February 21, 2017

Beer Beauty: Hops Aid in Skin Care and Well-being?

I discovered the wonder of a good pint back in 2007 when a friend and I ventured into a great Vancouver brewery and discovered a wondrous invention which they called the “flier” (really just a fancy name for a set of taster glasses allowing you to sample each one of their locally brewed ales from the lightest to darkest). It was fabulous. I discovered all kinds of glorious new flavours and developed an appreciation for good ales and beers. An obsession began. But it wasn’t about discovery; it was about discerning the right ales for me, the ones that suited me best.

And so it happened with skincare in the same way. As a little girl your first port of call for skincare tends to be your Mother’s bathroom cupboard, so I grew up thinking the only line of skincare products was Oil of Olay. Unfortunately for me, their products were rubbish for my skin type. So are many others. I have had years of frustration over this and many days of staring into the mirror wondering what has gone wrong only to realise it’s that new product I just smeared over my face. Lovely. Imagine a row of products all lined up like that brewery’s lovely “flier” (only less tasty). It took me a while but after meticulous testing I’ve finally found a few skincare products that work for me. As most of us know, it comes down to skin type as much as preference. I have combination skin that is also rather sensitive. I also have growing eco streak in me which means ingredients matter. It’s about finding what’s right for you and your lifestyle.

This brings me back to my love for good ales. Those who’ve been privy to my struggle to find good products for my skin type often have told me to “lay off the beer.” It is true that excessive consumption of beer or any alcohol can result in dull, dry skin and puffy eyes (partly due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol). But I don’t generally drink to the point of intoxication. For me that would ruin it. Still, could my regular pint be having a negative effect on my skin? Maybe not.

American country singer and novelist Richard S. “Kinky” Friedman once famously said that “beauty is in the eye of the beer holder”. While this was originally intended as a joke – it turns out it might actually be true, but not how “Kinky” intended it. Rather it’s true from a skincare point of view. Beer can actually make you more beautiful (or handsome).

Recent scientific studies have discovered that the hops in beer have beneficial effects for skincare, and hair as well, both as an ingredient in products and in its beverage form. This is great news for lovers of good ales. Apparently it comes down to the hops. Hops have an antibiotic effect and can also help soften and smooth the skin. Alternatively hops added to shampoos can add sheen and volume to limp hair. Drinking beer in small quantities can also aid in producing clear, soft, glowing skin!

As it turns out, beauty can really be in the hand of the beer holder (but not just the drunken eye). So the next time someone gives you advice on laying off the beer in favour of good skin let them know that a little goes a long way. Then take ‘em for a pint.


This is a guest post by K Newey. She loves good ale (especially from Cornwall or Granville Island), good conversation, and great skincare products!


  1. Don’t forget the hair. Beer is great as a natural conditioner and styling aid. It smells funny at first but that smell goes away after a couple of minutes. My mom used it for years on her hair and I had forgotten all about it until I saw your article.

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