Improving My Complexion


I am, generally speaking, a non-drinker. I tend to go months and months without anything alcoholic in my system. This is partly because I don’t really have a social life, and partly because I am aware of the downsides to drinking (who wants a dodgy beer belly?) That said, I consumed my fair share of wine over Christmas and I can really see it in my face. My skin is dry, red and blotchy. I’m not a vain person and I don’t “do” make-up and moisturising and all that crap, but it’d be nice to get my skin back to a more normal colour.

As far as I’m aware (limited knowledge on this sort of thing), the three things you need are water, oily fish and vitamin A. I’ve started drinking more water, I eat oily fish anyway (at least 2 portions of fish a week normally), and my main meals are 70%-80% vegetables like brocolli. So now I’m appealing to the more “girly” members of my loyal audience… what else can I/should I be doing to bring my skin back to normal?

I could preferably do with ideas that don’t involve me splashing out on creams and lotions, because that just isn’t going to happen. (The idea is hilarious, though…)

31 comments so far

  1. Hev said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Stop Drinking! What you are doing & time will ease your skin back to its normal tone. That is the best way. Yeah, you could do masks & creams, but I don’t recommend it. But that is me. If your body is not used to that much alcohol then when you put alcohol into your body then it is a shock. Your skin is an organ & it is the quickest way for your body to flush toxins out, hence the dry, red, & blotchy skin. I get the same thing when I overdo it with the alcohol. It usually takes mine about three weeks to settle back down.

  2. Stephanie said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I know you don’t do the makeup and moisturizer thing, but there are just some things you should do to take care of your skin. Washing your face every morning and night with a good moisturizing face wash (don’t use any of the acne ones) and then applying an oil-free lotion really is a good idea to keep your skin rejuvenating itself and turning over skin cells and sloughing off dead ones.

    What you are doing IS good, but there are things you need to do specifically for your skin for good skin health to ensure your skin stays healthy and continues doing what it needs to do for proper function. Daily washing and moisturizing is just part of it. You brush your teeth and floss, right? It’s the same idea.

  3. nelchee said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I know that to a person who never uses creams it seems ridiculous, but for us people who weren’t blessed with a normal complexion (my skin is way too oily) living without cleaning lotions and moisturizer is impossible.
    Would it really be so hard to just put some baby cream once every morning and evening until the problem goes away, once the toxins get out of your system?

  4. Jem said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    Aww man :(

  5. Anthony said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    It’s not beer that gives you the beer belly, it’s the food you eat with it. Generally when you have a beer you sit down and eat as well. So if you continue to do that over a long period of time that’s what gives you the "beer belly" or fat belly which ever you prefer.

    Get some sort of oil free face wash. Some sort of wash that isn’t harsh on the skin. Just use it while your in the shower :)

  6. Josh said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Vitamin E does wonders for the skin.

  7. Lemm said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I’m finding that eating porridge for breakfast is helping me a bit…don’t know if it’s a fluke just yet, but food for thought maybe! (Sorry)

  8. Annie said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Not a lot you can do apart from eat plenty of fruit, vegetables and drink water

    Although, apparently getting 8 hours of sleep nightly improves complexion. I don’t know how true that is though.

  9. Stephanie said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    Your vitamin B complex and vitamin C are good for your skin, but I believe the B complexes are in your fish?

  10. Sam said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    You’ve received great comments already, but I wanted to add that when the same thing has happened to me, it was really only time that got my skin back to normal.

    I also recommend that you do cleanse and moisturize your skin twice a day as it will ensure that it stays soft and supple until you are, well, really old. :p You can do this relatively cheaply by buying a wash and cream from the supermarket (Nivea is a good brand). You can even moisturize by simply using a bit of olive or almond oil (only a bit! Don’t need to look like an oiled up body builder :p). It may seem like a lot of work for something considered vain by many, but your skin is the largest organ you’ve got and it does pay to look after it with a bit of upkeep on the outside, as well as eating well and drinking plenty of water which you are already in the habit of doing.

    Good luck and I hope your skin returns to normal soon, Jem!

  11. Mimi said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    Try to get in some sleep between 11pm – 1am (too early for some, I know), since that’s when your cells (including your skin cells) repair themselves. Or at least that’s what I’ve read in newspapers and magazines.

  12. Arwen said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 10:10 pm

    B vitamins? I know that alcohol strips your body of B vitamins.

  13. Rhys said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Water is a fine and wonderous thing, and keep drinking it.

    I would get an oily scrub for the face as well (boots botanics manscrub if you don’t want to feel girly and want to save money). Part of the issue with oily fish is that it flushes the toxins from the body through the skin. However, if you don’t properly clean the skin, they kinda lay there festering (if that’s a horrible enough analogy for you!).

    Anyway, could always switch to beer, less blotchiness!

  14. Jenny said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Idano. But face steam? :D MEBBEH.

  15. Mimi said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Ditto to the B vitamins. I take Biotin specifically, it also helps my nails and hair grow as a bonus. :D It helps a LOT. I have the worse skin ever in the history of bad skin and without it.. I would never leave the house. :P

  16. Trish said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Well, I’m in to the whole medical thing since I’m going to be a doctor and most of what everyone else has said is pretty much what you should do. I usually just wash my face with soap, but I naturally have good skin…so yeah. :( I did look up this article for you, though. It seems to have some good tips for natural skin care.

  17. Anita said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 11:10 pm

    I have Eczema, that horrible skin condition that not only makes your skin itchy and oily and more prone to zits, but also makes you allergic to almost all cheap lotions. But the thing that works for me to keep it remotely purdy, is…

    Once in the morning and once at night I first rinse my face with hot water (to open the pores) then massage some handsoap on (to clean out the pores) then wash again with cold water (to close the pores back up).

    Then I usually apply Bath & Body Works brand body cream to my legs, arms, and sometimes my face when I wake up in the morning, because I’m only sitting on my computer for the few minutes it takes for the icky sticky stuff to start to get less sticky and icky.

    So I don’t really use fancy products, just a good brand of lotion. And although this doesn’t keep my skin perfect, it keeps away troublesome zits and keeps it from getting itchy.

    I hate fish :(

  18. CC said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Washing your face with water is always good, but don’t use bar soap on it because it’ll dry out your skin and that’ll make things worse. Clean and Clear is really cheap and it works pretty well for me. There’s also tons of banna and honey face masks that you can make at home. Googling home made face masks should get pretty good results.

  19. Chans said:
    On January 12, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    I don’t really use a lot of products but what helps a lot for me is using a cleaning ’tissue’ (you can get them in packs so no hassle with bottles etc) to clean my face every night and apply some cream on it afterwards. If I don’t do that I can see the difference in a few days. It’s not a lot of hassle and if you add it to your daily routine it’s only a minutes work.

  20. Rafia said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 12:53 am

    I have oily skin that sometimes becomes really dry depending on the weather, and I hate using lotions and other cosmetics. If you do decide to put on any lotions, I would suggest going with a moisturizing gel because regular lotion (if your skin is oily and prone to acne) will never dissolve in your skin. Since you are having problems with dry skin, it won’t go away unless your moisturize :( I believe adding soda to that list of things you are avoiding will be beneficial as well.

  21. Ben said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 12:54 am

    I have the same problem as Anita. I have yet to find a product which keeps my new love (lol…) for spots at bay. Other than Eczema I have never had bad skin.. just at the moment I seem to have the worst of both worlds.

    Might try out what Anita has suggested, but if you find anything else, be sure to let me know! :D

  22. Helen said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 1:15 am

    I’m not a girly girl either (not in the slightest, in fact), but I really would recommend moisturising morning and night. I use ‘Simple’ products (check out their website). They’re inexpensive and they’re colour and fragrance free. I have sensitive skin and don’t like smelling like a flower, so it’s good for me :P

  23. John said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 3:12 am

    Interesting, recently I was looking for a solution similar to your problem. Try using eye drops on your face, I read online that it works and I also tried it myself. They really did help, my face looked loads better.

    I know this sounds like a weird idea, but its been tested, it helps.
    Thanks! :)

    PS: Sorry for the URL, I dont have a website I’m just a visitor

  24. Sarah said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 4:51 am

    I really don’t know what to tell you besides purchasing a pretty cheap moisturizer that you can just put on when you get out of the shower. My skin goes to crap in the winter because of all the wind and negative temperatures, so if I didn’t use a moisturizer, my skin would all flake off! I just use a simple Neutrogena moisturizer and I’m good to go. Sorry I don’t have any non-moisturizer suggestions! Good luck!

  25. Lydia said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 5:22 am

    I’m not sure when you changed your layout, as I haven’t visited in a while. But I just wanted to say that I like it a lot–the colors are neat, and everything’s so organized!

  26. Mumblies said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 7:29 am

    Take a multivitamin every day and exfoliate once a month :) Alcohol does indeed take B vits from your system, as does having monthlies and the lack of good natural light at this time of year will deplete your vit D stores too.

  27. Cindy said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve heard that taking a low dose of heartburn medicine (such as Pepcid) can reduce facial redness caused by alcohol. But I would suggest taking vitamins and exercising to get the redness out. Good luck! :)

  28. Luci said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Do a form of exercise that makes you sweat. It flushes out the bad stuff and does wonders for your immune system too.

  29. Kachii said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    You’d be surprised how much difference exfoliation and moisturising makes. I don’t wear makeup unless I’m going out, and I’m really not that girly. These are about the only two products I ever use on my face.

    For a good facewash: St Ives Apricot scrub ( – me and my mum both absolutely swear by it, for real. It’s my #1 facewash of choice. It makes my skin reeeeeally soft and I can see the difference in complexion right away. It’s not hugely expensive either. You can get it from most supermarkets and stuff – easy to find.

    As for moisturiser, I went into Boots and asked one of the people there for a recommendation – they are very helpful and gave me little pots to test out. It really depends on your skin type what moisturiser you need. I always found that their No7 range is very good (their own brand, so cheaper than a lot of others) and they have a large selection of moisturisers. I got the green one (hehe) and it was perfect for me ( It lasts an age (you really only need a tiny teeny little bit each day) so don’t be put off by the price.

    Hope that helps.

  30. Stephanie said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Hah. See? I win. Wash and moisturize ;) All your readers agree with me!

    And I was nice. I didn’t even tell you to exfoliate :P Though I recommend it ;)

  31. Angie said:
    On January 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    as much as you don’t like it, i’ll suggest moisturizer. and keep the water drinking up.