How Your Drink of Choice Affects Your Skin

Updated 09/23/16

In This Article

Any esthetician or dermatologist will tell you the key to beautiful skin is staying away from alcohol—and sugar and dairy, for that matter, but we digress. Alcohol. All alcohol is dehydrating, which means dull, dry, aging skin. But is a glass of vino a better choice than a vodka soda?

Scroll through to find out how your drink of choice affects your skin!

Dark Liquor

Dark Liquor in shot glass

Liquor contains congeners, which give drinks their flavors and colors. Dark liquor contains a lot of them. Bourbon, for example, has 37 times as many congeners as vodka has. Dark liquor also undergoes extra fermentation and contains more impurities than clear liquor does. All of that means bad news for your skin. Liquors like tequila, scotch, brandy, rum, and whiskey will dehydrate your skin and deplete it of essential nutrients like vitamins A, B3, and C.

Clear Liquor

Clear Liquor

Hard liquors, dark or light, take a toll on nutrient, antioxidant, and oxygen levels in your skin. But ordering a Smirnoff with only eight impurities is a better bet than ordering Maker’s Mark. Clear liquors also skip the extra fermentation step. But, don’t get too excited. Drinking hard liquor with a higher alcohol content means increased redness from dilated blood vessels, so you'll see flushed cheeks and a reddening nose. That rosy “glow” subsides when the drinks stop flowing, but over time with prolonged alcohol consumption, you can actually stretch your blood vessels, leading to broken capillaries (which means permanent redness, drinking or not) and spider veins.

Wine

Wine

Oh, sweet, sweet wine. Lower alcohol content? Good. High amounts of sugar? Bad. Yes, wine contains some antioxidants like resveratrol, but not enough to outweigh the sugar (and slight salt) factor. Wine also contains tannins—what gives grapes their color—which can cause irritation and flushing, especially in sensitive skin. If you have rosacea, steer clear of red wine (it contains more tannins than white wine does). It’s also worth noting that cheap wine tends to contain more congeners than the good stuff, meaning it will dehydrate you even more. Just because you’re not going to drink it constantly, however, doesn’t mean wine can’t be a part of your life—shop our favorite wine beauty products!

Beer

Beer

While wine has a sugar problem, beer has a salt problem. It’s the most dehydrating drink you can choose. Most beers are made from grain, aka gluten. Gluten raises your blood sugar, which not only makes you crave more sugar but also destroys cells faster and lowers vitamin B levels. On the other hand, beer contains antioxidants and important nutrients like niacin and folic acid, both of which offer anti-aging benefits.

What’s your drink of choice? How does it stack up against the alternatives? Tell us below! 

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