While there exists no published research specifically attempting to link alcohol with acne, researchers have performed several studies on the affects of alcohol on hormone levels in humans. Hormones are an important factor in acne development, so this research is worth a look. Two separate studies of both male1 and female2 humans showed both testosterone and estrogen levels higher after alcohol consumption. One other study showed the opposite—decreased testosterone in physically active male soldiers who are regular drinkers.3 While the specifics vary, we can see an overall trend toward alcohol affecting hormone balance. We do not, however, have enough evidence at this time to draw a causative link between alcohol and acne. More research is required.

acne and stress myth

Stress

Overuse of any drug, including alcohol, can cause stress. Drinking too much can veer one's life off course, and in severe cases can cause people to lose their jobs, friends, and family. All of these outcomes are stress inducing. We know that stress and acne are related, so this is something to think about.
acne and regimen myth

Missing your daily regimen

Getting drunk can cause people to miss their nightly skin care regimen. Missing even one application of your daily regimen can lead to breakouts.
acne and irritation myth

Irritation

In order to prevent acne, it is important to avoid irritating one's skin. Alcohol acutely affects motor skills. A person is simply not as careful when under the influence of alcohol. This can lead to increased irritation of the skin and potential breakouts as a result.

  1. Sarkola T, Eriksson CJ. "Testosterone increases in men after a low dose of alcohol." Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. 2003 Apr;27(4):682-5.
  2. Martin CA, Mainous AG 3rd, et al. "Alcohol use in adolescent females: correlates with estradiol and testosterone." The American Journal on Addictions." 1999 Winter;8(1):9-14.
  3. Venkat KK, Arora MM, et al. "Effect of alcohol consumption on bone mineral density and hormonal parameters in physically active male soldiers." Bone. 2009 May 18.