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Last night, I read an article in More magazine (for “women of style and substance” who also happen to be over the age of 40). The topic was dry hair, apparently just “like skin, our hair gets drier as we age.” The article provided a 6-week plan to get the silkiness back. Sounded like an ok thing. Week 1 was trim, then tame. The recommended method for taming was a salon Keratin treatment. The article then had a side note stating that the original keratin treatments “contained high amounts of formaldehyde, a chemical best avoided in large doses.” And instructed the reader to ask their salon if the salon offered LOW-FORMALDEHYDE Keratin treatments instead. Excuse me? LOW-formaldehyde treatments? How about NO-formaldehyde treatments?

So, I did a little reading online regarding formaldehyde…it’s in the chemicals used for processing photos, it’s used for embalming, it’s used as a finisher on fabrics, it’s also used in some capsules than surround pill medications (thus, I suppose we are ingesting some of it on occasion.)

Perhaps instead of a Keratin treatment, we should just consider getting a good trim, minimizing daily shampoo usage, covering our hair when we are in the sun for long periods and maybe even just accepting a little dryness with age.

Formaldehyde? That’s just gross!

(though now I have to investigate what is in the hair color I use to cover those “couple” grey hairs…might be just as frightening!)

I visited family in California over a long weekend during spring break. My sister and I had our cameras with us everywhere we went. After I returned home, we both posted photos of our time together on Facebook. I was shocked at how wrinkly my face has become, especially around my eyes, and I have vowed to do something about it.

I am familiar with the fact that tanning causes wrinkles, yet I’m a big fan of laying out in the summer sunshine because I like the way I look with a tan. A few years ago I caught an Oprah broadcast that featured a dermatologist named Dr. Nicholas Perricone. He made a statement that blew me away: sugar in the diet enhances the appearance of wrinkles. Instead of using Botox or having a facelift, he said, the foods we eat can have a tremendous effect on the appearance of our skin. The proof was in the unlined face of a beautiful middle-aged woman who’d transformed her appearance by following Perricone’s dietary prescription of eliminating processed foods and increasing the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Now that I think of it, I’ve met people who follow a raw food diet and have been amazed by how smooth and translucent their skin appears, whether tanned or not.

Could one simple change really diminish the appearance of the laugh lines around my eyes? My diet has undergone a slow but steady overhaul during the past four years. Gone are the days when I subsisted mainly on so-called foods that came from a box, carton or can. I used to go days at a time without eating a single piece of fruit or a raw vegetable. Today I can’t go a day without consuming something that came directly out of the earth or off of a tree. But I admit, I still enjoy a sizable bowl of ice cream a couple times a week. And I consider baking cookies from scratch a form of therapy, although I now use whole wheat pastry flour instead of bleached all-purpose.

Judging by the ghastly photos on my Facebook page the time has come for me to take the next step and forsake sugar. For a few weeks. To see whether it will make a difference. I only have wrinkles to lose.