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Dr. Obagi Talks Skin Food

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This column features weekly tips and advice from a revolving cast of industry leaders, on hand to discuss your beauty dilemmas, from blemishes to Botox. To submit a question, e-mail celia_ellenberg@condenast.com.

 

“USDA approved” food-based ingredients seem to be the new big thing in skincare. Are there benefits to using food on my face, or is just a gimmicky offshoot of going au naturel?

 

I haven’t seen any evidence that food ingredients will provide nourishment when applied topically to the skin. In my opinion, caviar and caviar extracts are just a gimmick—and an expensive one at that—and other ingredients will do nothing more than provide mild surface hydration. Our skin likes to receive its sustenance from the foods that we eat (particularly natural, fresh foods and plain water), and slapping them on your face is just not an acceptable or viable substitute. There are some things that may work, though. For example, applying lemon slices (which are a source of alpha hydroxy acids) may help exfoliate your skin.

 

A board-certified member of the American Board of Dermatology and a leading expert in skin health restoration and rejuvenation, Dr. Zein Obagi is an internationally renowned dermatologist and educator who is known for his ability to successfully correct a wide range of skin conditions—often after other traditional treatments have failed. He is also the founder of the Obagi Medical Product line, the number one brand of physician-dispensed antiaging skincare products in the world, as well as the Obagi Skin Health Institute in Beverly Hills, where he currently practices.

Photo: David Murray and Jules Selmes/Getty Images

 

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