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Beauty From Within
By Vicky Uhland
Mom was right: When it comes to beauty, what’s on the inside is just as important as what’s on the outside. New research shows that certain foods and beverages can literally improve your skin from within. Here’s how you can slather, supplement, and snack your way to glowing, youthful skin with the help of four hot, new beauty ingredients.
Superman can multitask—he flies and saves Lois Lane—so why can’t superfruits? That’s the theory behind lotions, creams, and serums that contain pomegranate, açai, and goji berries. These superfruits are packed with antioxidants that blast free radicals, a major cause of wrinkles and other signs of aging. Of the trio, pomegranates have the most science behind them. Several studies show that consuming pomegranate juice, extract, and oil—as well as using creams containing pomegranate extract—effectively helps reverse skin aging caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. But a lack of lab work doesn’t mean açai and goji berries are second-tier beauty tonics. “There’s that old conundrum: Just because there’s no science out there doesn’t mean that something doesn’t work,” says Valori Treloar, MD, an integrative dermatologist in Newton, Massachusetts, and coauthor of The Clear Skin Diet (Cumberland House, 2007). “Antioxidants have such beneficial health effects; we’re just scratching the surface in understanding them.”
Just be careful not to eat or drink too much of a good thing in your quest for younger-looking skin. Superfruits—especially when dried—are packed with sugar. “Sugar gloms onto proteins, which breaks down collagen and promotes loss of elasticity in the skin,” says Alan Dattner, MD, founder of HolisticDerma tology.com. Treloar’s advice: “Add some pomegranate seeds to your salad or some açai juice to your water, and you should get the antioxidant effects.”
What about slathering your skin with superfruits? “Topical antioxidants seem to have a benefit if you can get them to penetrate,” Treloar says. But labels don’t tell you if the superfruit molecules are small enough to slip through pores, or if the pH balance of the cream or serum is optimal for penetration. Still, she says, “the bottom line is superfruits probably do something good for your skin.”
Moisturize: Blissoma Amend Antioxidant Sprayable Lotion ($16.99, 4 oz; iriestar.com ). Packed with açai, pomegranate, and rooibos tea, this spray-on lotion leaves no oily residue.
Supplement: Doctor’s Best Goji Berry Extract ($19.99, 120 capsules; drbvitamins.com ). This vegetarian supplement contains nothing but goji berries and natural binding agents.
Snack: Invigorate your guacamole recipe with a handful of pomegranate seeds.
Some skin docs love probiotics—the beneficial bugs that live in our bodies and help fight off myriad diseases— and they don’t understand why their colleagues aren’t joining the probiotics posse. “Everyone accepts the fact that the bacteria living in our gut are extremely importan...
Author: Vicky Uhland
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