We have all heard the mantra “hydrate” when it comes to glowing skin. However that is usually as far as most of us think when it comes to drinking as a means to improve our skin. And yes, of course hydration is key – dehydrated skin not only looks older, duller and appears to have more fine lines and wrinkles, it is also tricky to even pretend to improve this with make up. Those of you who struggle with evenly applying make up the morning after the night before know exactly what I’m talking about (those who do not struggle are clearly genetically blessed, under 22 and can stop reading right now).
There are a number of small changes you can make to what you drink, that can vastly improve the texture and clarity of your skin. Patience is also required though, as all those small changes can take a while to show their effect – similar to how adjusting your diet to make it healthier will not lead to 20lbs of weight loss in a week, but sustainable weight loss – but are much easier to adopt.
Yes I am a self-confessed coffee addict, and yes, I’m advising watching your intake of same. But unfortunately too much caffeine really does make breakouts more likely, cause dehydration and likely interfere with those hours of beauty sleep (insert sad face emoji here). I gave up coffee for a few months as an experiment once (and missed it dearly, but did survive) and did find I slept better, and my skin was clearer. However, once the number one rule of hydration is obeyed, I have found I can quite easily have 1-2 cups of decent, strong, wonderful coffee before my skin begins to suffer. Reducing the intake and not drinking it after lunch is a happy medium for me – I am not a pain in the a$$ to work with sans caffeine, but I’m able to get my 7 hours of shut eye without any problem. If you usually have 4-5 half decent cups a day, why don’t you buy yourself a really good coffee on the way to work and then again mid-morning if needed? Nothing says “treat yo’self” more than a Butler’s chocolate with your coffee.
Reconsidering your cocktail
Cocktails or a few glasses of wine at the end of a long week is a fabulous way to finish a Friday. Switching up some of the ingredients in your go-to tipple could really help both your head and your skin the next morning, without losing out on any of that TGIF feeling. Clear liquors like gin or vodka are traditionally “cleaner” and easier for your body to process. Dark drinks have higher concentrations of congeners – toxic compounds formed when alcohol is fermented. Most mixers are brimful of sugar, and when mixed with alcohol this is bad news for your skin (and your teeth!). Swap a sugary Cosmo for an Aperol Spritz, or try changing one of the particularly sugary ingredients. Soda or sparkling water are the only truly acceptable substitutes, and also help with the very important rehydration. This does not mean saying buh-bye to G&Ts, but going every second round with a vodka and soda with a slice of lime or cucumber could reduce your overall intake of sugar and have a massive impact on both your hangover and skin texture the following morning.
Starting your day the right way
The first thing you drink in the morning is verrrry important. It kick starts the detox process and helps to get “things” moving. Warm water with a slice of lemon is possibly the best thing you could drink when you wake. It gently wakes up your stomach, and helps you hit the ground running when it comes to the all important hydration. Lemon juice also helps to keep your blood sugar steady, according to Tim Ferriss, author of “The Four Hour Body” and NYT bestseller “The Four Hour Workweek”.
Adjusting your smoothie
Green juices and smoothies are an instagram staple for almost everyone these days – from digital influencers to hard core yogis. Some of them are fantastic for your skin, kale in particular is packed full of Vitamin A which helps promote cell growth and healthy cell turnover, but some are nothing more than coloured sugar and will spike your blood sugar from here to the moon in record time. Stick to mainly vegetable based smoothies, which, unlike juices, include fibre in the finished product and therefore reduce the impact on your blood sugar. Adding skin superfoods like the above mentioned kale, and a tablespoon of hemp seed oil or flaxseed oil will really amp up the glow factor. Alchemy juice on Grafton St have a delicious menu of juices and smoothies with plenty of skin friendly ingredients.
The above suggestions have made a big difference to my skin, and reduced the frequency of breakouts but I am always on the lookout for more. Do you have any recommendations to add to the list?