These Are The Alcoholic Drinks That Are Worst For Your Skin

These Are The Alcoholic Drinks That Are Worst For Your Skin

A glass of wine or three on a Friday evening might seem harmless enough – and frankly, one of life’s necessities after a hard week – but we all know there’s no real benefit to drinking alcohol, especially when it comes to those killer hangovers. Turns out that innocent bevy might be wreaking havoc on your skin, too – here’s what you need to know about the drinks that can seriously affect your complexion.

Red Wine

Unfortunately, the old adage ‘a glass a day keeps the doctors away’ has finally been disproven – red wine isn’t actually good for your heart, and it’s not great on the rest of your body either. Numerous studies have shown that drinking more than a moderate amount of the red stuff can increase the risk of dementia, cancer, depression and heart disease. So, in a nutshell, it’s not the best. But if that wasn’t enough to get you to put the bottle back in the rack, red wine also happens to be the worst alcoholic drink for your skin as well. Dr Isabel Sharkar, who works with skincare brand Sönd, said the unfiltered fermented grape juice can cause “flushing, redness and blotchy skin,” and have a negative impact on conditions like rosacea.

Alcohol is a natural vasodilator, which means it opens up the blood vessels, leading to a flushed or puffy appearance. The sugar in red wine can also be blamed for this, as the wine overloads the liver, and sends it off into the body as raw sugar in the blood.


As you might have guessed, sugar is the main culprit in most of your favourite cocktails. So tasty, but so damn bad for your skin. Cocktails are piled high with sugar, which sparks a chain reaction all the way to your skin: first it causes inflammation, which increases cell damage, which can then lead to acne. And because these sweet concoctions can contain such high amounts of the sweet stuff, they can also lead to sugar hangovers as well as regular hangovers, causing dull, pallid skin and bloodshot eyes – not a great look the morning after a mid-week drink with the girls. And for all those tequila lovers, we have some bad news: the worst of the worst is an old fashioned margarita, as it contains both sugar and salt, which can contribute heavily to puffy skin.


Anyone who’s had a night on the IPAs knows that beer bloat is a real thing, but being able to do your jeans up is not the only thing you need to worry about when it comes to your favourite brewski. Dr Sharkar says beer contains salt, which doesn’t benefit the skin in the slightest. Too much sodium can cause skin on your face to become puffy and bloated due to water retention. It can also cause dry and cracked skin, which can trigger an overproduction of oil as your skin tries to overcompensate for the dehydration, leading to spot breakouts.

Whiskey And Rum

While liquors like whiskey and rum contain no additives, they do contain a substance called congeners, which is added to alcohol as a result of the fermentation process. Not only can congeners make your hangovers even worse – as anyone can attest to after a night of mojitos – it can also contribute to early signs of ageing.

Clear Spirits

Vodka, gin and tequila fans rejoice: Your choice of tipple is the least harmful of them all! Clear alcohol contains the fewest additives and also moves through your body the quickest, therefore leaving it in a speedier fashion than other alcohol. Also, most vodka is made with potatoes which contain no grains, and therefore will move through your body the quickest of them all. Ever wondered why your friend with the penchant for a G&T has the dreamiest complexion? Well, now you know.

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