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Avoid a 'prosecco smile' by giving this food and drink a wider berth for a nice wide smile

Mirror logo Mirror 15/10/2017 Natasha Holt

© Getty Fizz fans were devastated by recent claims that sparkling wine causes a ‘prosecco smile’ – where the combination of alcohol, sugar and carbonation forces the teeth to come away from the gums.

But that’s not the only food or drink treat to cause unwanted side effects when it comes to our looks…


It has long been the enemy when it comes to obesity, but you might be surprised to hear sugar can also cause wrinkles.

Experts now believe that a diet of sugar and refined carbs is more damaging to the skin than a lifetime of sunbathing. 

“The link between sugar and premature ageing lies in a process called glycation, which is a biochemical reaction when sugar levels peak,” explains Lesley Reynolds, co-founder of the Harley Street Skin Clinic.

“This triggers an inflammatory response, causing tissue damage and premature ageing.”

Glycation is part of the natural ageing process but the more sugar you consume, the earlier it starts.

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Dairy eyes

“If you suffer from droopy eyelids, swollen eyes or dark circles, then dairy products may be the culprit,” says Rick Hay, nutritionist and author of The Healthista Lean Energy Program.

“These symptoms can be caused by an inability to digest lactose. This leads to an inflammatory response, which predominantly affects the eye area. 

“Taking probiotics or drinking aloe vera juice could help to improve gut function and ease the symptoms.”

Wine cheeks

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Most of us have experienced the ‘wine glow’ after a couple of glasses, but drinking alcohol can lead to more than temporary flushing. 

“Overuse of alcohol prevents the veins from working properly,” says Lesley. “Because the brain is failing to push blood through the tiny veins in your face at the correct pressure, these veins become overexpanded and stay stretched. That leads to red broken blood vessels near your skin’s surface.”

Research published by Brown University in America earlier this year found that just three glasses of white wine a month can increase your chances of developing rosacea by 14%, with five glasses or more a week raising that risk to 49%.

Gluten chin

While coeliac disease is an autoimmune disorder where gluten triggers inflammation in the small intestine, many non-celiacs also suffer from gluten sensitivity. 

“As the gluten molecules are not digested, this leads to an inflammatory response throughout the body,” explains Rick Hay. “This increases insulin production which in turn raises the hormones, leading to acne-type symptoms.” These outbreaks often occur around the chin area.

“Again, treat the gut with probiotics, aloe and vegetable digestive enzymes, and consider a fish or algal oil supplement,” advises Rick. 

Cola teeth

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The sugars and artificial sweeteners in fizzy drinks cause ‘acid wear’ to the teeth. This is where the hard tissue on the tooth has eroded.

“People should limit fizzy drinks to mealtimes and drink them through a straw,” says Dr Rhona Eskander, who works at Kensington Dental Practice and provides Invisalign teeth straighteners. 

“Finish a meal with cheese or milk to cancel out the acid, and wait an hour before brushing.”

Carrot colouring

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While many of us strive for a glowing tan, no one wants to look like an Oompa Loompa.

“Eating a lot of carrots or other foods high in beta-carotene, such as sweet potatoes or pumpkin, can cause a yellowish discoloration of the skin,” says Lesley.

“This discoloration, a condition called carotenemia, is most noticeable on the palms and soles, but can also appear on the nasolabial folds, or laughter lines, on the face.”

The condition is harmless and fades in time but, according to Columbia University’s health blog, it can only take three large carrots per day to trigger it.

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