The Best And Worst Drinks For Your Skin

Summer is a tough time of year for your skin with the sun damage, the bloat-inducing humidity and the inevitable lack of sleep due to endless warm-weather evening activities — but lathering on exfoliator and SPF 50 isn't the only way to protect yourself. Yes, safeguarding your face is ultra important (with sunscreen and with one of these super-chic hats), but having gorgeous skin isn't just about what you put on it, it's about what you put in it, too.

Certain drinks, just like certain foods, can have harmful effects on your skin. Ingredients to watch out for? Caffeine, sugar, and salt. These additives can dehydrate you and make you bloated, keeping you from looking like your fabulous self. After all, who wants to look puffy and wrinkled on top of their hard earned summer glow? Yeah, not me. Luckily, there are proven "good for you" drinks that flush out your body from these harmful substances as well as the toxins they cause — and most of them actually taste good.

This season, do your body, and your face, a favor: Forego your poolside margarita and pre-game energy drink for a bottle of water and a glass of red wine. Your pores will thank you later.

The Best

1. Water

I know you've heard it a million times before, but that's only because it's true: If you want to have good skin, you've gotta drink water. Considering all of the drinks that are bad for you dehydrate you, it makes sense that you need to consume something that does the opposite (aka hydrates you) to undo the damage. When skin is dried out, the pores contract and are unable to release the naturally secreted oils that keep you looking fresh. Plus, water flushes out your body rids your skin of all those nasty toxins you're always hearing about. Pop in a lemon for the best detoxifying results.

2. Red Wine

OK, fine: alcohol in general is bad for your skin. But there is some amazing news — it looks like there was some truth to the old theory that a glass of red wine a day will keep you looking and feeling young. Certain antioxidants in red wine help protect against oxidative reactions, which come from sun exposure, and can cause sunburns, wrinkles and even skin cancer. I guess Olivia Pope is onto something.

3. Fresh Juice

I don't mean the bottled, sugary kind that are best suited for chasing vodka shots — I'm talking about the real, fresh-off-the-stalk-and-into-the-blender, thing. As unappetizing as they look, green juices have powerful detoxifying elements that are great for your body, and especially for your skin. Adding ginger is a great way to reduce inflammation, and parsley helps with skin elasticity.

4. Green Tea

Though caffeine in general tends to be bad for your skin, green tea is a good alternative for anyone who can't quite kick the habit. It's less dehydrating than coffee, and is a helpful way to get your recommended daily amount of water. Drinking it is great, but rubbing it all over your face can work too!

The Worst

1. All Other Alcohol

There’s a reason why you wake up dying for water after a night of partying: Alcohol dehydrates you, and therefore dries out your skin. Anything with added sugar or salt is the absolute worst thing you can drink if you’re trying to look good (read: not like a swollen shell of a human being) the next day — the sugar worsens your hangover, and the salt makes you bloated. Your best bet is to stick with clear shots, like vodka, gin or tequila (at least for the good of your skin — I can’t make any promises about your behavior) and have a glass of water with every drink.

2. Coffee

I love a venti iced coffee on a hot summer’s day as much as the next girl, but it turns out it may be what’s causing my post-puberty breakouts. The high levels of acid in coffee can mess with your stress hormones and increase oil production in your skin. Coffee can also act as a diuretic (I know this, because I spend most of my days writing and sipping lattes in an East Village Starbucks and have to get up to pee every 15 minutes) so can dry out your skin if you drink too much. Here's an original idea that you definitely haven't heard on every health-food website ever: Try green tea instead! (Seriously, though. It works.)

3. Soda

Despite how good Beyoncé and Taylor Swift look trying to sell you on drinking Pepsi (I, for one, am a Diet Coke girl) the fact of the matter is, the stuff is terrible for your skin. The sugar in soda — even when its diet — messes with your skin cell functions which can prematurely age you, which is something no one wants. Plus, like all of these other bad-for-you drinks, the sugar in soda can dehydrate you and make your fave look wrinkly and dull (yikes!). Try sparkling water instead, or one of these less damaging alternatives .

4. Energy Drinks

Energy drinks may give you a little boost, but they also may give you a dry T-Zone and adult acne. The high amounts of caffeine and sugar in energy drinks can lead to fine lines and wrinkles, which like soda causes premature aging in your skin. Skip the sugar high in favor of a better for you alternative.

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