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Ask the Surgeon / Health Tip / What’s New
ASK THE SURGEON
What foods promote healthy, glowing skin?
Eat a balanced diet full of foods rich with vitamin C, vitamin E, betacarotene, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients work to defend your body’s cells against the damage of oxidation, a chemical process where free radicals (unstable molecules) strip electrons from healthy cells, thus aging the skin. The most oxidative stressors that damage your skin are smoking, sunlight, and environmental pollution.
Good sources of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) include citrus fruits, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, tomatoes, snow peas, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, and green peppers. Eat whole-grain cereals, nuts and seeds, olive oil, spinach, and wheat germ for vitamin E. Beta-carotene can be found in apricots, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, red bell peppers, and sweet potatoes.
The best sources for selenium are tuna, crab, oysters, whole-wheat breads and pastas, eggs, and Brazil nuts. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include wild salmon, anchovies, herring, flaxseed, soybeans, and walnuts. All of these foods are good for your skin and good for your overall health too. By choosing nutrient-dense food, you can fight the aging process and retain the vibrancy of your skin.
Revamp your makeup routine with proper hygiene. Before applying makeup, wash your face and hands with soap. Regularly wash your brushes with soap and water to rid them of bacteria. Check the expiration dates of all products, especially those labeled “all natural” that tend to have fewer preservatives and thus a shorter shelf life.
Throw a product away if it starts to smell different, change color, or separate. Keep all makeup out of direct sunlight and heat. Never share your makeup-it spreads bacteria increases your risk of infection. If you have an eye infection, do not apply make-up and throw-out any products that may have encountered the infected eye. Do not apply lip liner or lipstick if you have a cold sore; this can spread the infection. Do not add water to your liquid cosmetics. It usually contains bacteria and adding it to your cosmetic will increase your risk for an infection.
Also, the addition of water to your cosmetic may upset the chemical formula of the makeup, producing less than desired results. One final tip for makeup hygiene at your local department store: Do not be tempted to try makeup samples. These samples are a breeding ground for bacteria. Hundreds of customers have sampled the same eye shadow prior to you. Unless it is a newly opened product, do not be tempted.
Going Green with Cosmetics and Toiletries How do you reduce, reuse, and recycle? Consumers are applying these guidelines to their cosmetics and toiletries. Improve your going green efforts by trying the following:
- Avoid being wasteful.
- Reduce the number of products you buy (how many shades of pink lipstick do you really need?).
- Consider products with smart (minimal) packaging.
- Get creative to reuse products, e.g., toothbrush to scrub grout.
- Support companies that recycle their containers.
- Purchase products that are environmentally friendly, i.e., using organic, natural, and fair-trade ingredients.