Why Does Your Face Turn Red When You Drink? - Ando Gummy

Why Does Your Face Turn Red When You Drink?

Have you ever noticed that your face turns red after a few sips of alcohol? It's a common phenomenon that many people experience, but have you ever wondered why it happens? In this blog post, we will explore the reasons behind the redness and discuss whether it's something to be concerned about.

The Biology Behind the Redness

When we consume alcohol, our bodies go through a series of chemical reactions to break it down. One of these reactions involves the conversion of alcohol into acetaldehyde, a toxic substance. Acetaldehyde is then further converted into acetic acid, which is harmless and can be easily metabolized by the body.

However, some people have a genetic variation that affects their ability to efficiently metabolize acetaldehyde. This variation is more common in individuals of East Asian descent, but it can occur in people from any ethnic background. When these individuals consume alcohol, the acetaldehyde accumulates in their system, leading to a buildup of the substance.

The Role of Blood Vessels

The accumulation of acetaldehyde triggers a response in our blood vessels. It causes the blood vessels to dilate, leading to an increased blood flow to the skin. This increased blood flow is what causes the face to turn red or flushed. Additionally, the dilation of blood vessels can also lead to feelings of warmth or even a sensation of heat in the face and neck.

Other Factors

While the genetic variation mentioned earlier is a significant factor in the red face phenomenon, it's important to note that there are other factors that can contribute to the redness as well. For instance, consuming alcohol in large quantities or drinking it quickly can exacerbate the flushing effect. Certain types of alcohol, such as red wine or spirits, may also be more likely to cause facial redness compared to other beverages.

Is It a Cause for Concern?

In most cases, facial redness when drinking is harmless and temporary. It usually subsides as the body metabolizes the alcohol and clears the acetaldehyde from the system. However, if you experience severe and persistent flushing, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as alcohol intolerance or rosacea. If you are concerned about your symptoms, it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis.


The redness that occurs in the face when drinking alcohol is a common occurrence for many individuals. It is primarily caused by the accumulation of acetaldehyde and the subsequent dilation of blood vessels. While it may be a temporary inconvenience for some, it's essential to pay attention to any unusual or severe symptoms that accompany the redness. Understanding the biology behind this phenomenon can help us make informed decisions about our alcohol consumption and seek appropriate medical advice if necessary.

Back to blog