The short answer is no one knows for sure. I haven’t been able to find any studies that directly link the two but that hasn’t stopped individuals searching for an answer. Drinkers often complain about waking up with a few extra pimples or their acne flaring up a night after drinking. So while we can’t say for sure if it does or does not cause acne, we can look into potential reasons as to why it may affect acne.

Dehydration: Arguably the easiest culprit in the mix for causing acne would be the fact that alcohol dehydrates your skin. On our sister site, we’ve talked about the benefits of water and healthy skin was one of them. By drinking alcohol you counteract hydration and thus, your body doesn’t get cleansed and your cells can be filled with toxins that may cause acne. As it is, many of us normally don’t get enough water on a daily basis so having that alcohol in your system can only make it worse. You cannot cleanse and detox your body, flush out toxins more often.

Liver: The liver is used to help filter out our blood. After consuming alcohol moderately over time, fat deposits can form on the liver and block the liver cells from their blood supply. This causes the liver to be deprived of nutrients and oxygen and will eventually damage it. When the liver gets damaged, it shows up on your skin. All of a sudden, toxins that were eliminated and excess blood sugar that could have been converted to glycogen run free through your bloodstream. That tainted blood now makes its way throughout your body, including your face and acne can form.

Candida: Candida is a fungus that can be found in high yeast and sugary products and also in us. It lives in harmony within our body but things like stress, sugar, yeast, and alcohol can help throw the balance off and cause candida to overgrow. Since symptoms can vary, someone who has the fungus infection might not know it and instead, pass it off as an acne outbreak. Candida may not only be able to cause skin blemishes, but also help feed the growth of acne.

Regiment Hurt: Your skin thrives on a regiment; it wants to be cleaned, nurtured, and moisturized on a schedule. After a night of drinking, if you’re borderline drunk, there’s a good chance you’ll forget about cleaning your face and pass out. This is especially bad if you’re at a club and dancing. Sweat, makeup, and dirt can make its way on to your face and can clog pores. Not washing that off means you’re just asking for a morning breakout.

Of course not all of these issues matter to everyone. Some people are more susceptible and a few drinks will cause them to break out and other people won't break out at all. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough research about the acne alcohol link so we cannot say for certain. What we can say is that drinking plenty of water, avoiding high sugar/fat in your diet, and staying away from alcohol may be a way to help deal with problematic breakouts. Have any of you dealt with waking up with acne after a night of drinking, let us know here.