9 Drinks That Will Improve Your Skin (Besides Water)

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Toners, serums, and moisturizers are common in most skin care routines, but you can also drink your way to a natural glow with beverages that are good for your skin. I'm not just talking about water, either (although that's obviously recommended): There are plenty of other drinks out there that contain supercharged ingredients like antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and collagen that'll leave your complexion looking radiant and glowy. So while you're investing hard-earned cash in your beauty regimen, you may want to consider setting aside some money for good-for-you drinks as well. (Plus, they're pretty tasty.)

While these drink options aren't guaranteed to fight off aging, they can help promote hydration and leave your skin looking its best. Keep in mind that, like topical skin treatments, drinks may not change your skin overnight, although they can have long-term benefits that'll keep your skin looking better for longer. Who wouldn't want that?

So, whether or not you've got a skin care routine down pat already, do your complexion a favor and grab one of these nine drinks.

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1. Spearmint Tea

Bustle spoke with San Fransisco-based dermatologist Dr. Caren Campbell, who explained that spearmint tea has been shown to reduce testosterone levels which in turn helps prevent excess hair growth and acne along the upper lip, chin, and jaw. In addition to preventing hair growth, green tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which studies have shown to help reduce inflammation and prevent dehydration.

You need to drink quite a bit, though, to see results: Dr. Campbell recommends three cups of hot or iced spearmint tea per day.

2. Bone Broth

Bone broth has been championed as a good-for-you drink, especially when it comes to acne treatment. Lindsay Malachowski, esthetician at SKINNEY Medspa in New York, says bone broth contains amino acids and minerals that may promote natural collagen production and aid in anti-aging efforts. According to naturopathic doctor Kellyann Petrucci the same amino acids, like glycine and proline, promote sleep, combat inflammation, and improve digestive health, all benefits that would also help your skin.

Ultimately, though, more research is needed to prove bone broth's ability to improve your skin, because few studies exist to support the theories that it boosts collagen production. According to a study published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, bone broth has not proven to be as effective as taking collagen supplements.

3. Bovine Collagen

Dermatologist Dr. Hadley King recommends collagen beverages (typically made from bovine sources) as options that can help improve your skin. While you can take collagen supplements in pill form, they're also often found as powders that you combine with liquids to create drinks.

Dr. King points to a study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology that shows "promising" results for skin aging. While she admits that more studies and trials are needed to truly prove its efficacy, she's not alone in her recommendation.

Dr. Campbell also cites collagen as a potential skin helper. "If your diet is lacking in protein, drinking collagen can help give you more amino acids — aka the building blocks of collagen — so that you can make more collagen and improve the overall look of the skin," she says.

4. Vitamin C-Packed Fruit And Vegetable Juices

Although collagen should not be used as a replacement for a quality diet and skin care routine, Dr. King does cite vitamin C consumption as something that can work in tandem with collagen to help the skin. "You also need vitamin C because it is essential in the pathway to build collagen," she says. "A vitamin C supplement can be helpful if you are not consuming enough of it in your diet."

While yes, you could run out and pick up a packet of Emergen-C, other natural ways to ingest it include cold-pressed juices from tomatoes and oranges. According to Harvard Medical School, cold-pressed versions of fruits and vegetables are often better able to retain their nutrients.

5. Green Tea

Like her spearmint tea recommendation, Dr. Campbell champions green tea as a skin helper, pointing to a study published in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity linking the drink with antioxidants, which can help prevent signs of aging and loss of skin elasticity.

According to Josie Holmes, an esthetician at SKINNEY MedSpa, oxidation is "the process of free radicals stealing electrons, which can accelerate signs of aging, loss of elasticity, and hyperpigmentation. Antioxidants help to stabilize these free radicals by offering up their electrons — this helps to prevent damage to healthy cells."

6. Coffee

While you should monitor your coffee intake due to its diuretic effects, Dr. King tells Bustle the drink "could theoretically help fight off oxidative damage from free radicals," and a 2014 study supports that theory. But you shouldn't overdo it. Studies show that three to four cups of coffee per day is the sweet spot, and Dr. King also recommends staying hydrated.

7. Matcha

If you're not a fan of green tea, you can try matcha instead. Like green tea, the drink is packed with antioxidants, but according to Dr. King, it's concentrated with a specific one called Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. According to a study in the International Journal of Molecular Science, EGCG could boost moisture retention and prevent wrinkles.

8. Red Wine

Wine lovers, rejoice — a glass of vino can actually be good for your complexion. Holmes says red wine also contains antioxidants that are good for your skin. Dr. King backs this up: "Skin is exposed to free radicals from UV radiation, pollution and other sources, so yes, theoretically antioxidants, either systemic or topical, can help fight off oxidative damage from those free radicals." Just watch your intake: According to Alcohol.org, women shouldn't exceed one drink a day, and men should have no more than two.

9. Soy Milk

According to Dr. King, soy milk can be a mixed bag when it comes to skin benefits. Although it can cause hormonal acne, she also says it can help encourage collagen production. According to a Japanese study published in 2018, consumption of soy milk was shown to improve the condition of skin, including moisture levels and elasticity.

Experts:

Caren Campbell, MD

Hadley King, MD

Josie Holmes and Lindsay Malachowski, estheticians at SKINNEY Medspa

Studies referenced:

Grant, P. (2010). Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytotherapy Research, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19585478

Han Y, Jiang Y, Hu J (2020). Tea-polyphenol treated skin collagen owns coalesced adaptive-hydration, tensile strength and shape-memory property. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32251748

Alcock, R. D., Shaw, G. C., & Burke, L. M. (2019). Bone broth unlikely to provide reliable concentrations of collagen precursors compared with supplemental sources of collagen used in collagen research. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 29(3), 265–272. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2018-0139

Choi, F. D., Sung, C. T., Juhasz, M. L., & Mesinkovsk, N. A. (2019). Oral collagen supplementation: a systematic review of dermatological applications. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30681787

Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky SL, et al (2000). Collagen: the fibrous proteins of the matrix. Molecular Cell Biology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21582/

Pullar, J. Carr, A. Vissers, M. (2017). The roles of vitamin C in skin health. Nutrients. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/

Jacob K. Periago MJ. Böhm V. Berruezo GR. (2008). Influence of lycopene and vitamin C from tomato juice on biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation. The British Journal of Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17640421.

Ovetakin White, P. Tribout, H. Baron, E. (2012). Protective mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in skin. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3390139/

Ningjian, L. Kitts, D. (2014) Antioxidant property of coffee components: assessment of methods that define mechanisms of action. Molecules. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6270823/

Kim, E. Kyeonghwan, H. Jongsung, L. Yun Han, S. Kim, E. Park, J. Cho, J. (2018). Skin protective effect of epigallocatechin gallate. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796122/

Pavlidou, E. Mantzorou, M. Fasoulas, A. Tryfonos, C. Petridis, D. Giaginis, C. (2018). Wine: an aspiring agent in promoting longevity and preventing chronic diseases. Diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165230/

Oon, H. Wong, S. Chen Wee Aw, D. Cheong, W. Leok Goh, C. Hee Ten, H. (2019). Acne management guidelines by the dermatological society of singapore. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715335/

Accorsi-Neto, A. Haidar, M. Simões, R. Soares-Jr, J. Baracat, E. (2009). Effects of isoflavones on the skin of postmenopausal women: a pilot study. Clinics. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2705153/

Nagino T, Kaga C, Kano M, Masuoka N, Anbe M, Moriyama K, Maruyama K, Nakamura S, Shida K, Miyazaki K. (2018). effects of fermented soymilk with Lactobacillus casei Shirota on skin condition and the gut microbiota: a randomised clinical pilot trial. Beneficial Microbes. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29264969

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