The food we eat doesn’t just affect our weight; it affects the health of our bodies, and that of our skin, too. Dr Nicholas Perricone’s diet promises weight-loss, but more importantly, that your skin will glow and look year’s younger. Who wouldn’t be lured in by a makeover programme which promises a ‘facelift from your fridge’?
The new quick face-fix diet, which, allegedly, takes just three days to work, is championed by actress Eva Mendes and promises to leave your skin clear, taut and glowing. But does it work? U.S. dermatologist Dr Nicholas Perricone believes that consuming sugar, salt, alcohol and coffee causes ‘inflammation’ in our skin, triggering ageing. He advocates cutting them out and replacing them with skin-boosting, omega-3 oils and antioxidants, which protect the membrane around skin cells and help them hold water. Drinking plenty of water, which is also recommended, is good for general health and digestion — both factors which affect the appearance of the skin.The three-day eating plan consists predominantly of salmon (Dr Perricone particularly advocates wild Alaskan salmon), green vegetables, berries and nuts, all of which are high in antioxidants and nutritious fatty acids — and also demands you remove all salt, sugar, caffeine, wheat and wine from your diet.
Day one starts with a three-egg omelette, a 4oz salmon fillet, a small bowl of cooked porridge and a handful of blueberries. I can’t manage it all, and save half the omelette for later. I’m not really hungry for my salmon, salad and berries lunch, nor my salmon, green vegetables and berries supper, but eat the snacks (cantaloupe melon which hydrates skin, and walnuts, a great source of fatty acids) anyway.
Day two isn’t much different, though by day three I am getting hungry. Salmon is filling, but as I am consuming so few complex carbohydrates, my appetite returns sooner. The absence of tea, coffee and alcohol is particularly difficult.
Three days later, I am astonished to find that I’ve dropped 9lb. The change in my skin is less drastic, but it’s good: the tone is more even and the few pimples I had have disappeared.
Eliminating caffeine — which dilates blood vessels and makes skin look flushed — has helped, and all traces of puffiness are gone, especially around my eyes. I may not look an awful lot younger, but I do look, and feel, better.
Can three days really make a difference?
Harley Street dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting is sceptical. ‘It takes up to six weeks to see a difference in skin, so there won’t be any major change in three days, though avoiding salt will help prevent water retention which stops you looking so bloated.’ The bottom line is, if you want to drop a dress size before a special event, this could do the trick. But as for dropping a decade from your face, it’s just not quite there.
There are very few quick fixes that actually work. So eat healthily every day and you will see the results eventually. Remember, this body, this skin, has to last you for a long time, so it’s worth taking the time to look after it well.
This piece originally appeared in the Daily Mail