Nooo! Say it ain't so! Can our favourite alcoholic beverage really be the worst for your skin?
This Christmas, will we be ruining our skin just for the sake of a cheeky tipple? Apparently so. While we assumed that the worst result from engaging in the odd drink or two would just be a sore head and maybe a dodgy tum, it can also contribute to not looking our best. But it gets worse. While you've probably experienced looking slightly rough the day after a few drinks, heavy drinking can cause permanent redness, broken capillaries and inflammation. Because alcohol is so dehydrating, after drinking, skin can look and feel tight, dry and dull.
Different drinks have different levels of 'badness' for your skin. As you might expect, sugary drinks (read: cocktails) are among the worst and sugar contributes to a killer hangover. If you like your margaritas with salt, you're in for some bad news. Salt also dehydrates and can lead to puffiness, especially under the eyes. (So, you might want to rethink those nuts and crisps you so love when you're out on the tear.)
The best alcoholic drinks for your skin
So, no alcoholic drink is actually good for your skin, but some are better than others. In general, the clearer the drink, the better - no, less bad - they are. If you're really trying to be mindful when it comes to your skin of what you're drinking, white spirits like tequila, gin or vodka are your best bet. If you're well on that G&T bandwagon, make sure the tonic you're drinking is sugar-free.
Dark spirits, like whiskey or dark rum go down the chain a bit because they don't have as high a purity rating as their clear cousins.
But what if you're not a spirit drinker?
Well, there's good news if you're a beer drinker. First, it has a lower alcohol rate, and while it does contain some salt and sugar, it also can contain anti-oxidants which, as you know, have anti-aging properties.
If you're a wine aficionado, the news isn't so good. White wine has a high sugar content which contributes to that hangover puffiness. If you've ever experienced a white wine hangover, it's the sugar's fault. White wine, however, isn't as bad as red which - sad drumroll - is the worst drink for your skin. If you're prone to redness, red wine will help with that. Yay. It is a 'vasodilator' and a histamine, which means it opens the skin's blood vessels leading to redness.
It's not all bad news, though. One glass of red wine a day is said to be good for the heart, and some research says it helps prevent the development of Alzheimer's disease.
Obviously, the more you drink, the worse the effects - on your skin, in your body and for your mind. So, this Christmas, be really mindful and aware of what you drink. Don't overdo it and make sure to stay hydrated.