When you quit alcohol, your appearance changes significantly as a result. Your face will typically become slimmer, skin less dry, and your hair will become stronger. Quitting alcohol also commonly causes the appearance of the skin to change, as alcohol abuse can cause the skin to become pale, dull and blotchy.

See how quitting alcohol changes your appearance and how it affects the body here.


7 Ways Quitting Alcohol Changes Your Appearance

Alcohol abuse causes the body to change, but many of the physical changes in appearance revert if you quit alcohol. Some of the key changes you can expect to see in your appearance include:

Skin Improvement

Alcohol is dehydrating and can lead to dull, dry skin. Quitting alcohol can result in better skin hydration, leading to a more radiant complexion and reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dull and mottled skin is a common sign of alcohol addiction. When long-term alcohol abuse occurs, red and dilated blood vessels often occur in the face, particularly around the nose.

Spider veins are common in people who suffer from alcohol addiction, and although these may take a while to reduce after quitting drinking, the skin will appear much more youthful and healthier.

Some people also experience yellow skin, which is linked to jaundice because of liver problems from alcohol. These symptoms will ease when a person quits alcohol, changing the appearance of the skin and overall appearance.

This is why people appear significantly healthier when they quit alcohol, as it has a huge effect on the skin.

Reduced Puffiness

Alcohol consumption can cause inflammation and puffiness, particularly around the eyes and face. Giving up alcohol can help reduce this swelling, resulting in a more defined facial structure and a reduction in under-eye bags.

Once alcohol consumption has ended, the face often slims down and causes people to appear younger in appearance. Puffiness of the cheeks, jawline and jowls is a common side effect of excessive alcohol use.

Weight Loss

Alcoholic beverages are often high in calories and can contribute to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen (often referred to as a “beer belly”).

Cutting out alcohol can lead to weight loss and water weight. This can occur in the weeks to months following quitting alcohol.

Brighter Eyes

Excessive alcohol consumption can cause bloodshot and dull eyes due to dehydration and strain on the liver. Quitting alcohol can lead to clearer, brighter eyes and a more alert appearance.

The difference in the eyes is a key change after quitting alcohol. Alcoholic eyes are often bloodshot, glazed, watery and droopy, which all changes once consumption has ended.

Improved Hair Health

Alcohol can reduce the body’s essential nutrients, leading to dry, brittle hair and even hair loss. By quitting alcohol, you may experience improved hair health, including shiny and healthier hair.

Reduced Redness and Rosacea

Alcohol is a common trigger for skin conditions like rosacea, which can cause redness and flushing of the face. Quitting alcohol can help reduce these symptoms and promote a more even skin tone.

As mentioned above, alcohol commonly causes broken spider veins, particularly around the nose. Red noses are a common tell-tale sign of alcohol abuse.

Better Dental Health

Alcohol can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease, as well as staining of the teeth. Quitting alcohol can lead to improved dental health, including whiter teeth and fresher breath.

People are more likely to look after their teeth when sober, so dental health is benefitted as a result of quitting alcohol.


Does Alcohol Age You?

Alcohol consumption can appear to accelerate the ageing process, with one of the primary causes being dehydration. The dehydration that is commonly caused by alcohol abuse can accentuate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, making the skin look dull and aged.

As well as dehydration, alcohol can damage the skin’s collagen and elastin fibres, which are crucial for maintaining the skin’s firmness and elasticity. Over time, this can result in sagging skin, which can make the cheeks, eyes, jawline, and jowls appear more bloated and, therefore, older.

Alcohol also impairs the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients, such as vitamins and antioxidants, which play a vital role in skin health. Excessive alcohol use can result in skin issues like jaundice and a sallow complexion as a result of liver damage caused by alcohol consumption.

Extensive and long-term alcohol abuse can lead to premature ageing and an older appearance.


Do You Look Younger Sober?

Many people appear to have a younger appearance if they are sober, as alcohol is ageing. A key reason for this is that the skin is better able to retain moisture, resulting in a more hydrated and radiant complexion.

Reduced inflammation and improved circulation can also contribute to a brighter and more even skin tone. People typically experience better sleep quality, which is crucial for skin regeneration and repair and can contribute to a more youthful appearance.

Quitting alcohol can lead to weight loss and reduced bloating, resulting in a slimmer and more toned physique. Brighter eyes, reduced puffiness, and a fresher overall appearance are commonly reported benefits of sobriety.

If you are wondering how quitting alcohol changes your appearance and want to quit alcohol for good, get in touch with our team at Ocean Recovery today. We offer alcohol addiction treatment to help you get sober – phone today at 0800 880 7596.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: March 1, 2024

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.