Alcohol, Wheat, Dairy: How Long Does It Take For Your Diet To Affect Your Skin?

Hint: It's not very long at all. Sob.

Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 11.23.10

We’re all too aware of the effects that a three-day pizza and wine binge can have on our waistline, but it turns our our skin could be suffering just as badly.

If you’re ever woken up after an evening of carb-loading with puffy eyes and the first signs of a giant spot smack in the centre of your face, you’ll know what we mean.

So how long does it take for the food we eat to show up on our skin? The results are in…

Dairy – 12 hours

Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 11.21.27
It’s difficult to notice the effect dairy is having on your skin unless you cut it out for a while before reintroducing it, but once you do that, well, it’s all systems go. If you suffer from acne or blemishes that are linked to an underlying lactose intolerance, you could notice break-outs as soon as 12 hours after indulging in milk, cream or cheese, so keep your dairy-fest for times when you don’t have a big event coming up.


Wheat/gluten – Two hours

kendall pizza

You can’t sit in a restaurant for more than five minutes these days without hearing someone mention a gluten intolerance, but there’s a good reason for it. The inflammatory properties of gluten-rich foods like white bread, pizza dough and cakes mean you’ll start feeling that telltale puffiness around the eyes within just two hours.


Sugar – Six hours


Eating high-sugar foods on the regular is a fast track to dry, dull skin, and the effects can set in within a mere six hours. Not to mention that pounding headache and sugar hangover you get saddled with after over-indulging in all those office sweat treats. Not a winner. Stick to desserts made with natural sweeteners like agave and stevia when you can.


Alcohol – Straight away, up to 12 hours

Screen shot 2016-04-05 at 11.24.13

If you’re prone to redness, you’ll notice the effects of alcohol on your skin after the first few glasses of Prosecco. Fast-forward to the next morning, and dehydration means you may notice blotchiness, dryness or even breakouts. The solution? Water, coconut water, green juice – whatever it takes to feed your skin before, during and after cocktail hour.