It’s Tuesday, which means many of us are still recovering from a fun, booze-soaked long weekend. And now, your face looks bloated, puffy and dehydrated. Sound familiar?
The thinking is that your skin’s health is an indicator of your internal health, so you may have ‘wine face’, ‘sugar face’, ‘gluten face’, or even ‘dairy face’.
Our skin is a clear indication of what is happening within our digestive system, how our body is able to metabolise toxins (both endo and exo toxins) and how well it is absorbing the nutrition from our diet, too. – Jacqueline Alwill.
The good news? You can treat it and get your skin back to normal. We spoke to Jacqueline Alwill, nutritionist, whole foods cook and health writer, for the inside scoop on what to look out for and how to combat your skin woes.
If you’ve sipped your fair share of rosé, you may notice your skin looks dehydrated and less plump, says Alwill. Why?
“Alcohol is a diuretic so the most prominent characteristic will be dehydrated skin, loss of the plump, elastic complexion of healthy skin. If there is a more chronic issue at hand, it can also present with inflamed skin, larger pore size and because of the impact of alcohol on the liver, a more sallow, yellow, pasty complexion may present,” explains Alwill.
Eaten one too many sour squirms or cinnamon-laden doughnuts? According to Alwill, you’ll likely see it on your face in the form of sagging and premature ageing, redness, dryness and an overall dull complexion. Why?
Sugar causes inflammation, resulting in the breakdown of collagen and elastin, which keep the skin firm and supple, explains Alwill. Other symptoms include breakouts along the T-Zone.
Characteristics Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye, which can cause an inflammatory response, leaving the face looking swollen or red. Other indicators of ‘gluten face’ are eczema, psoriasis, acne and rashes, says Alwill. Why?
“If you are intolerant or allergic to gluten, have poor gut integrity or low immunity and consume gluten it can trigger the immune response resulting in inflammation of the skin,” says Alwill.
Some of the most common characteristics of ‘dairy face’ are acne or breakouts around the chin and cheeks, as well as dull skin. Why?
“It depends on the amount of dairy intake, but dairy products can contribute to acne, which can be unpleasant and particularly upsetting for many of my female clients. This is because the dairy milk we consume is from pregnant cows, therefore also full of hormones. Milk can trigger more of these symptoms than a piece of cheese. Cheese is also lower in lactose,” explains Alwill.
How to nourish your skin from the inside out, according to Jacqueline Alwill
Firstly, use your intuition with your diet. If you sense that something is triggering an unpleasant response in your digestive system and you can see it in your skin then look at eliminating and keep a record of the response/symptoms over that time. It’s not that hard to eliminate certain foods especially if it makes you feel rotten. Ultimately you’ll feel and look all the better for it!
Focus on gut integrity by integrating probiotic rich foods such as fermented vegetables, miso, kombucha and sauerkraut. This ensures your skin is being delivered optimal nutrition because your gut is in top condition to absorb those nutrients from our diet.
Aim to eat the colours of the rainbow with vegetables, in particular, to enrich the diet with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemical to fight the ageing effects of free radicals on our skin cells and replenish the body with nutrients such as vitamins A, C, E and zinc – all vital for beautiful glowing skin.
Hydrate well with water primarily and reduce consumption of caffeine and alcohol to a minimum. It’s incredible how quickly you can turn your complexion around by focusing on hydration, yet one so easily missed. Over the warmer months, if herbal tea is too much, chill it with some lemon, lime, mint and a few berries to change things up.