The Best & Worst Holiday Sips for Your Skin

We love a good holiday party — festive bites, merry sips, and lots of tinsel! Indulging is part of the fun of the season, but we try to be mindful so as not to overdo it. Part of the not overdoing it means making smart choices around the table…and at the bar. Today we’re talking all about our favorite holiday drinks and how they stack up in terms of their impact on our skin — are they naughty, nice or somewhere in between?


Spiked Hot Chocolate | Spiked Egg Nog | Mulled Wine

It’s no doubt that these frothy sips warm you from the inside out, but they’re not so great for your skin. Sweetened with lots of sugar, they’re high on the glycemic index which has been shown to have inflammatory effects on the skin, thus increasing the risk of acne breakouts and inhibiting the skin’s natural repair process.

With an added shot of alcohol in the form of rum, brandy or even Bailey’s, these drinks get a double dose of sugar which increases their inflammatory profile. Some even suggest that alcohol’s dehydrating effects on the body (it’s a diuretic) are evident on the skin, leading to reduced plumpness and less glow.

The real culprit behind these drinks, however, is their impact on our beauty rest. Alcohol may cause us to feel drowsy, but sleep after drinking is hardly restorative. Our skin cells recover and rejuvenate overnight, so compromised sleep means a lackluster complexion and unwanted puffiness.


Red Wine | White Wine | Champagne

Although these options all contain alcohol and thus have the same sleep-limiting properties, they’re in their pure form which means no added sugar. Red wine, in particular, has resveratrol which is an antioxidant with anti-aging properties.


Holiday Spritzer | Sparkling Water

Spritzers are light and fizzy drinks that feel quite merry, especially when made with seasonal fruit juices. One part champagne or white wine to one part sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice, they’re half the alcohol which means half the damage to the skin. By adding a splash of 100% fruit juice like pomegranate, cranberry or orange, you’re ringing in the holiday cheer with a mini dose of antioxidants and only a tiny fraction of the sweetness from other holiday libations.

Sparkling water, or seltzer, has become quite popular in recent years, with more flavor combinations added to the shelves each year. While store-bought flavors like cranberry-pomegranate and mandarin orange can certainly feel festive and wintry, try adding a splash of 100% real fruit juice to your favorite plain sparkling water for a sophisticated, homemade, party-ready treat. Try a mix of organic pomegranate and cranberry juices or organic cherry and lime. Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds and a citrus wedge to make it extra special and to add to the antioxidant profile.

Healthy sipping,

Dr. Dolder

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