affects of alcohol on faceAlcohol is known to have potentially negative effects on one’s health, including weight gain, liver damage, and brain toxicity. In a recent article in the Daily Mail, a 40 year old mother of 2 who was a habitual drinker (her alcohol intake amounted to about 5 large glasses of wine per week), was challenged to give up drinking alcohol for 1 month in order to assess changes in her facial complexion. As shown in the photos, the improvement was quite noticeable.

At week one, and similarly before she quit drinking, her skin is red and flushed, with dry, rough patches across her cheeks. With long term drinking, blood vessels can become enlarged leading to visible spider veins. After the second week, her face shows some swelling from fluid accumulation. This is again due to alcohol causing blood vessel enlargement. However, she reports getting longer and more restful sleep, which has been shown to eventually contribute to making her look younger. By the third week, her skin is less dry, the swelling in her face has decreased, and she looks healthier, less puffy and slimmer, especially around her cheeks and jowls. Finally, after one month, her energy level has increased, she lost 3lbs, her face is slimmer and her skin continues to improve – less redness, fewer spider veins, and less swelling in her face.

Week 1 woman's face 1 week after alcohol Week 2 woman's face 2 week after alcohol

Week 3 woman's face 3 weeks after alcohol Week 4 woman's face 4 weeks after alcohol

Photos: Gordon Jack/

Your facial appearance is not just skin deep, and alcohol intake is but one of many variables that plays a part in how healthy and young you look. Maintaining an appropriate skin regimen including proper nutrition, sun avoidance and abstinence from smoking and drinking all contribute to helping you look your best.

Dr. Olivia Hutchinson is a board certified plastic surgeon in NYC, with a practice dedicated to aesthetic plastic surgery of the face, breast and body. Our office is located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and is equipped with a fully accredited AAAASF Operating Room for the safety, privacy and convenience of our patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Hutchinson, please contact us or call us at (212) 452-1400.

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