A dangerously addictive vice at its worst and one of life's great celebratory pleasures at its best, alcohol is tricky to get right. While it's no beauty elixir, one glass of red wine a day is okay, even healthy, some might say. But when you start your morning with a round of mimosas at brunch, down a bourbon nightcap come midnight, and account for a few too many beers in between, the repercussions are not so fun. Not only does it mess with your liver health and your clarity of mind, hitting the bottle too hard can seriously fuck up your skin — if you're not careful.
As celebrity aesthetician Angela Caglia tells us, alcohol dehydrates your skin and robs it of its vital nutrients, so excessive alcohol consumption (think: drinking like you're still in college), can contribute to skin's premature ageing in the long term, and bloating, puffiness, enlarged pores, dullness, and rosacea the day after.
So if you're wondering how people go out and drink, then walk into work the next day looking like they got a full eight hours and did a face mask the night before, the answer is this: They're cognisant of their skin and the way it reacts to certain types of alcohol when they're walking up to the bartender. Caglia recommends living (or drinking) by the general rule of thumb that the clearer the alcohol, the better it'll be for your skin. Red wine, dark whiskey, a piña colada — these are the things a killer hangover and a puffy face are made of. Straight-up, no-frills shots? Surprisingly not so bad.
Ahead, we're breaking down what the most popular alcohols (beer, white wine, red wine, vodka and tequila) do to your skin. Think of it as a guide to keep your happy hour from fucking you up. Your skin, that is.