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Boardwalk Empire, the HBO series that was set in the Prohibition era, aired its final episode this past Sunday. Starring Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson, this show's five-year run gave audiences a feast for the eyes with gorgeous period costumes and sets that recreated Atlantic City in the 1920s and 1930s — not to mention a feast for the ears with a Grammy award winning retro soundtrack.
Far be it for us to reveal the series finale and what became of Nucky, but since it took place in 1931 — as Prohibition came to an end in the United States — we've decided to give it a proper sendoff. We're declaring an end to Prohibition and celebrating the benefits of beauty beer for your skin and hair. Cheers!
As Copley wrote in her article about how beer can improve your skin, the ingredient in beer that helps to maintain a balanced pH level is brewer's yeast. It slows down sebum production and kills acne-causing bacteria, thereby helping to improve the skin of acne sufferers. You'll find Czech beer, hop extract and brewer's yeast in Saela's Beer Hydrating Face Mask (approximately $7 USD), which promises to regenerate nourish, refresh, soothe and soften normal, dry and sensitive skin. Or, if you have some extra beer on hand that you're trying to get rid of, try Copley's recipe for a do-it-yourself moisturizing beer mask.
Swag Brewery, located in Minnesota, serves up a six-pack of beer... soap, that is ($42). Each beer soap is "flavored" with different delicious sounding ingredients, including honey, crushed oats, vanilla, orange peel and coriander. Their soap is derived from their own beer, which they tout as being rich rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. The Natural Handcrafted Soap Company brews up a beer soap made with Guinness Extra Stout, oatmeal and shea butter for a mild and creamy lather ($12). You're sure to find a brew after your own heart at The Beer Soap Company, which boasts over 130 varieties of beer soap and fragrances. We're intrigued by their unique vegan deodorants ($9), which are formulated with hops extract, are free of aluminum and contain appealing natural fragrances such as patchouli, lemongrass, vanilla, cedarwood, black pepper and lime.
The brand Bröö, whose shampoo and conditioner we'd recommended back in 2012, has added two body washes to their line. Bröö Citrus Pale Ale and Oatmeal Porter body washes ($7.99 at Drugstore.com) blend handcrafted Asheville pale ale or Asheville oatmeal porter with sulfate-free cleansers and skin conditioners as they attempt to recreate the experience of European beer spas.
Several natural lips balms have also stepped up to the bar. The Old Chub Stick lip balms ($3.50) are made with Old Chub Scottish style ale, and offer SPF-15 protection. To create their lip balms, Atlantic Farms first steeps hops in virgin olive oil before blending other moisturizing ingredients such as coconut and hemp seed oils and organic beeswax. Their Hops Pumpkin Harvest Balm ($6.50), as the name implies, contains pumpkin seed oil along with organic clove essential oils and hops flower oil.
Not only is beer rich in B vitamins, but also in protein due to the malt and hops. Together, these nourishing ingredients help to add thickness, boost body and repair damaged hair. Plus, the natural maltose and sucrose sugars found in beer enhance shine by tightening the hair's cuticles.
Cynthia Sylvia Stout, sold by Lush ($29.95), is made with organic vegan stout beer from a local brewery. Its protein smoothes the hair and gives it shine, as well as fights frizz. Duffy's Brew makes an "E.S.B." shampoo and conditioner, the letters standing for "Extra Special Bitter" beer. Both contain bittered hops and malts, the shampoo offering a clean-rinsing yet rich lather and the conditioner promising to smooth, detangle and shine ($18 each at West Elm). Atlantic Farms also serves up a Hops Shampoo ($24), and like its lip balms, it's formulated with coconut and olive oils. Also containing a proprietary blend of botanicals, it helps moisturize a dry scalp. For those hard-working fellas, Redken offers Clean Brew, an extra-cleaning shampoo for men. It's made with malt, Brewer's yeast and orange zest and utilizes "anti grit technology" to eliminate dirt and oil and purify the scalp.
For an extra treat for your hair, we found Orzene Beer Mask for fragile, dry/damaged, colored, over-processed or dry/damaged hair. Each formula contains Brewer's yeast extract and other natural extracts and are rich in vitamins to moisturize, reduce breakage and add shine ($12.72 at Amazon).
In the words of President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he signed the New Deal for the repeal of Prohibition, "I think this would be a good time for a beer!"