'Tis the season for imbibing, and while we always encourage drinking responsibly, we couldn't be more excited to celebrate the holidays with themed cocktails. But as any former college student can attest, drinking isn't exactly great for your skin. Celebrity aesthetician Angela Caglia puts it this way for Refinery29, "Alcohol dehydrates your skin and robs it of its vital nutrients, so excessive alcohol consumption can contribute to skin's premature aging in the long term, and bloating, puffiness, enlarged pores, dullness, and rosacea the day after."
Considering we're not going to swear off alcohol altogether (we'll save that for dry January), we were interested to know which type of alcohol is going to do the least amount of damage to our skin this season.
The Clearer, the Better
Generally speaking, Caglia suggests living by the general rule of the clearer the alcohol, the better it'll be for your skin.
In that vein, vodka and clear tequila are actually the least likely to wreak havoc on your complexion. "If you're drinking a lot, vodka's a good choice," said Caglia. "With no extra sugar and salt, it gets in and out of your system fast." Most juices and mixers add tons of sugar, so the best way to drink it is actually straight (if you can stomach it).
She also dubs tequila "your best bet if you're looking to keep your skin glowing while treating yourself to … drinks." The spirit actually boasts some health benefits and "can help lower blood sugar and has been said to help with digestion." As far as your skin goes, clear tequila is not related to any rosacea flare-ups, bloating, or inflammation like wine and beer are.
Vodka and tequila are known for being quick ways to having a good time and they each have unique benefits too. Vodka can help more than just your complexion—for anyone dealing with arthritis or high stress levels, drinking several glasses of vodka a month can reduce symptoms on a daily basis. It also can contribute to oral hygiene, as it has been shown to reduce bad breath when mixed with cinnamon.
Studies have also shown that tequila can hep more than just your skin. Because it is a relaxant, it can be used as an infrequent sleep aid. Using it consistently to this end may risk forming a dependency on the liquor, but can be a quick fix when you have had a long day. A specific part of the agave plant has also been shown to improve osteopathic health; its properties help your bones to absorb calcium and magnesium.
So next time you intend to imbibe, consider a liquor that is transparent. Vodka or clear tequila will not only keep your skin looking vibrant, but you may even enjoy their tangential benefits.