Sunday 21 December 2014

Extreme Beauty: The beer facial

Sinead Van Kampen

Published 08/04/2010 | 12:56

Library image. Photo: Getty Images

Each fortnight Extreme Beauty investigates what's new and cutting edge in the battle to remain young and beautiful. This week we hit the bar in search of youth, beauty and supple skin.

What is it?

A treatment which harnesses natural ingredients to provide the skin with a boost of polyphenols, phenolics, bacteriostatics, antioxidants and aid skin health through anti-inflammatory cell regeneration.



In English?

Take half a can of beer, some honey, avocado and a little vinegar, mix in a bowl and use as a face-mask, apply liberally and wash off after 30 minutes.



Why?

Beer is packed with nutrients which act as a great boost for healthy skin. Full of B vitamins, brewers yeast also promotes skin healing by acting as a salve to dry and inflamed skin, in theory, great for laughter lines.



What should I order?

Guinness, barley beer, stout and brown ale are high in nutrients purported to be good for the skin. Wheat beer also contains the necessary components and is brewed at a low temperature which preserves the enzymes in the yeast which work in the facial.



Who likes it?

In Babylonia, thought to be the birthplace of beer, women used it to refresh their skin. In ancient Greece, Hippocrates used beer as a tonic for fever and to heal wounds.



What does it feel like?

In a word, awful. The mixture is sticky, gooey and rough around the eyes. Using lager on one side and Newcastle Brown on the other, the beer mixture was applied warm to prevent the pores from closing, which, along with the vinegar, makes the smell quite unpleasant. Even after being washed off, my face and neck still smelled worse than the local shebeen. Far from being a relaxing, restorative skin treatment this particular home-brew brought me out in blotches.



The benefits - real or imagined?

Sadly, imagined. Scientific evidence on the benefits of the beer facial seem to be strictly anecdotal and of the qualities you would look for in a facial such as hydration, skin repair, line reduction or skin tautening, this method provided none of the above. In the end I needed more than a top up.



Extreme rating?

Standing naked on the bathroom tiles slapping warm beer onto a blotching face is anything but intoxicating. When my other half discovered I'd used his beer and proceeded to offer me an alternative method in using beer as an aid for female beauty, things really did begin to get extreme.

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