Skip to content

What the face reveals about our diet

Too much sugar, too much wine – poor nutrition is often reflected in the face. Pimples and blemished skin, but also wrinkles can be the result. An expert explains how eating and drinking habits affect our skin.

The second a patient enters my clinic, I can tell which foods she eats or drinks too much of,” explains Dr. Nigba Talib, a holistic physician and author to the Daily Mail. Thus someone who regularly reaches for a glass of wine has a wine face for her, and someone who eats a lot of lactose has a milk face. In her book Reverse the Signs of Ageing, Talib explains which nutritional factors speak for a wine, milk, sugar and gluten face. We’ve rounded up the key points.

The wine face


Visible wrinkles, bags and/or bags between the eyes, drooping eyelids, enlarged pores, dry and cracked skin, roughened cheeks and a deep nasolabial fold.

What the wine face says about the diet

Wine, like other alcohol, draws moisture from the skin, making wrinkles deeper and more visible. In addition, the sugar it contains attacks the body’s own protein building block collagen, which normally ensures good skin elasticity. Since alcohol promotes blood circulation, the small capillary vessels dilate. The result: shimmering veins under the surface of the skin.

Talib explains the grooves between the eyes with the face mapping principle*: The facial region here, he says, is directly connected to the liver, the body’s main alcohol breakdown site.

*Talib works with face mapping theory, an important analysis tool in modern and Chinese medicine. It is based on the fact that different regions of the face are related to specific organs. Depending on what Talib sees, she assesses the health of her counterpart, as she can attribute skin changes in the face to specific causes such as diet.


Talib recommends an alcohol break of about three weeks, so that the intestinal flora recovers. Who has then nevertheless again desire on a glass wine, should set on sugarärmere kinds of vine such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Merlot or Spätburgunder.

The milk face


Swollen eyelids, tears and black circles under the eyes, white spots and pimples on the chin.

What the milk face says about the diet

The enzyme that is responsible for processing lactose in the body is produced less with age, and in some people it disappears altogether. Thus, according to Talib, lactose intolerance is possible even if it could not be detected in an earlier examination. If one continues to consume lactose, this leads to inflammation in the body, which manifests itself with redness and swelling around the eyes. Furthermore, cow’s milk contains many hormones due to the way the animals are raised. These are said to stimulate the production of sebum, which promotes skin blemishes and pimples.


Replace dairy products for a while with lactose-free alternatives or those based on soy, almond, or oatmeal and observe how the skin reacts.

The sugar face


Wrinkles and deep furrows on the forehead, tears, dull and sunken skin, pustules all over the face, thinning skin and an overall rather gray, sallow complexion.

This is what the sugar face üsays about the diet

Refined carbohydrates, such as those from wheat flour, white rice or sweets, are quickly converted into sugar in the body. The excess sugar accumulates on the collagen, which slows down cell renewal. This makes the skin look äolder and saggy faster. "Especially under the eyes, because the skin is particularly thin here," explains Talib. Anyone who goes too far with their sugar intake causes an insulin imbalance in their body, which puts a strain on the adrenal glands. This can be seen, he says, in sprouting eyebrows.


Avoid sugar as much as possible for three months. Only then will it be possible to see whether there is a connection between diet and the symptoms in question.

The gluten face


Puffy, red cheeks, pigmentation spots and blemishes on the chin.

What the gluten face says about the diet

Those who do not know that they suffer from gluten intolerance and continue to consume glutinous protein are at risk of inflammatory reactions in the body. According to Talib, this also leads to increased cell activity and stronger pigmentation, or more precisely, dark spots in the chin region.


A real zöliakie would be a serious diagnosis, which must be confirmed by a specialist and treated specifically. However, there are also gradations, such as mild and mild gluten intolerance. So why not dare to do the self-test? Simply leave out gluten-containing foods for a while and observe whether the symptoms decrease. If this does you good, you can continue with the low-gluten lifestyle.

With material from dpa