The key to glowing skin this summer could be cutting back on day drinking

Glowing summer skin may be unattainable if you’re a day drinker.

D.C.-area dermatologists say you might want to consider an alternative to your favorite alcoholic drink this summer — at least when the sun is highest.

“Alcohol is actually really dehydrating,” said Dr. Randa Khoury with Kaiser Permanente. Khoury is a dermatologist and chief of dermatology for the Northern Virginia Region of the Mid-Atlantic Permanente Medical Group.

Although she admits that the D.C. area’s waterfronts, boats, rooftop bars and countless other restaurants make for the perfect excuse to say it’s five o’clock somewhere, she warns: drinking in the sun and heat could do more than dehydrate you. It can cause a lot of inflammation.

That inflammation can bad for your skin, especially if you are prone to acne, redness, spotting and other conditions. Khoury says effects can kick in as early as the first drink.

“As you have even a single cocktail, you not only become a bit more dehydrated, but your propensity to have another cocktail certainly goes up,” she explained. “Then we start forgetting about things like seeking shade, applying sunscreen.”

Lack of sunscreen, especially in the dog days of summer, can lead to burning, spots and even skin cancer, as harmful UV rays penetrate more frequently and with greater power this time of year.

Khoury says another byproduct of these side effects is that you also forget to drink water while day drinking, which is the essential component for healthy looking skin. She recommends an alternative that can keep things fun.

“Mocktails are a fabulous way to incorporate all of the fun, fresh feeling of a cocktail in summertime, while still giving your body and skin what it needs,” Khoury told WTOP.

She says muddling and mixing certain foods can actually have a positive effect on the skin — and your body as a whole.

“Blueberries are great to mix into a drink, and have great antioxidant powers,” Khoury said.

She adds that mint and basil have great anti-inflammatory properties, which when mixed with an alcohol-free sparkling drink, could be just what you need to stay refreshed while enjoying yourself at the same time.

“The skin never forgets,” she remarked. “It has a very long memory and loves to hold a grudge.”

Whatever you choose to do, she says do so responsibly this summer. But she adds that cutting back, even just a bit and during the day only, could be noticeable right away.

Matt Kaufax

If there's an off-the-beaten-path type of attraction, person, or phenomenon in the DC area that you think more people should know about, Matt is your guy. As the features reporter for WTOP, he's always on the hunt for stories that provide a unique local flavor—a slice of life if you will.

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