A year in the life of my skin

More veg, less sleep… what really makes a difference 

Would drinking more water help my skin?


If you have ever wondered just how much difference a few lifestyle tweaks might make to the way your skin looks, you’re in luck – I’ve done it for you. and not just in an ‘I think this made me look a bit fresher’ sort of way.

For a whole year, I was the subject of a unique experiment to measure the levels of energy within my skin cells, and how these changed depending on how my lifestyle changed. One month I drank buckets more water than usual; another I switched to a high-fat diet, one month I cut back drastically on sleep (well, ok, it was only for seven nights, but it felt like forever)… And every fortnight I took swabs of my skin and sent them for analysis to Newcastle University, where Dr Jenny Latimer and Professor Mark Birch-Machin examined the cells to see how much damage was visible to my mitochondrial DNA (more damage means that skin has less energy to repair itself, and is more vulnerable to ultraviolet light, and ages faster). The study was sponsored by Innovate UK and Procter & Gamble

It was a fascinating thing to do and the results were an eye-opener (and no, it’s not a plug for any particular face cream). The piece has just been published in YOU magazine. You can read the whole thing online here. Let me know what you think. One giveaway – we all know that drinking water is good for us and we like to think it is good for our skin but did it make a measurable difference? Alas, no. Let me know what you think.