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As I have watched my skin return to its normal skim-milk pallor after a summer of probably ill-advised, but glorious exposure to sunlight, a study came across my desk. It seems researchers in cloudy old Scotland, where any number of my pasty ancestors hailed from, noticed the general pallor of their citizenry and wondered whether anything — anything at all — might bring a luster to their cheeks. Being Scots, they set about investigating it.

Turns out, the more people increased their intake of colorific veggies and fruits — think tomatoes, carrots, red peppers, pumpkins, grapefruit and spinach — the more lovely became their complexions. Even though the study was pretty small — just 35 sallow souls — eating more produce induced increases in the coveted red-yellow tint of the subjects’ skin. And skin with more red-yellow pigment was also judged to be more attractive. Three servings of produce a day for six weeks seemed to do the trick.

Researchers theorized that the same carotenoids that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant colors can color us up as well. And carotenoids help protect skin from the harmful effects of the sun, all the while also charging up the immune system. Now that’s healthy beauty.

I hope you’ll enjoy the special section in this issue on other ways to create the look that gives you the confidence to feel, as the French say, “good in your skin.”

To your health!

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