Skin-Saving Advice For Navigating The Holiday Bar
Holiday party season is in full swing and cocktails are flowing. But that spiced rum punch is a skin saboteur hiding beneath a star anise garnish. Before you indulge in the festivities, there are some things you should keep in mind.
Let’s face it; alcohol is not great for skin. It’s dehydrating. It depletes your body of the all-important antioxidant vitamin A. It can be a trigger for rosacea flare-ups. It can cause puffiness due to increased blood flow. It disrupts your beauty sleep. And it’s often the delivery system for a huge amount of hidden sugar, a trigger for inflammation, glycation, and oxidative stress.
If you still want to raise a glass to celebrate the season, a few simple strategies can help you minimize the ripple from the tipple.
Avoid the sugar bomb. Most alcohol has low to no sugar. Distilled spirits (gin, vodka, rum) have zero carbs, zero sugar because both get removed in the distillation process. However, adding mixers and syrups can push the sugar content off the charts.
Choose pure juices, not the corn syrup-laden variety that tends to be the standard at the bar. Opt for club soda instead of tonic water, which has nearly as much sugar as soda: 32 grams (8 teaspoons) in a 12-ounce can (a can of Coke has 39 grams). Leave out the liqueurs, which can have up to 6 grams of sugar in one ounce.
Watch the carbs. Some alcohols are low on sugar, but make up for it in carbs, which your body will turn into sugar. Beer is a good example. A 12-ounce glass of beer contains 13 grams of carbs. A five-ounce glass of wine has from 0-4 grams of carbohydrate. Drier wines are at the lower end of that spectrum. Champagne is topping out at four. Liquor has zero.
Hydrate. Alcohol dehydrates the body, including your skin by disrupting the hormones that regulate water retention. It causes you to excrete more and reabsorb less liquid. Follow a drink with a glass of water to reduce the effects and limit your alcohol consumption.
Whatever you choose to drink, do it in moderation. Your skin is only one area of your life that can be negatively affected by too much alcohol. Drink plenty of water to combat dehydration. Eat something to help slow absorption. And choose your drink wisely. Red wine, one of the lower carb/sugar options, offers some benefit in the form of antioxidant resveratrol. That’s going to be your most skin- and health-friendly choice.
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