Here's What Drinking Is Really Doing to Your Skin (And How Long It Takes to Heal)


We've logged enough hours at the bar to know that having a few drinks too many never bodes well for our skin (or willingness to be productive) the next day. Dryness, breakouts, irritation, and a sallow-looking complexion are par for the course. Nothing a little concealer and highlighter can't fix in the interim, right?

But according to Kim Kardashian's dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer, your skin will be in recovery for much longer than that—whether it's obvious or not.

"It takes about two to four weeks to regulate," Lancer told the Telegraph. "Think about it, someone who has been on birth control pills is not usually totally hormonally static for three to six months after coming off them."

(And as if that point alone wasn't depressing enough, he sold our favorite drunk food down the river...)

"So when you have a hormonal jolt caused by a sugar fest–let's say at a pizza party–there's salt, dairy, carbohydrates, and alcohol. It will take about 30 days for that to naturally calm down."

30 DAYS... As in, like, a month? But what happens when you drink again? Do things just reset? Is our skin in a perpetual state of recovery? 😱

Text, Line, Slope, Font, Rectangle, Colorfulness, Parallel, Coquelicot, Square,

(Image credit: Design by Dana Tepper)

And it gets worse, as Dr. Lancer is back at it again when the inconvenient-for-your-social-life-and-general-happiness truth. Post-hangover brunch is also the enemy.

"Ham, sausage, bacon, bread, hash may as well just shoot yourself," he says. "That is like being on a prison diet. And white bread is a total loss. You might as well paint blemishes on your face."

No, but really, is anything sacred anymore? Maybe our precious red wine—but you guessed it, only in moderation.

"Does this mean you can't periodically have a glass of red wine?' Lancer poses. "No, it means you can't have three glasses of wine."

If you want someone to blame, don't blame Dr. Lancer, as it's really all of his A-list patients with their flawless, glowing skin that exist to guilt out thirsty ways.

"Entertainment people don't have chefs to control their weight," he explains. "They have them to control their skin. They're controlled in terms of caffeine, dairy, and alcohol. When they're on tour or active filming, there is zero alcohol. People we treat in that world are crystal clear in high definition screens because they're meticulously maintained by my recommendations through their cooks and nutritionists."

The silver lining for us normies is that we don't live our life under an HD magnifying glass, so while everything has been duly noted and will definitely be on our brains next time...well, until then:

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Beauty Editor

Lauren Valenti is Vogue’s former senior beauty editor. Her work has also appeared on,, and in In Style. She graduated with a liberal arts degree from Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts, with a concentration on Culture and Media Studies and a minor in Journalism.