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Beer - Can it Improve Your Skin?

Reviewed by Copley July 6, 2013 13 Comments

Knowing all too well the skin-spoiling effects of a happy hour stretched far past a single hour, I used to assume that booze is to complexion clarity as money is to Madoff. Too much of a good thing can bring out the worst. Of course, I know that red wine has resveratrol and that vitis vinifera, the grape vine species that produces over 99% of the world's wine, is loaded with antioxidants. But surely beer can do no good for the skin, right?

It seemed ironic when Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser, bought Borba, one of the original "beauty drink" brands. Ok, it's still ironic, but the union of beer and health — it turns out — may be decidedly shrewd. From Japan to Germany, thousands upon thousands of research studies have examined the effects of beer on the body. Not only has beer shown to have antibacterial properties, which protect against the heliobacter infection in the stomach, but it also might be an effective weapon against kidney stones. Based on this evidence, Poland and the Czech Republic have state-funded programs that reimburse individuals who are prescribed beer for the treatment of urological conditions.

Even more interesting is the variety of reasons for the topical application of beer. In ancient Egypt, long considered the birthplace of beer, women of the upper classes used beer for all sorts of cosmetic and therapeutic purposes, such as to freshen the skin and reduce the risk of skin conditions. 4,000 years later, scientific studies have confirmed that beer sediment (brewer's yeast) can help improve the symptoms of acne by slowing down sebum production and killing off the bacteria that triggers acne. This component of beer, an inactive yeast that no longer has leavening power, helps maintain a balanced pH level in the skin.

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Brewer's yeast is made up of unicellular micro-organisms called saccaromyces cereviseae, which thrive on the skin's surface. Because they are asexual, these tiny organisms can proliferate up to 24 new cells at a time, thus leaving no opportunity for acne-friendly bacteria to take hold on the skin's surface. A trial conducted in 2006 at Munich University found that a skin preparation containing young brewer's yeast cells dramatically improved the skin of acne sufferers within three weeks.

With its abundance of nutrients like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and vitamin b12, brewer's yeast is more often found as a dietary supplement (in powdered, flake, tablet, and pill form) than in a topical treatment. But cosmetic companies are increasingly taking note of its benefits and have begun to incorporate brewer's yeast as an active ingredient in their formulas. In the past few years, Germany's leading natural skincare range, Dayenne, has been introducing young brewer's yeast-boasting cosmeceuticals as remedies against skin impurities. Dayenne's formulas regulate the level of sebum produced by the skin's pores and keep the skin at a healthy 5.0 pH mark.

The bioactive molecule xanthohumol (present in hops) has shown to have antioxidant and anti-cancer effects 100 times that of green tea and soy, though its content in beer is very low (.01 to .2 mg per liter). Who knows whether the components of beer can have any real health benefits when absorbed through the skin. All we know for sure is that applying beer topically can clear up your complexion, treat dry flakes, and smooth texture. It is said that the panthothenic acid and vitamin B complex in beer has the ability to make the skin smooth and supple.

Whatever the reasons for beer's skin benefits, it's worth a try if you have dry or acne-ridden skin. If you're not sold on brewer's yeast is cosmetic products or nutritional supplements, start small with our moisturizing homemade beer mask. Once a way to get away from the day's problems, beer may be an equally good escape from your skin problems for the day.

Read more:

Boardwalk Empire Prohibition Party: The Beauty Benefits of Beer

How Can Beer Help Your Hair?

Make Your Own Moisturizing Beer Mask

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  • February 16, 2016

    by Kalirose

    I've been drinking beer &(a least a 6-8) every night, some times more (on weekends)since I was 15yrs old&i'm 50+.I have soft, smooth&wrinkle free skin.I swear beer is great for your skin.&my sister is 56&she drinks about 6 a day&she has gorgeous glowing skin.

  • February 4, 2016

    by Earl

    I have severe skin problems on my scalp and I notice that after a long night of binge drinking cheap beer my skin clears up a lot. I'm flushed the next day but I think that blood flow might be part of it, maybe it is antibacterial too? idk, I just know that it works.

  • November 29, 2014

    by Susan

    I don't drink beer but was wondering if it has the same effect if used flat to cleanse the face?

  • September 19, 2014

    by Rahul

    I have been drinking beer since the last 31 years, i found it very good for my skin, its really glowing, before that i had a muddy complexion...

  • July 13, 2014

    by Tyler

    Well I'm not putting beer on my face when there are other natural remedies. The only thing I'll used beer for is for drinking.

  • February 25, 2014

    by Kanes

    Alert, this is not true. My skin got a lil bit less healthy after I started to drink beer, so don't trust in this article XDDD or every article that says Beer is good for your skin.

  • August 31, 2013

    by S

    The ancient Romans used beer as a toner, and truly, the ancients knew best because using beer as a toner before applying moisturizer has dramatically cleared my skin. I also rinse my hair with beer and the results are amazing - no itchy scalp and my hair has more volume. Beer is awesome for beauty!

  • March 15, 2013

    by Michele Watson

    I used Guiness Stout on my skin and hair with great results for a while....my husband who is a teetotaller did comment on the smell but I did have good results. I mean you coukd also take Brewers Yeast as a supp too-I have just put my daughter on that for her hair loss. The beer thing will be an occasional for me for sure.

  • March 15, 2013

    by Elisa

    Absolutely! Although I have not had a beer bath, I make beer soap called Oatmeal Stout and it has done wonders for me and my customers skin. We started using it as facial bar at first, then progressed as an all over body bar. Best thing I have ever done. If you know someone that makes beer soap, buy it, you won't regret it or check us out at www.luxurious.artfire.com! ;o)

  • June 30, 2010

    by JillE

    Can beer be used as a toner/astringent for oily, acne prone skin? Should it be diluted or used full strength?

  • July 15, 2009

    by 1ofnoother

    I'm not sure where to bring this up because I didn't know how to start a new thread or post under community message boards. I've been watching the Asian channels with my mom lately, and have noticed many commercials regarding beauty products and skincare lines. Some products I think have the most foolish and hilarious pitches, whereas others may have more merit, but are still questionable, nonetheless. Everytime I watch these commercials, I think of the poor, gullible Asian women who buy into these things. The most recent beauty buy I've watched was about "bee's milk (The Queen Bee to be exact)." The product is from nutrition depot, called Supreme Royal Jelly (I think they have other products in the same line). The "science" behind the product is that it's supposed to make skin more youthful, healthy, and glowing because it contains "bee's milk," which is rare and limited in quantity, and is only fed for the prospective "queen bees" six times by the current Queen Bee, extending their lifespan for 6-7 years. All other "worker bees" are only given this milk three times instead of six, so their lifespan is only for 2-3 months as opposed to 6-7 years. The website the commercial suggested was www.suaongchua.com (ibut I think it's a Vietnamese based site). Another website I found for this product is www.dealtime.com/-nutrition+depot+royal+jelly. Can someone let me know if these claims are all jibberish, or if it has any merit worthy of being tested?

    Another one I've heard about all my life is the health benefits of eating/drinking "bird's nest." This This delicacy is very expensive and can run about $200 a serving. =X
    This is what I found on wikipedia since I didn't know the English reference for the word (apparently it's called bird's nest from the Swiftlet):
    "The Edible-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus fuciphagus) is a small bird of the swift family which is found in South-east Asia. Its nest is made of solidified saliva and is used to make bird's nest soup. The nest used in bird's nest soup are composed almost entirely of saliva with little or no plant material. The soup is made by soaking and steaming the nests in water and is said to be an aphrodisiac and to have various medicinal qualities. The nests can fetch high prices and many colonies are harvested commercially. A detailed account of modern nest farming and marketing techniques is given by Jordan (2004)."
    These two are something to look out for if you're interested about Asian "natural remedies."

  • July 6, 2009

    by copley

    Applying beer to the skin straight out of the can/bottle has noticeable skin-softening benefits. As the yeast penetrates the skin, it is supposed to open up pores and naturally cleanse. Also, the B vitamins in beer can nourish and moisturize, treating common skin conditions. A number of spas in Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic pour local lager into tubs for guests to soak in and offer beer facials. Check out our own homemade version here: <a href="http://www.truthinaging.com/face/moisturizing-beer-mask-make-your-own/" rel="nofollow">Moisturizing Beer Mask- Make Your Own</a>.

  • July 6, 2009

    by luella

    Would you ever recommend putting beer on my skin directly or using one of those products instead?

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