Inside The Alcohol Campaign Promising To Transform Your Skin In The Space Of A Month

Want glowing skin? Give up alcohol with Macmillan Cancer Support's Go Sober for October and your complexion will be the first thing to benefit...

Go Sober for October
Go Sober for October
(Image credit: MacMillan Cancer Support)

Want glowing skin? Give up alcohol with Macmillan Cancer Support's Go Sober for October and your complexion will be the first thing to benefit...

It’s October which means – not to alarm you – that it’s two months until December which is basically just a month of getting boozy with endless office Christmas parties, pub visits and family gatherings. But if your skin is crawling in anticipation of all of the fun (/sherry) that is imminent, why not give it a rest by taking up sobriety for a month as a part of Macmillan Cancer Support’s Go Sober for October and becoming a real-life superhero?

Ditch the vodka for a water (it looks the same anyway) and swap your wine for apple juice and reap the benefits with clearer skin while asking friends and family to sponsor you for a worthy cause. After all, by raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support you’ll help ensure that no one faces cancer alone, which we can all agree is worth putting down the gin for.

If you can’t bear the thought of attending your best friends wedding or grandma’s birthday without touching alcohol, then no fear, you can still get involved in Go Sober. By simply donating £15 to the cause, you can purchase yourself a Golden Ticket (which is basically a Get Out Of Jail Free card) and drink away for one night only. Perfect.

We spoke to Dr Firas Al-Niaimi, a consultant at sk:n clinics about the benefits of going sober…

What’s the most common skin complaint you see in the clinic?

At the sk:n clinic, our patients come in to seek help with facial rashes, acne and rosacea most commonly.

Run us through the changes that happen to the skin when someone drinks alcohol?

Dehydration is one of the key changes that occurs when someone drinks alcohol, as well as the depletion of vitamins and minerals. In some cases, oxidative stress and dysregulation of certain inflammatory pathways can also occur.

What is it in alcohol that causes the skin to react in this way?

We’re not entirely sure! It’s likely that it’s due to the disruption of so-called water homeostatis – the balance of moisture in the skin – which is caused by dehydration.

If someone was to get involved in Go Sober for October, what is the first change that they should expect to see?

They should expect their skin to look and feel brighter and less tight, as well as being more hydrated with better turgor. Over time, they should also start to see a reduction in flushing!

Why does the skin have more of a glow when someone gives up alcohol? What does the skin produce that makes it glow slightly?

This is usually down to a combination of greater levels of hydration and a vascular component.

Do other factors contribute?

Of course! Better uptake of nutrition, as well as improving your cardiovascular system and sleep pattern, all contribute to your skin – and how it looks and feels. Also if someone has given up drinking alcohol then they might also start making healthier choices in other aspects of their life, which could also contribute.

Can giving up alcohol for a while reverse some of the effects of drinking?

Drinking alcohol can certainly increase the oxidative stress which contributes to internal ageing, and going sober for a while can help to further some of the signs of ageing, along with other preventative measures such as wearing a high SPF (at least 30) and limiting exposure to UV rays.

What can those doing Go Sober for October do to maintain the improvements to their skin once October has finished?

I’d recommend exfoliation, hydration and protection, both with SPF and anti-oxidants.

What encouragement would you give someone wanting to Go Sober for October?

Try it! Not only will you be doing something amazing for people affected by cancer, but it could also benefit your skin!

sk:n clinics, the nationwide group of trusted skin care experts with over 25 years’ experience and a long-standing partnership with the NHS, is proudly supporting Macmillan Cancer Support’s Go Sober for October. The fundraising challenge asks people to bin the booze from 1st – 31st October 2015 to help ensure that no one faces cancer alone. Head to to sign up and be a Sober Hero for Macmillan.

The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.