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What alcohol does to your skin (and how to minimize it).

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We’re not here to lecture you on the health effects of alcohol—especially since the Bottlecode team enjoys our fair share of giggle water. And we likely don’t need to tell you that alcohol isn’t going to do your skin any favors. That said, we thought we’d offer up our best (and often implemented) strategy on how to enjoy a few adult refreshments without wreaking total havoc on your face.

Before we get into the strategy, let’s skim through the science (Cliffs Notes version) on how alcohol affects your skin.

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases the production of urine which leads to dehydration—a leading cause of baggy eyes and wrinkles. Drinking alcohol also increases inflammation, which can worsen conditions like acne and rosacea.

With that out of the way, here are a few tips for saving your face while knocking back the sauce.

When deciding what to drink, go with the purest option. Clear liquor like tequila, vodka, and gin are easiest on the skin because they have the least amount of additives. More additives mean more work for your body to process and break down the alcohol. All that extra work shows up on your face in the form of dull, tired, and potentially inflamed skin. But clear liquor only works if you sip it straight, on the rocks, or mixed with soda water. Sugary mixers will cause inflammation, break down collagen (hello, wrinkles), and—as you’ve probably learned the hard way—give you a gargantuan hangover. 

If you're not a clear-spirit kind of guy, your next best option is beer or dry red wine like cabernet. Dark liquor like Scotch and Bourbon are on the more damaging end of the spectrum. (We took this news hard, too.)

Regardless of which poison you pick, it’s always good to assist your liver in flushing out the toxins by drinking one or two glasses of water between each beverage.

And, last but definitely not least, what kind of skincare company would we be if we didn't remind you how important a PM skincare regimen is? Washing your face and moisturizing before bed will limit the effects that alcohol has on your skin by locking in moisture and repairing damage on a cellular level.

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The breakdown
  • 01
    The choice is clear

    Tequila, vodka, and gin are processed faster than dark liquors, which means less damage to your skin.

  • 02
    Slash the sugar

    Sugar causes inflammation which not only affects acne and redness but also breaks down collagen and leads to wrinkles.

  • 03
    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

    Drinking water between each drink will help to flush out your system and keep your skin clear. It might also knock a few beverages off your nightly tally by keeping your hands occupied.

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