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Expert reveals the worst alcoholic drinks for your skin

Expert reveals the alcoholic drinks most likely to cause skin issues such as premature ageing and acne – and it’s bad news for red wine lovers

  • Naturopathic doctor Dr Isabel Sharkar ranked alcoholic drinks for Popsugar
  • Warned that alcohol causes issues such as dehydration, puffiness and redness 
  • Least harmful drinks are clear spirits such as gin, which clear the body quickly
  • Sugar in white wine and cocktails won't help skin, while red wine is worst culprit 

By Siofra Brennan For Mailonline

Published: 02:32 EDT, 13 June 2018 | Updated: 12:14 EDT, 13 June 2018

While indulging in your favourite tipple may leave you with a sore head the next day if you overdo things, it can also unfortunately have a negative impact on your skin. 

Naturopathic doctor Dr Isabel Sharkar told Popsugar that issues include dehydration, blotches, redness and puffiness as well as exacerbating free radical damage that leads to premature ageing.

Her comments come after figures from the Office for National Statistics released earlier this month, revealed that 29.2million UK adults had drunk alcohol in the week before they were asked. 

While all alcohol has the potential to cause these issues, some are less likely to cause damage than others, according to Dr Sharkar. 

And while it's probably no surprise to learn that clearer drinks are not the worst offenders, it's bad news for lovers of red wine - even thought it's commonly considered the alcohol with the most health benefits. 

Naturopathic doctor Dr Isabel Sharkar has revealed the real impact of different types of alcohol on your skin, warning of issues from rosacea to puffiness (stock image) 
Naturopathic doctor Dr Isabel Sharkar has revealed the real impact of different types of alcohol on your skin, warning of issues from rosacea to puffiness (stock image) 

Naturopathic doctor Dr Isabel Sharkar has revealed the real impact of different types of alcohol on your skin, warning of issues from rosacea to puffiness (stock image) 

CLEAR SPIRITS 

While drinking any form of alcohol can lead to issues such as dehydration, clear spirits should have the least impact on your skin.

Clear liquors such as tequila, gin and vodka contain the least additives and are processed by the body quickest, therefore being expelled quicker and minimising the potential impact on skin.  

According to Dr Sharkar a vodka made from potatoes, such as Chase, rather than distilled grains will leave the body fastest. 

If you're going to consume alcohol, clear spirits such as gin and vodka leave the body quickly and have the least impact on your skin (stock image)
If you're going to consume alcohol, clear spirits such as gin and vodka leave the body quickly and have the least impact on your skin (stock image)

If you're going to consume alcohol, clear spirits such as gin and vodka leave the body quickly and have the least impact on your skin (stock image)

WHISKEY AND RUM 

Darker liquors typically contain cogeners - chemicals such as tannings and menthanol, which contribute to the taste and aroma. 

A previous study by the BMA found that as a result, Bourbon Whiskey is twice as likely to cause a hangover as the same amount of vodka. 

Symptoms of a hangover such as dehydration can also contribute to early ageing of the skin. 

Dark liquors such as whiskey contain added cogeners, which worsen hangovers and can lead to premature ageing of the skin (stock image)
Dark liquors such as whiskey contain added cogeners, which worsen hangovers and can lead to premature ageing of the skin (stock image)

Dark liquors such as whiskey contain added cogeners, which worsen hangovers and can lead to premature ageing of the skin (stock image)

WHITE WINE  

White wine tends to be high in sugar, which can lead to swollen skin and bloating, which is the last thing you want for your face.  

RED WINE 

Red wine is often touted as the 'healthiest' choice of alcohol as it contains antioxidants. 

It's also been linked to reducing the risk of cancer, protecting against heart problems and improving brain function. 

However, in terms of your skin it's actually the most harmful tipple you can indulge in, especially if you have a skin condition that causes redness such as rosacea.   

As it's unfiltered the liver and kidneys have to work harder to process it, and it's the most likely booze to cause flushing, redness, and blotchy skin.

The sugar in white wine can lead to bloating and swollen skin (stock image)
The sugar in white wine can lead to bloating and swollen skin (stock image)
Red is the worst offender when it comes to alcohol, causing flushing, redness, and blotchy skin (stock image)
Red is the worst offender when it comes to alcohol, causing flushing, redness, and blotchy skin (stock image)

The sugar in white wine can lead to bloating and swollen skin. But red is the worst offender when it comes to alcohol, causing flushing, redness, and blotchy skin (stock images)

COCKTAILS 

That pina colada may be delicious, but the high sugar content can lead to inflammation, which increases cell damage and is a cause of acne. 

As well as the headaches and nausea you might experience, you can also suffer a 'sugar hangover' that leaves skin looking dull and sallow and eyes bloodshot. 

If you are drinking cocktails the worst offender is a margarita as it contains both sugar and salt, which can leave skin puffy.   

How does alcohol affect the skin? 

The first thing a night of booze does to your skin is it dehydrates it

Dehydration means your body feels the need to hold on to more water weight.

That fluid retention then leads to the next-day puffiness many women will be aware of the morning after the night before.

Alcohol also inflames the tissue of the skin and this creates a reaction which is the source of the redness or flushed look in the skin after drinking.

Too much alcohol can cause inflammation which leads to redness in the skin and can aggravate existing skin conditions like rosacea and acne.

If you go out drinking once or twice, the redness the next day might not look too bad - but over a number of years, that facial redness may get progressively worse.

Another common side effect of drinking is bloating and spots. This is often caused after gas forms in your stomach and it later gets trapped. 

Alcohol can play havoc with hormones causing breakouts which can lead to acne. 

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