I had a birthday last weekend.Â I'm not going to tell you how old I am, but toÂ keep things in perspective, I like to remind myself that when William Shakespeare was my age, he'd already been dead for five years.
Shakespeare:Â Wrote most of his plays before his untimely death at age 52.
"At your advanced age," my so-called friends ask me, "how do you keep your boyish good looks and your slim, girlish figure?"
Gifford:Â "Why didn't anybody tell me Shakespeare died?"
I don't know about you, but for my money, the best sourceÂ for age-defying secretsÂ are the fashion and beauty experts at MSNBC.com, who yesterday posted a helpful article--Feed Your Face!--on five foods that are good for your skin.Â This is the print version of a Today show segment in which a woman from Health magazine spread various groceries on the cheeks and foreheads of Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. (Tip for Hoda: buy a vowel!)
As useful as this free, on-line advice was, it told only half the story.Â There are also foods that are bad for your skin, either medically or aesthetically.Â Take a trip down your grocery store aisles with the Gerbil Health Reporter to discover five surprising foods you should never put on your face.
Ketchup:Â There is something about ketchup on one's face that simply screams "Slob!", or "No, you can't have a cost-of-living raise even though everyone else is getting one!"Â Workplace psychologists say this is because we associate ketchup-faces with toddlers, whom you can buy off cheap with candy, Pokemon cards and Wiggles CD's.
"You're getting a raise--NOT!"
Alfalfa sprouts:Â For reasons that are unclear to many, facial alfalfa sprouts are considered declasse among hip, urban taste-makers.Â "Vy vould you vant to make your face look like unmanageable frizzy hair, or an unmentionable body place?"Â asked Egon von de Velde, a hair colorist at a fashionable salon on Boston's overpriced Newbury Street.Â "Better you should stick to bean sprouts, which will remind people of chop suey."Â
Maple syrup:Â Contrary to a widely-circulated urban myth, putting maple syrup on one's face does not open clogged pores or reduce the amount of "spam" in one's email inbox.Â "If left on the face maple syrup may attract red fire ants," says OrelÂ Norquist of the University of Georgia Farm Extension Bureau.Â "You could either wipe it off, or move up north where the ants are all wusses."
French Onion Dip:Â This party favorite, so easy to make or buy in the dairy section if you are such a klutz youÂ can't figure out how to mix sour cream and a pack of Lipton Onion Soup, is an off-putting deterent to social interaction at high-powered "networking" events or Singles Nights at your local Elks Club.
Elks Club Singles Night
"I was thisclose to scoring with Ina May Ferber," says Claude Furnell, a retired insurance broker, "when all of a sudden she noticed that I had fallen asleep in the dip earlier in the evening."
They're not even related to each other.
Twin lobsters:Â Applying twin lobsters to your face can result in an allergic reaction or minor cuts and bruises as these frisky crustaceans scramble for higher ground on your forehead.Â "Twin lobsters can become aggressive if they detect alcohol on your breath and realize cocktails are over and you are moving on to dinner," says Tricia Frickett, a marine biologist in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.Â "The other thing about twin lobsters is they are rarely twins, and most aren't even related to each other."
Copyright 2008, Con Chapman