THE FOUN­TAIN OF YOUTH

How to drink yourself younger

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Strug­gling to fit in enough leafy greens and an­cient grains to en­sure your skin is fight­ing fit? Or is a time-poor diet see­ing your hair lose its gloss and your eyes their sparkle? Fret not, for there’s now a drink for that! No longer con­tent to sim­ply tend to the sur­face, skin­care brands are be­gin­ning to take a holis­tic ap­proach to beauty with the re­lease of new an­tiox­i­dant-in­fused brews de­signed to beau­tify your body from the in­side out.

While orally in­gested sup­ple­ments have been used for years to en­cour­age age­less skin and strong hair and nails, never be­fore have they been so ag­gres­sively mar­keted as not only good for your health, but cru­cial for a youth­ful ap­pear­ance.

Poured into vin­tage apothe­cary-styled flasks, and art­fully In­sta­grammed along­side #green #detox #healthyliv­ing, these nutrient-in­fused bev­er­ages have emerged from the Kom­bucha tea and gra­nola-stocked pantries of age­ing hip­pies, to the It bags of the fash pack.

Al­though the rit­ual of pop­ping a nightly evening prim­rose cap­sule still has a slight nurs­ing-home vibe, beau­ti­fy­ing drinks have sidestepped this stigma, thanks in part to the re­cent green juic­ing and detox trends, and to some clever brand­ing di­rected at the young.

Not con­tent to sim­ply sit in your bath­room cab­i­nets, beauty sup­ple­ment bev­er­ages have jumped from the ex­pected ‘once a day’ in­ges­tion, to a full-size bot­tle of re­fresh­ment that can both wash down lunch or re­hy­drate af­ter Pi­lates. Beauty sup­ple­ments are mak­ing them­selves com­fort­able in the daily rou­tines of those seek­ing a foun­tain of youth.

Tes­ta­ment to their grow­ing pop­u­lar­ity amongst trend­set­ters, beauty bev­er­age brand Beauty’In was a ma­jor spon­sor for the Lon­don Fash­ionWeek 2013, en­sur­ing that its prod­uct’s promi­nence in goodie bags saw fash­ion’s front row by­pass­ing last sea­son’s nu­tri­tion­ally du­bi­ous Vi­ta­m­in­Wa­ter.

An ex­er­cise in know­ing and speak­ing to your mar­ket, Beauty’In uses the trendy su­per foods (acai, hi­bis­cus and co­conut wa­ter, we’re look­ing at you) ac­claimed by lean and green celebs like Gwyneth Pal­trow and Miranda Kerr, mixed in with a long list of healthy-sound­ing vi­ta­mins and min­er­als. Com­bine this with the claim that the Beauty Drink’s key in­gre­di­ent, hy­drol­ysed col­la­gen, will im­prove your skin’s elas­tic­ity and firm­ness by up to 31 per cent and in­crease hy­dra­tion and lu­mi­nos­ity of the skin by up to 41 per cent, and these thirst-quenchers start sound­ing too good to be true.

How­ever, it’s hard to in­val­i­date beauty po­tions when they come with the heavy­weight back­ing of com­pelling sci­en­tific re­search. UK skin­care sup­ple­ment brand Foun­tain has an ex­haus­tive list of al­leged health ben­e­fits thanks to the in­clu­sion of a few pow­er­house in­gre­di­ents, each sport­ing some im­pres­sive lab­o­ra­tory cre­den­tials. Its ma­jor player is the an­tiox­i­dant resver­a­trol, most com­monly found in red grapes, blue­ber­ries and peanuts.

On the back of beauty-counter suc­cess as an ac­tive in­gre­di­ent in top­i­cal skin­care, resver­a­trol has the sci­ence world abuzz with its cell-re­new­ing po­ten­tial, with Bran­don Tru­axe, founder and CEO of De­ciem, the par­ent com­pany of Foun­tain, which pro­duces the pop­u­lar Beauty Mol­e­cule sup­ple­ment, say­ing, “resver­a­trol is proven to ben­e­fit struc­tures through­out the body, in­clud­ing the skin”.

Chem­i­cally sim­i­lar to the fe­male hor­mone oe­stro­gen, resver­a­trol has gar­nered in­ter­est from skin­care movers and shak­ers af­ter a Har­vard study con­cluded that its con­sump­tion has a no­tice­able im­pact in re­duc­ing the signs of age­ing. In short, resver­a­trol jump-starts the genes that pro­duce sir­tu­ins, an elu­sive

protein that re­vamps and re­news or­gan cells, in­clud­ing the sur­face of the largest or­gan – the skin.

Foun­tain’s range of mol­e­cules prom­ises to put this su­per­charged phe­nol to work on your body from the in­side out, with a tea­spoon a day of pome­gran­ate fluid (taken neat, or di­luted) claim­ing to re­verse the clock on age­ing skin.

While the jury’s out on whether a beauty drink is classed un­der con­firmed that in­creas­ing fruit and veg­etable con­sump­tion helps with skin tone, hair, acne and headaches.

“Busy lives mean we don’t al­ways get chance to eat a com­plete diet with op­ti­mal nu­tri­tion, but sup­ple­ments aren’t al­ways the an­swer.”

She rec­om­mends those look­ing for a hit of skin-friendly nu­tri­ents should turn to the salad bar for a quick pretty-me-up, count­ing vi­ta­mins A, B and C as her must-haves and stress­ing, “If our in­sides ben­e­fit from good nu­tri­tion, why would our skin and hair not?”

‘Get­ting nu­tri­ents from food is best but some­times we need a help­ing hand’

skin­care or bev­er­age, Tru­axe is quick to high­light the ever-clos­ing gap be­tween the health and beauty prod­ucts. “Health and beauty are one,” he says. “Beauty re­ally be­gins when all tis­sues are health­ier.”

Still, the de­mand for beauty drinks is grow­ing, with OCÓO – one of the only brands avail­able in stores rather than on­line – see­ing de­mand from stock­ists af­ter its launch last year. Those seek­ing bot­tles of fore­run­ners Beauty’In and Mol­e­cule will need to turn to the in­ter­net, for now.

But is the aver­age diet so vi­ta­m­in­poor that daily sup­ple­ments are nec­es­sary? Laura Smith, head nu­tri­tion­ist for Kcal, says that those con­sid­er­ing sup­ple­ments should first ad­dress the de­fi­cien­cies in their diet. “There’s no magic pill to help make you look your best,” she says.

“Rather than sup­ple­ments, con­sider choos­ing whole foods in­stead, and con­sider that a re­cent study at St An­drews Univer­sity

While sup­ple­ments shouldn’t be seen as a fix-all, Smith ac­knowl­edges they can be a worth­while boost for those who aren’t able to squeeze in enough nu­tri­ents into their diet. “Con­sum­ing all es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents from food is best and I al­ways pro­mote this to my clients. How­ever, some­times we need a help­ing hand,” she ac­knowl­edges.

While the liq­uid elixirs have been draw­ing the ma­jor­ity of at­ten­tion, tablet-style sup­ple­ments haven’t been com­pletely for­got­ten. The teeny pill boxes of a gen­er­a­tion ago are now in the midst of a stylish resur­gence, with gen­er­a­tional favourites such as fish oil, evening prim­rose and vi­ta­min E leading in both pop­u­lar­ity and ef­fec­tive re­sults.

For those whose com­plex­ion is look­ing a lit­tle lack­lus­tre, or whose nails are a brit­tle mess, there are some vi­ta­mins that will aid in get­ting your beauty groove back. “If you have trou­ble with hair loss – a preva­lent prob­lem in the Mid­dle East – pair vi­ta­min C with iron, both pow­er­ful an­tiox­i­dants. The iron also helps with anaemia, which is one of the causes of hair loss,” sug­gests Smith.

“For di­ets lack­ing in im­por­tant fatty acids [for smooth glow­ing skin], then I would ad­vise try­ing fish oil – look for a higher ra­tio of EPA to DHA and al­ways opt for a qual­ity brand.”

While we may not have yet dis­cov­ered the foun­tain of youth, there seems to be no harm in pad­dling in the shal­lows with a bot­tle of beauty wa­ter. Just keep in mind that sup­ple­ments are ex­actly that – in­tended to sup­ple­ment a healthy diet rather than mimic its beau­ti­fy­ing ben­e­fits.

Foun­tain Mol­e­cules, Dh150, avail­able via par­cel for­ward­ing from boots.com

BEAUTY OCÓO, Dh49 Ga­leries Lafayette, selected cafés Beauty’In, Dh21, ships di­rectly to the Mid­dle East from sel­f­ridges.com

BEAUTY Could you sip your way to sup­ple skin?

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