notice visible and obvious changes.

Remember, the outside is not the only thing that matters; the inside does too. With on-time alcohol detox, you can get your health back on track. The skin will look younger, with fewer wrinkles, puffiness, and flare-ups. You will have an easier time losing weight and getting rid of the bad smell.

Most importantly, you will give your eyes a new start. Since you can reduce the possibility of infections and redness, the eyes can start working at full steam. Eventually, you will develop emotional stability and learn to love yourself. These are all important strategies if you want to look good inside and out.


Is alcohol bad for your face?

The research is clear: Alcohol harms your skin’s protective surface, depletes vital substances needed for healthy skin, and makes oily skin worse. To put it simply, it’s pro-aging.

Is it good to clean your face with alcohol everyday?

Do NOT Listen to This Dangerous Skin-Care Tip from Reddit If you’ve spent one too many nights deep-diving the depths of, you’re certainly in good company. Especially if your go-to forum just happens to be the SkincareAddiction feed. As a beauty editor at Allure, it’s literally my job to have my finger on the pulse of what’s trending in beauty on Reddit, which, sometimes, can also be a little scary.

Case in point: Late last night, after clicking through dozens of product recommendations and skin type Q&As, I discovered a Reddit skin-care hack so frightening I audibly gasped (twice). On Monday, Reddit user shared a screengrab of a Facebook conversation that recommended using alcohol — as in rubbing alcohol — as a face cleanser.

(Um, excuse me?) In full, the “hack” reads: “Wash your face with alcohol, morning, noon, 5pm, and bedtime. Alcohol kills bacteria. Change your pillow slip and sheet every day. Dirty pillow slips and bed sheets re infect your skin with bacteria. That like wearing the same clothes over and over for a week or 2.

  • I had the same skin problem in high told me this and it works.
  • This is common sense stuff alcohol kills bacteria.
  • Take alcohol wipes to school wipe your face between each class it will clear up in 2 weeks.” It’d be one thing if just a few weirdos — hand raised — were consuming this ill-advised tip.

But, surprisingly, it was super popular, trending in the Rising tab late into the night. Now, before we jump in and start debunking this “tip” there is an aspect that actually stands up. “I’d only recommend using rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), SD alcohol, or denatured alcohol as a disinfectant for a surface wound or to clean skin of bacteria,” says New York City-based dermatologist Dendy Engelman.

  • But when those same forms of alcohol are applied to the face, in this case, like a toner, they strip and destroy the skin’s surface, a.k.a.
  • The “essential barrier that keeps your complexion healthy and protects against bacteria and other environmental assaults,” says Engelman.
  • Because the skin barrier is now depleted, it can no longer hold in moisture, which ultimately leads to dehydration.” If you’ve got an oily or acneic skin type, it may be tempting to reach for something to dry it out quickly and without any fuss.

That no-nonsense approach, as Engelman points out, will only backfire. “Alcohol can actually increase oiliness, as overly dry skin can trigger oil production,” she explains. “In some cases, it can also trigger contact dermatitis, which is the result of continued exposure to an irritant.

Is 70 alcohol safe for skin?

This is a hand sanitizer manufactured according to the Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (CoViD-19); Guidance for Industry.

Is alcohol always bad in skincare?

The bottom line: Some alcohols are safe to use without any skin damage, but some aren’t. As a rule of thumb, Dr. Hu says that skincare products with an alcohol content greater than 1% can be irritating or dehydrating for those with already dry skin.

Does alcohol dry out acne?

– Rubbing alcohol is a type of disinfectant that people sometimes use to treat minor skin wounds. In theory, rubbing alcohol may help to kill acne-causing bacteria. However, no studies are investigating the efficacy of rubbing alcohol as a treatment for acne.

Why does my skin glow after drinking?

Inflammation Too – “Alcohol inflames the tissue, and systemic inflammation to the skin caused by alcohol creates a histamine reaction—that creates the redness, the flushing of the skin. At first you think, Oh, a little red, not a big deal, but over a period of time—six months, a year, two years—if you continue drinking, it can become a prominent you can’t get away from.”

Does alcohol age you?

Final Thoughts About Alcohol and Aging Effects – Even if you’re not a heavy drinker, the toll that alcohol can take ages you. One night of heavy drinking can make your wrinkles more evident. While that consequence is temporary, if it continues, it could have lasting effects.

  1. Regular drinkers can trigger biological functions that make them age from the inside out.
  2. If you drink heavily or consistently, you could activate the aging process, putting you at risk of health conditions that typically affect older people.
  3. If you or a loved one struggles to regulate or limit alcohol consumption, you don’t have to do it alone.

Give your body the best chance at health and reclaim your youthful energy. Our are flexible and customized to target your specific needs. We work with individuals, couples, and families to ensure that you and your loved ones are on the same page when it comes to your sobriety.

What happens when you don’t drink alcohol for 2 months?

How Long Will It Take To Feel Better? – It may take a full month of not drinking alcohol to feel better. Although positive changes may appear earlier, 3 months of not drinking can not only improve your mood, energy, sleep, weight, skin health, immune health, and heart health.

What are the benefits of 14 days without alcohol?

Enjoy Improved Metabolism And Digestion – Alcohol products are full of sugar and empty calories. While two weeks is not a long amount of time, my patients often are already starting to eat healthier, see their metabolism improve, and experience some weight loss after quitting alcohol,

  1. Their improvement in nutrition also starts to positively affect the body’s kidney function and vision abilities.
  2. Alcohol products can also be very acidic.
  3. After two weeks without drinking, the stomach lining can start to normalize, and acid burn can be reduced.
  4. This can cause you to regain your appetite and feel fewer symptoms of nausea and indigestion.

In general, you may start to experience physical benefits such as increased energy, reduced anxiety, and improved liver health. You might also notice positive changes in your personal life, such as improved relationships and more free time for hobbies.

Is it okay to use sunscreen with alcohol?

Why alcohol should be in your drink and not your sunscreen Why alcohol should be in your drink and not your sunscreen The sun, it’s inspired countless songs, brings life to our lonely planet and when it comes out immediately cheers everyone up. But it can be a nightmare for our skin, which is why we need to protect it over summer.

We reckon our No Dice sunscreen is one of the premier products on the market. And over the next couple of blogs will explain why. Alcohol and the sun don’t always mix One of the joys of summer is a cold one on a hot day, but you want your alcohol in your drink and not on your face. The subject of alcohol in skincare products in an interesting and often controversial one.

Some alcohols that are widely used can be harmful to skin, whereas others are relatively safe.There are two types of alcohol used in many cosmetics – safe fatty alcohol and harmful low-molecule alcohol. We only use safe ones in our No Dice Sunscreen – cetyl alcohol, benzyl alcohol and cetearyl alcohol and only in very low doses.

  • The safe stuff Cetyl and cetearyl are both derived from coconut and are fatty alcohols.
  • Typically, fatty alcohols are used as emollients and thickeners in skin-care products.
  • Fatty alcohols are not irritating and, in fact, can be beneficial for dry skin.
  • And the harmful stuff The harmful alcohol is the same type as we drink, and while we enjoy a social beer or wine you wouldn’t rinse your face with neat vodka.
See also:  Does Alcohol Make Anxiety Worse?

In fact the alcohol is altered to make it taste bad. This is to stop us loading up with sunscreen on a Friday night and drinking it – seriously. It is commonly called denatured alcohol, SD alcohol, ethyl, methanol and ethanol. These are often found in high doses in hand sanitizers and hygiene products.

  • Alcohol also acts as a preservative so makes the sunscreen last longer on the shelf.
  • And why it is bad
  • Your skin has natural barriers to prevent substances penetrating it, like bodyguards keeping it free from unwanted toxins.

Alcohol overpowers these and allows the substances in sunscreens and other cosmetics to be absorbed. Breaking down these natural barriers is not good in the long term for your skin and is a cheap nasty way of blocking the sun. Alcohol also evaporates quickly and this has a rapid drying out effect on your skin, adding to the drying effect the sun is already having.

Lastly and perhaps of most concern this type of alcohol ensures that the precursors for vitamin A (such as beta- carotene and retinol) are unable to convert themselves into vitamin A acid. Your skin then becomes deficient in these “skin rejuvenators”. This may also explain why alcoholics age more rapidly.

In short, we don’t need to use alcohol, and we shouldn’t use alcohol.

  1. No Dice
  2. The best protection for your skin this summer, buy some.

Written by Dion Nash : Why alcohol should be in your drink and not your sunscreen

Is alcohol good for acne?

An Ohio State dermatologist explains why you should stop doing these 7 things to your skin Author: Topics: January 09, 2018 Does Alcohol Dry Out Skin We doctors are full of advice, right? Take this, do that. Well, it might surprise you to learn that, as a dermatologist, my advice to patients often starts with ‘Stop doing that.’ Here are some of the skin habits I really want my patients to break. This is probably the most common thing I tell my patients.

It seems harmless to go after blemishes with a scratch or squeeze, but you’re asking for trouble. This can cause bleeding, scarring and even infections. The bacteria that cause staph infections can live under your nails, so just don’t do it. Ideally, fight the temptation and just let a pimple run its course.

It will heal in a few days. It’s best to leave blackheads and blemishes to your dermatologist, but, if you insist on popping a blemish, there is a correct way. Wash your hands and wash the affected area, then apply a clean, warm compress. Softly press down on either side of the blemish.

If nothing comes out, stop because it’s not ready. Too much prodding can force the debris deeper into your skin. Wash the area again afterward. I often see the after effects of people using harsh ingredients on their skin. Don’t use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on wounds or to control oily skin or acne breakouts.

They’re not effective and they can damage your skin, making the problem worse. Just use soap and water to clean a wound, and for acne, use an over-the-counter product with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. A hot, sudsy bath or shower might feel great, but it can damage your skin, especially in winter.

Luke warm water is better. Plus, when you’re not doing much to get sweaty or dirty, you don’t need to scrub your entire body with soap every day. Only the face, armpits and groin, which have increased bacteria, sweat and oils, should be washed with soap regularly. Once you’re done bathing, don’t wait to moisturize.

Water quickly evaporates and leaves your skin dry. Using moisturizing cream as soon as you step out traps some water on your skin and creates a nice layer of protection. I also tell my patients not to wait for their shower after a workout. Sweat and bacteria trapped in moist workout clothes can be irritating on the skin and also cause acne.

  1. If you do hit the public showers at the gym, remember your shower shoes.
  2. We see lots of cases of warts and fungal or bacterial infections from going barefoot in wet public areas such as locker rooms and pool decks.
  3. Believe it or not, most cuts or scrapes don’t need to be slathered with antibiotic cream to improve healing.

Save that for when there are clinical signs of an infection, such as redness around the wound, or yellow or green drainage, or increased pain and swelling around the wound. Because moist skin heals better than dry skin, try using a petrolatum (petroleum jelly) topical ointment with a clean bandage.

  • There’s no avoiding the sun completely, but I really wish people would stop tanning on purpose.
  • It’s simply not healthy.
  • When skin tans, it’s producing melanin as a defense against further damage from ultraviolet radiation.
  • Tanning is known to cause skin cancer and premature wrinkles, so please stop! Instead, use sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30, and reapply every two hours or after swimming/toweling.

You’ll need about a shot glass full of sunscreen to cover your full body adequately. I’ve found that sunscreen sticks are great for wiggly toddlers. If you use a spray, don’t breathe it in (apply in a well-ventilated area or outdoors), use enough to make your skin moist and let it dry before moving around.

  • You should also wear a hat, sunglasses and clothing with UPF 50+ (like SPF for clothes).
  • I also tell my patients to avoid the sun between 10 a.m.
  • And 2 p.m., and use precautions on cloudy days, too.
  • Last, but certainly not least, if you notice something different, don’t wait to see a dermatologist.
  • New growths, changes in moles, or wounds that don’t seem to heal may be symptoms of skin cancer.

Other skin changes such as unexplained or unresponsive rashes, discoloration or changes in texture can signal health problems such as liver disease, kidney disease, diabetes, allergies and other concerns. You’re your own best detective when it comes to your skin.

Is Wine good for the skin?

Red wine as a core ingredient in skin care is becoming the talk of the town. Wine lovers are probably aware of the documented health benefits of their glass of red wine, and these qualities also apply to skin care. A glass of red wine a day, as they suggest, keeps the doctor away.

  1. After a long day, relaxing with a glass of red wine is a wonderful way to unwind.
  2. According to studies, red wine helps to slim down the waistline and even increase the longevity of life span.
  3. Alcohol, believe it or not, can lower cholesterol, and tests have shown that one glass of wine can be equivalent to an hour of exercise.

But, many people are unaware of the fact that the colour of red wine comes from the grape skin, that contains antioxidant properties and not the grape itself. As if a glass of cabernet might get even more magical than it already is, red wine has been infused in a variety of beauty items, from lipsticks to hair masks to bar soap.

Red wine seems to be an elixir of energy, good health and also beneficial for skin. We got in touch with Suraj Vazirani, Founder and CEO of The Beauty Co. to list some of the benefits of wine for you to get a glowing, radiant and youthful look: For ageing skin Red wine is an incredible anti-ageing ingredient and using a product that is stocked with it will completely transform your skincare routine.

Antioxidants in red wine, such as flavonoid, resveratrol, and tannin, help to slow down the ageing process by preserving collagen and elastic fibers. It also reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and hence, provides a boost to a sagging skin. It is a perfect secret to rejuvenate the skin and get a radiant glow that you ever wished for.

  • For acne prone skin Applying red wine topically to the face removes pores, battles acne, and prevents potential breakouts due to its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
  • Begin using wine-infused products and voila! Say hello to clear, blemish-free skin.
  • For naturally beautiful skin Polyphenols in red wine help to turn a dark complexion and give you the radiance you’ve always desired.
See also:  Are There Any Benefits To Drinking Alcohol?

Also, wine is beneficial to extract dead skin cells, therefore, imparting a glowing and youthful look. For healthy, beautiful hair With powerful antioxidants, the strength of red wine extract restores your mane and repairs each hair shaft. When you incorporate this gem into your haircare routine, the end result will be radiant, voluminous hair.

Perks of red wine also prevents hair loss, decreases dandruff and stimulates blood circulation in the scalp. If you don’t use wine-infused products in your makeup routine, you’re missing out. Treating your skin for a few minutes with them will help improve elasticity and tighten skin. With an element such as this, let your skin drink some good old wine and soak up the anti-aging benefits of this ingredient.

This wine-infused beauty trend gives you every reason to extend your happy hour all day. With such incredible benefits from wine extracts, there’s no excuse for not starting your day and end it with a glass of the good stuff. Say yes to wine!

Can you reverse skin damage from alcohol?

Tips to Repair Alcohol Damaged Skin – Hydration is the number one way to reverse alcohol skin damage and keep your skin nice and glowy. But in addition to lots of water, below are some additional ways to repair alcohol-damaged skin that can help:

Exercise regularly: In addition to helping your physical and mental health, exercise also increases blood flow to the skin, helping it stay plump and healthy-looking. One of the ways you can repair alcohol-damaged skin is by exercising regularly and getting your sweat on. Add supplements to your diet: Alcohol can drain the body of vitamin A, which is essential for cell turnover. By taking this supplement daily, you can encourage cell regeneration that’s been inhibited by alcohol consumption. You can also take supplements that are meant to keep your skin, hair, and nails healthy, such as biotin. Other supplements that can help repair alcohol skin damage include vitamins B1, B6, B2, B3, C, E, and Omega 3. Drink non-alcohol alternatives: You don’t need alcohol to have fun. Known as a mocktail, another great way to have fun and keep your skin happy is by drinking non-alcoholic alternatives that don’t have any of the dehydrating properties.

Have a skincare routine: If you couldn’t tell, we’re passionate about skincare, so if you don’t have a nightly routine set in place to care for your skin, then now is the time to start. Whether you have the skin of an alcoholic or not, this applies to you. Make sure to cleanse and moisturize your face to clear it of any bacteria and help soothe and hydrate it. This may not only reverse existing damage but also prevent it. Elevate your head when you sleep: Sleeping with your head slightly propped up can minimize eye and face puffiness. This is because fluids tend to pool in the under-eye area when you sleep with your head lying flat. Slight elevation can prevent fluid accumulation and puffiness in the face, particularly. Sleep with a silk pillowcase: Silk pillowcases absorb less moisture than cotton, so your skin stays more hydrated than if you were to sleep with a cotton pillowcase. Because satin is smoother than cotton, the skin glides over the fabric when you move around at night, preventing tugging and pulling that can cause wrinkles. Wear sunscreen every day: If it’s bright enough to read a newspaper, then it’s bright enough to cause skin damage. For this reason, one of the best ways to repair alcohol-damaged skin and prevent future damage from occurring is by wearing good sunscreen every day.

Which alcohol dries out skin?

The One Common Skincare Ingredient That’s a Total Red Flag Liz deSousa for BYRDIE / Design by Bailey Mariner Skin that feels dry and depleted after toner, moisturizer, or a face wash is confusing—like you’ve just fallen for false advertising. The goal with skincare is never to feel worse over time, so what gives? The culprit may be alcohol, but not just any alcohol—volatile alcohols that actually damage the skin’s barrier.

Maryam Zamani is a London-based oculoplastic surgeon and leading facial aesthetics doctor, as well as the founder of MZ Skin. is a celebrity esthetician based between Austin, Texas and Los Angeles, California. Goesel Anson, MD, FACS, is a Las Vegas-based plastic surgeon and co-creator of FixMD.

To learn more about alcohol in skincare, we chatted with a few dermatologists to sort it all out. Keep reading to find out what they had to say. Before we out the bad alcohols, let’s understand how to differentiate the bad from the good. “Fatty alcohol, which is derived from coconut or palm oil, is sometimes used to thicken a formulation and can be nourishing for the skin,” says, MD.

Ethanol is a well-known topical penetration enhancer, which means it can be used to increase the transdermal delivery of certain ingredients into the skin.” These come by way of names like cetyl (product thickener), stearyl (an emollient to trap moisture in skin), cetearyl alcohol (an emulsifier), and propylene glycol (a humectant to attract water into the skin).

Celebrity esthetician adds that vitamins A1 (retinol) and E are actually alcohols, too, and are beneficial to the skin’s overall surface. Some alcohols are safe, but many aren’t. Rouleau says that evaporative solvent alcohols like SD alcohol 40, denatured alcohol, ethanol, and isopropyl alcohol (also known as simple alcohols) all have a dehydrating effect to the skin and are often used in toners and gel moisturizers.

So why do brands use simple alcohol in their skincare products? Rouleau says they give a tight, cooling, and “refreshing sensation” that oily-skinned gals might find reassuring, despite the fact that they’re stripping away the skin’s natural oils and may be damaging the skin barrier. Zamani adds that they also act as a vehicle to help dissolve ingredients that aren’t water-soluble, as well as drive ingredients deeper into the skin.

The large-scale impact largely outweighs any short-term benefit (or perceived benefit), though. “In the long run, they can enlarge pores and increase greasiness, so avoid products containing any type of alcohol if you have an oily skin type or acne-prone skin,” she explains.

Ethanol in toners can also be quite drying for sensitive skin types, so watch out for that, too. The higher the alcohol is on the ingredients list, the higher the concentration and the stronger it will be on the skin.” Additionally, the National Rosacea Society points out that these astringent alcohols, along with methanol and, can lead to increased dryness and irritation in people with already-inflamed skin.

Sometimes bad alcohols aren’t so terrible. “They are acceptable when used in spot treatments since the goal is to dry up the infection, and alcohol can do that,” says Rouleau. “Sometimes they will also be used to decrease any surface oil before an esthetician applies a professional chemical peel to ensure the peel gets into the skin the deepest.” What if you just want to avoid the word “alcohol” in your skincare altogether? Goesel Anson, MD, FACS, co-creator of FixMD, says this would be doing yourself a disservice: “If you excluded every ingredient that ends in OH, you would be missing out on those that have more beneficial properties, like fatty alcohols.” Fatty alcohols aren’t scary and are actually beneficial in skincare to help draw in and hold moisture, but simple alcohols are drying and damaging for most skin types, especially those with dry, sensitive skin, or rosacea.

  • That said, if you want to avoid adverse reactions, be sure to double-check the ingredients label before adding a new product to your skincare routine.
  • And, if you’re unsure about an ingredient on the list, click over to the to quickly uncover whether or not it’s safe for your skin type.
  • Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.

Read our to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy. : The One Common Skincare Ingredient That’s a Total Red Flag

Why is my skin bad after quitting alcohol?

At the beginning of withdrawal, it is common to have some skin discomfort, namely dilated pores, the appearance of acne pimples, redness, etc. This is due to the fact that, during the first few days, the body is trying to eliminate accumulated toxins.