Thanksgiving, Cranberries and Your Skin

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • There is a lot of information and recipes online for homemade facial masks using cranberries. These fruits are one of the “superfoods,” a food high in nutrients that is considered beneficial for health and well-being.  Cranberries contain antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of chronic disease, the spread of cancer, lessen urinary tract infections, fight tooth decay and improve the health of the heart. [1]

    Cranberries and the Skin

    But what about skin? Dr. Neal Schultz, a cosmetic dermatologist in New York City told NBC News, “Whenever you start protecting yourself from the sun, you will stop the process of additional damage and start to reverse, to some extent, what you’ve already accumulated.” One of the things Dr. Schultz recommends is antioxidants. He recommends eating foods rich in antioxidants as well as using antioxidant topical creams.

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    Dr. Leslie Baumann agrees. In her blog, The Skin Guru, she states, “Antioxidants are among the most important preventive ingredients in the skin care arsenal. They can effectively prevent (and minimize) redness and inflammation, and are essential for slowing the signs of skin aging.” She also recommends a mixture of oral and topical antioxidants.

    Too Much of a Good Thing?

    Most people get enough vitamins and minerals from eating a well-balanced diet and experts warn about going overboard - after all, too much of a good thing can be dangerous. According to the National Institutes of Health, too much cranberry juice can cause stomach upset and diarrhea or can increase your risk of developing kidney stones.

    Other concerns:

    • Cranberries contain salicylic acid, which is similar to aspirin, therefore, those sensitive to or allergic to aspirin should avoid cranberries.
    • Cranberries may interfere with the effectiveness of the medication warfarin (Coumadin). Cranberries may increase how long this medication stays in your system, therefore you should talk with your doctor before eating cranberries or drinking cranberry juice if you are taking this medication.
    • Cranberries may interfere with medications that are broken down by the liver. Ingesting cranberries when taking these types of medication may increase the medications effects as well as increasing the side effects.

    This coming Thanksgiving, enjoy your dinner, eat your cranberries and save some to make up a cleanser or mask for your face. But don’t go overboard thinking that the more cranberries the better, eat and use in moderation.

Published On: November 24, 2013