Your Skin at Happy Hour

Most of us enjoy happy hour with friends. It’s a time to unwind and catch up on the week. But cocktails and wine can take their toll on our health and our skin. What’s the downside and what can you do to turn your get-togethers into a healthier experience?

What That Drink Does To Your Skin

Dehydrates: Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it promotes the production of urine and loss of fluid. All types of alcohol hinder the production of vasopressin, a hormone that maintains the volume of water between the body’s cells. As a result, the body is losing water, while making it more difficult to rehydrate.

Impacts Metabolism of Nutrients: More than moderate drinking, generally defined as more than one drink a day for women and two drinks per day for men, impedes the metabolism of various nutrients important for skin and overall health. Alcohol inhibits fat absorption, which then inhibits the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, and E.  Vitamin A is an antioxidant, fighting free radicals that cause cellular damage.

Acts as Vasodilator: Alcohol dilates the blood vessels, which leads to redness in the skin, as well as puffiness under the eyes. Habitual alcohol usage can lead to spider veins when blood vessels burst.

Damage from Byproducts: When alcohol is metabolized by liver enzymes, the ADH enzyme releases acetaldehyde, which is toxic to tissues. Resulting dehydration also causes premature aging of the skin.

How to Have a Healthier Happy Hour

Red or White? Red wine contains antioxidants, molecules that prevent free radicals that play a role in the aging process. Red wine is fermented with the grape skins, which makes it rich in tannins and resveratrol, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-aging properties in contrast to white wine, which has lesser amounts.


Order an App: Choose a vegetable-based appetizer or shrimp cocktail. Avoid drinking on an empty stomach.

Switch Off with Water: Drink sparkling water or water between drinks.

Avoid Sugary Mixers: Choose soda water instead.

Skip the Fancy Drinks: Cocktails like mojitos, margaritas, and frozen daiquiris are high in sugar, which increases an inflammatory response, aging the skin. If you must order a margarita, skip the salt, which leads to a puffy face.

As long as you stick to one glass of wine or a low-sugar cocktail, you can still enjoy happy hour without health risks. The antioxidants in red wine can also provide some benefits to your health and skin. Be sure to avoid drinking on an empty stomach, stick to low-sugar cocktails, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. And stay safe!