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Quick Test: Do you have ‘wine face’?

  1. Do your eyelids look a little droopy?

  1. Is the skin around your eyes at all red, or slightly puffy?

  1. Do your pores seem slightly enlarged?

  1. Does your skin feel dry?

  1. Do the creases running from the sides of your nose to the corners of your mouth (the nasolabial folds) appear more pronounced?

If you’ve answered yes to even a few of these questions, chances are you do indeed have ‘wine face’. This condition, identified by skin specialist Dr Nigma Talib, can result even from what might be regarded by some as fairly moderate drinking.


wine face


Not feeling she looked that hangdog, but liking the idea that there was a chance that stopping drinking might make her eyelids less droopy, author Helen McGinn, had her face scanned both before and after a dry month.


Here’s what did actually happen to her face during the course of Dry January. In truth, not that much in the first few weeks; in fact, far from waking up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, she felt even more knackered than usual. Also, there was no instant weight loss; rather, two weeks in and she’d put on a few pounds.


But, and it’s a big but, when she looked at the before and after scans of her face (taken with a Visa machine at a clinic in London) the difference was obvious. The wrinkles around her eyes had reduced and her skin was more hydrated. Overall, it looked brighter, tighter and healthier. Helen’s skin was cleaner, less congested and with an improved texture. But that wasn’t just because of the lack of booze: the fact that she had slept better (no late-night loo trips!) and had drunk a lot more water than usual all helped.


‘Wine face’ really is a thing, just as ‘lack of sleep face’ is a thing. But more than ending up with better skin, what Helen really enjoyed about her dry spell was that living without wine made her appreciate it even more when it was all over.


If you’re looking for inspiration for a spell off the booze, Helen McGinn’s Teetotal Tipples, for January and Beyond, is brim-full of great ideas for elegant and delicious mocktails and and other alcohol-free drinks.