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[Skin Care - Part 4] [Skin Care - Part 5]
( Originally Published 1963 )
HAS YOUR SKIN EATEN LATELY?
So you'd like to have a good complexion? The kind of skin babies love to touch? Who wouldn't! If you're honest and adult you'll know, without my saying it-nihil sine magno labore. What? You don't read Latin? Neither do I, but I memorized this in high school and never forgot it. Translation: nothing without great effort.
GOOD SKIN WHAT MAKES IT THAT WAY?
Having good skin without having to think about it is the great fortune of only a very few women. In all of Hollywood and New York showbusiness I can think of about three. Most stars and movie queens have had to struggle with the problem just the way you probably will.
My own skin can be categorized as naturally good. But I have to take some of the credit for it. Years ago I accepted the challenge and began to think seriously about what I would have to do to keep my skin (which I knew, or hoped, would be in front of the public eye most of the time) at its best.
I'm the type who must always try to get to the bottom of situations before making a move. So I refused to buy or use anything on my face until I understood exactly what it would do for me and why. If it stood up to the test of common-sense that was fine. If it didn't, I wasn't interested, no matter what friends, relatives or advertisers had to say.
Dave Lawrence, SMA (Society of Make-up Artists) has done my TV make-ups since I started in television. He knows so many of the make-up secrets and problems of top TV and motion picture stars it's a wonder they let him walk around free. I have to thank Dave, who has, besides tremendous professional skill, a deep scientific understanding of what he does.
In its ideal state your system has its own built-in balance of oils and acids. You can change all that by giving your system more oils or acids than it can take care of. That happens when you eat too many sweets, fats or starches. Then the skin cells, forced to excrete more oils or acids than they are equipped to handle, break forth in some beautiful sort of eruption, like Mount Vesuvius. There's another way you can make things difficult for your skin. By covering up your own top skin layer with so much make-up that the natural oils and acids can't find an exit. Trapped below, they're bound to make trouble for you.
YOUR DIET AND YOUR SKIN
The only way you can "nourish your skin" is by eating the right foods. That's where skin care begins-with what you put in your supermarket basket.
And so, at the risk of being a bore, we're back on the subject of diet. But I can't in all honesty write about skin, yours, mine, or anyone else's without putting diet where it belongs in relation to skin-in first place.
Someone once said: "You are what you eat." The statement is a bit extreme but so close to true that everyone ought to mull it over as they stride down the aisles of the local supermarket. The image of yourself as a composite of two boxes of potato chips, a carton of soft drinks, four cans of pre-cooked meats, and a pizza pie may make you think twice. Better still, it may send you back to the fresh fruits and vegetables.
Every woman who cooks will get the point. If you wanted to make a superlative beef stew you would know right off the bat that you'd have to buy the best stewing beef you could, that the stew would also depend on how fresh the vegetables you added to it were. You'd also know that no matter how well you spiced it, how fine your stove was, or how beautiful your serving dish, your stew could be no better than what you'd put into it. And in the same way what you see on your face, for the most part, can be traced back to what you brought home in your grocery bag the day before, and the week before, and the month before.
The skin is sometimes called "the mirror of the body." This is because no part of your body reflects your general state of health as quickly and as obviously as your skin does, if only because there's so much of it and it shows. Did you overeat the night before? It shows in your pallor. You didn't sleep well? Notice the blue veins standing out under your eyes. The dinner you had with friends at the new Hungarian restaurant was a wee bit heavy. No amount of make-up can hide the sallowness. You read a novel and in the process devoured half a box of chocolates. Three stupendous pimples appeared on your chin before you finished chapter 5.
If skin is this sensitive to bad treatment it stands to reason it can be just as happily affected by proper care. That is, by eating the right foods instead of the wrong ones you too should be able to produce one of those smooth clear skins too many women waste their time envying without making the effort to achieve.
The fact that I am busily harping away at this one string-your diet-does not mean that I don't think sleep, air, sun and exercise have a lot to do with the entire state of your health and therefore your skin. Of course they do. Naturally, if you're not sleeping well, if you're tense or nervous, if you don't get enough fresh air and exercise, your system will become so sluggish it won't be able to handle even the most perfectly balanced meal. And then, too, there are such things as skin allergies-a very frequent cause of breakouts, which should be discussed with a good dermatologist. But I still say that the main culprit, or hero, of your skin drama is your diet. So before looking around for other reasons for your skin being less than lovely, let's examine your food habits.