The quick answer is yes. But the more convoluted response is not necessarily. As a passionate ex-hedonist and former party girl (known as ‘the vampire’ or ‘Dorian Grey’ because I never age) there were certain tricks I employed to balance my intake and slow my exposure to cocktails and smoke.
Cigarettes (and other smokable substances)
- If you are deeply obsessed with anti-aging (which I was), pre-roll American Spirit Organic tobacco before you go out and whack them in your purse. My Serbian grandma Daisy was a chain-smoker but never looked old. She told me that it is the chemicals in the tobacco and the filters on the cigarettes which are what are really bad for you. I don’t like soggy cigarette ends so I always add a little stiff-paper filter – usually from somebody-I-plan-on-forgetting’s business card.
- Grandma Daisy puffed her ciggies on an extra-long cigarette holder. Very Auntie Mame. “Keep the smoke away from za face darling,” she would purr as a cloud of dragon’s breath escaped her permanently fire-engine-red lips. I had a collection of cigarette holders – which I unfortunately gave away to people when drunk.
- Grandma Daisy always wore a thick layer of oil as a moisturizer and pilled on a few additional layers of make-up after. She would even go to bed freshly pancaked in war paint “just in case I die in my sleep. ” I believe that all those layers of oil and make-up actually provided an impenetrable shield to the smoke which can sink in and rob your face of oxygen and infest it with dirt. If you must smoke, try to do it at home alone so you can layer your face in ultra-pure lanolin (used for the chapped nipples of breastfeeding moms). Be especially generous with the lips and mustache area as this is where female smokers age first. Re-apply lanolin between puffs. Your face might look a shiny oil slick but you’ll be happy you did it long-term. (If you are greasing up and going out in public keep in mind that shiny, oily skin denotes youth and gives you a post marathon or post-coital glow. You’ll look healthy vs some powdered, matte, dusty old bird you might see behind glass at the Smithsonian.)
- Before bed: exfoliate vigorously and then wash with a face cleaning brush. Be sure to end with an icy cold water finish as you want to close the pores that were choking for oxygen under their blanket of lanolin. Apply almond oil. For the uber fanatical: give face an athletic roll using a jade roller. This increases circulation.
- Before bed drink some activated charcoal or bentonite powder (volcanic ash) in water. Both absorb free radicals. They are sponges for toxins. Any lingering smoke in the body will get absorbed.
- The next day sweat the smoke out further by going to a sauna or doing some hardcore cardio.
I am not going to enter into the whole ‘red wine is a great anti-ager debate’ here. We all know the truth: Wine is sugar and alcohol. Sugar ages, alcohol dehydrates. If you want those red grape tannins then squeeze some grape juice. All alcohol ages. But if you are determined, you can booze it up and balance it out.
- Alternate your cocktails with a glass of water. An old trick but it makes a Hell of a lot of sense. Return the hydration the dehydrating drink is taking out of your body. Or substitute that glass of water with a glass of coconut water which contains all kinds of anti-aging minerals. (Note: your party-purses are going to have to get bigger.)
- Keep a stalk of celery (or 2) in your purse or ask the bar tender to put one in your Bloody Mary. Celery contains silica which is a mineral that helps the skin to retain water. Celery is good for the breath and holding one may kill your urge for a cig.
- Drink a small amount of vodka with a large amount of coconut water, half a lemon (contains great anti-ager vitamin C and is an alkalizing juice thereby, de-acidifying the body) and a splash of soda water (tonic has too much salt).
- If you want to keep up with the party (everyone hates a teetotaler – especially me!), take a couple of shots every two hours but, in between, drink water, ice and lemon and say it’s a vodka soda.
- Pour your drinks into a plant when no one is looking but keep ordering them. Don’t let the team down!
- Drink a bit of help, olive or flax seed oil (grinding the cold seeds and then drinking in water is a great way to absorb alcohol while you sleep) before bed. Oil lubricates and the omega 3s are a plus for skin.
- Wear a heavier moisturizer – pure lanolin again. Your skin will react to the alcohol in the night and hungrily absorb moisturizer…
- Take an aspirin before bed – great anti-inflammator. Aspirin cools the alcohol-inflamed system down a tad and helps shield you a little from tomorrow’s hang-over.
- The next day sweat the booze out by going to a sauna or doing some hardcore cardio.