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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | Why Does Wine Make My Face Red?

Why Does Wine Make My Face Red?

Dr. Schultz puts it best, “Wine makes people happy. That is… until it turns their face a shade of bright red.” Many of us enjoy indulging in a glass (or two, or three) of wine, but have you wondered why your face turns the shade of the liquid in your glass once you being drinking?  

There’s a very simple explanation to what’s going on there. Anything that you put into your body that increases the amount of blood in your skin, like alcohol, is inevitably going to make your skin redder. The blood vessels in the middle layer of your skin, known as the dermis, expand when alcohol is in your system. But it doesn't affect everyone in the same way; how red your skin gets when drinking depends on three different factors. 


How red is your skin? The shade of red is dictated by the size of your blood vessels. So, ask yourself, do you have a rosy complexion or are you on the paler side? How red your skin is to start with, meaning how large are the blood vessels? Your answers are telling of how red your face is likely to turn when sipping on a glass of Cabernet. 


Second, how sensitive are your blood vessels to the effects of the alcohol? How are they responding to it once it enters your body, and how much are they enlarging? Everyone’s body will respond differently, so even if you’ve consumed the same amount of wine as your drinking companion, it may have different effects on each of you.


And finally, how much alcohol are you drinking? Most wines are 12 to 14 percent alcohol, which is much lower than hard spirits, coming in at around 40 percent or more. The lowest of the three, beer, is usually comprised of 4 to 6 percent alcohol. 

If wine is near and dear to your heart, as it is to Dr. Schultz's, don't fret, the redness will subside by the next day. 


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