Alcohol is not good for the skin, but does it help to mix it with something that is? At the very least, these skin-beautifying cocktails are tasty.
I didn’t much like it when my dermatologist refused to tell me that alcohol wouldn’t negatively affect my skin, no matter how much I insisted that Campari should be full of antioxidants because it is red. She just sort of nodded and reiterated that alcohol dehydrates the body, causes redness, and depletes vital skin nutrients.
But there are some foods that are good for your skin! Eating those, I’m told, will improve elasticity and prevent damage and make me glow like Miranda Kerr until I’m 97. Maybe, I figured, I could drink something that included both alcohol and damage-preventing ingredients and somehow come out back at zero.
When I started asking about foods that were good for my skin, my dermatologist must have thought I’d accepted the loss of cocktails and was taking a proactive approach to nutrition and skincare. It’s probably not what she had in mind, but I was really looking for ingredients to put in cocktails.
Even if I can’t do anything to stop from getting older (Spoiler: I can’t), it’s not like I was going to give up cocktails forever. I’m as paranoid as the next person about getting wrinkles and sun damage, but at the end of the day, I’d rather be a wrinkly old lady with a cocktail than a smooth-faced teetotaler.
Blueberry Smash Cocktail
The Blueberry Smash is easy to make because it pretty much just involves mashing fresh blueberries, lemon rounds, lime rounds, and mint leaves together and topping them with vodka and elderflower liqueur.
Blueberries are high in vitamins A and C, and they have tons of antioxidants that protect your skin against damage.
Recipe: Bon Appetit
Avocados may be the perfect food. They’re full of healthy Omega 3 fatty acids that help keep your skin nice and supple. Also, they apparently can make for a creamy twist on a daiquiri, according to Lucy Brennan’s Hip Sips: Modern Cocktails to Raise Your Spirits.
Blackberries are particularly high in an antioxidant called ellagic acid, which helps protect your skin from pollution and prevent damage. Thanks to their rumored anti-inflammatory properties, blackberries also are said to be able to help puffy eyes, which is good because we intend to smash them with some gin and brandy and eat them that way.
Recipe: Food Republic
Tomatoes are the original superfood. They have lots of vitamins and antioxidants that are good for the skin, like beta carotene and lycopene. Dale DeGroff’s Bloody Mary also has carrots, beets, fennel, and garlic, which, as far as we’re concerned, means drinking it is like eating a very healthy vegetable stew.
Recipe: Bon Appetit
Easier Bloody Mary Recipe: Martha Stewart
Sparkling Sour Cherry Aperitivo
Bon Appetit calls this a “Persian Kir Royale,” and as far as I’m concerned, any cocktail gets bonus points for being topped with champagne.
Also, tart cherries have even more antioxidants than blueberries, and research has indicated that their juice can reduce pain and inflammation, so maybe the hangover won’t be so bad.
Recipe: Bon Appetit
Grapefruit juice is credited with restorative properties that flush out toxins and feed skin cells. They also make an amazing Margarita.
Recipe: Sweet Life Bake
PomWonderful pomegranate juice recently got in some trouble with the FTC for saying pomegranate juice could treat prostate cancer, heart disease, and erectile dysfunction. Pomegranate juice is reputed to have skin-boosting antioxidants, and Oprah thinks these are delicious. If Oprah likes it, it must be good for us.
Recipe: Food Network
Apple cider vinegar is the “cheap beauty trick” of countless celebrities. As much as we want to hear Scarlett Johansson say, “I spend six million dollars a year on human growth hormone,” she’s just going to blush and talk about apple cider vinegar.
It’s supposed to work as a topical treatment, but people swear that drinking it makes one’s skin and hair look better from the inside as well.
Shrubs are old-timey cocktails made with fresh fruit and vinegar for some bonus antioxidants with your vinegar, then mixed with gin and seltzer because it’s hot and you want to get drunk.
Recipe: Serious Eats
Mae West Royal Diamond Fizz
Goji berries are known for their antioxidant properties and are super healthful and good for us. Also, you can soak them in bourbon for a couple days, and then they are even better. As a bonus, this one has a whole egg, pomegranate liqueur, and a champagne topper.
The Glowing Green Smoothie
This one isn’t technically a cocktail, but green juices are so hot right now, and celebrities are particularly obsessed with Kimberly Snyder’s “Glowing Green Smoothie.” Dita Von Teese swears by it, and you know how great her skin is.
OK, so they’re probably not spiking theirs, but people on juice fasts always act a little crazy anyway, so no one will ever know. Just throw a shot or two in there, and if anyone asks why you’re tripping over baby strollers on your way to work, just start gushing about how energized you feel since you stopped eating solid foods.