© iStock

© iStock

Do you know how your gin tonic might be affecting your skin?

Discover what’s going on under the surface while you’re sipping your cocktail.

British soldiers are credited with having invented the first gin and tonic in 1825 in India. They had to take quinine tonic every day to prevent and treat malaria, but it had such a bitter taste that they started adding gin and sugar to the tonic to make it more palatable. The cocktail has been making a comeback in recent years, with gin sales up by 40% since 2010 in the UK, and artisanal waters and tonic syrups securing a foothold in the soft drinks industry. While it’s fine to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine from time to time, enjoying one too many drinks at happy hour on a regular basis could result in premature skin aging.

The four faces of aging: wine face

There are “four faces of aging” according to Dr. Nigma Talib: gluten face, dairy face, sugar face, and wine face. This means that what you eat and drink can cause skin imperfections, inflammation and premature wrinkles. When you overindulge in alcohol, you get wine face (or in this case, we could say “gin and tonic face”). Your pores look larger, your skin gets dehydrated and your cheeks look flushed – not a good look, let’s be honest here! If you add sugar to your cocktail (which is often found in popular tonic waters in the form of high-fructose corn syrup), it breaks down collagen over time. This combination of dehydration plus sugar could ultimately lead to premature fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the delicate eye area.

How to enjoy your gin and tonics and protect your skin

Limit your intake: Enjoying a glass of wine, an ice cold beer, or a cocktail is totally fine once in a while, especially if you follow the 80/20 rule. Keep your handsome youthful looks by alternating back and forth between one gin and tonic and then sparkling water with mint leaves and a lime or lemon wedge. This “mocktail” is delicious and will keep you hydrated!

Swap the tonic water: If you don’t mind a different taste, soda water will remove the sugar from your drink, which is a lot better for your skin.

Slather on face cream: Even though male skin tends to age better than female skin, you still need a good skincare routine. Without it, your skin will age at a faster rate, no matter how healthy the rest of your lifestyle is. Wash your face twice a day with cleanser, apply face cream, and dab on eye cream.

To sum everything up: You can continue to enjoy your favorite drinks when you’re out and prevent premature aging. Just remember to sip responsibly, drink lots of water, and invest in high-quality skincare products.

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