Is Wine Bad For the Skin?

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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Dehydration and sugar can be bad for your skin, especially long-term. But wine doesn’t have any ingredient exclusive to it that’s bad for your skin. The sweetest white wines have about 15 grams of sugar per 5 ounces which is on par with soda. Dry wines barely have any sugar at all.

However, all wines are diuretics, which means they promote water loss from your body. Diuretics lead to dehydration if you over-consume or don’t replace those fluids. The key to preventing skin damage is drinking wine in moderation and drinking an adequate amount of water around the same time.

Different kinds of wines in glasses on a table - are they bad for the skin?

Is red wine bad for the skin?

Red wine tends to have less sugar than white wine, so when comparing them side by side, red wines are generally better for your skin. A standard glass of wine usually has less sugar than a single candy bar, however, so it’s important to have context. 

Sugar Content of Wine Per 5 Ounces

  • Pinot Noir – 1g
  • Cabernet Sauvignon – <1g
  • Merlot – <1gm
  • Shiraz – 1g to 12g
  • Rosé – 1g to 40g

A grande frappuccino has about 55 grams of sugar, and a small Mcdonald’s Sprite has 35 grams. When we consider our other everyday indulgences, wine is often by far a healthier option for our skin.

Is white wine bad for the skin?

While white wines have more sugar than red wines on average, a dry white wine still has only trace amounts of sugar. A dessert wine can be worse than some sodas, though. So stick to dry whites or just a glass or two of sweet ones. Overindulging occasionally will not irreparably harm your skin, though.

Humans have been drinking wine for thousands of years, and we’d likely know by now if drinking wine on a regular basis made us noticeably less attractive. As long as you’re not neglecting your skin in other areas of your life, you’re probably not looking worse for wear.

Can wine dry out your skin?

Yes, wine can dry out your skin. But only if you neglect to drink water or another hydrating beverage like sports drinks (without caffeine), juice, or coconut milk. Dehydration is also a contributing factor in hangovers. Although contrary to popular belief, it’s far from the sole factor of waking up with this tell-tale sign of drinking the night before.

But keep a glass of water handy to help prevent dry skin and hangovers. You can’t immediately rehydrate yourself once you’ve reached the point of dehydration. So it’s important to drink throughout the day and not attempt to guzzle half a gallon of water the next morning.

Does wine ruin your skin?

No, wine doesn’t ruin your skin. Beauty magazines would have us believe that everything under the sun is bad for our skin. In reality, there are only a few major things that might qualify as “ruining” skin. Smoking cigarettes and tanning are much worse for your skin than having the occasional glass of wine.

The effects of drinking a few glasses of wine per week won’t be noticeable, but going without sunscreen for 20 years will be. If your skin seems noticeably worse lately, it’s likely not the wine, so see a dermatologist to determine what’s ailing it and how to fix it.


Sugar and dehydration aren’t good for your skin, but many wines barely have any sugar at all, and dehydration is preventable. Sometimes we’re too quick to blame one specific thing for skin issues. Sun damage and smoking are terrible for the skin.

Occasionally dryness, breakouts, dark spots, and other problems are simply hormonal, stress-related, or influenced by other factors unrelated to wine. You can drink wine and still have glowing, healthy skin.