February 25, 2024

Today’s Sound Off concerns cosmetics and all of their empty promises:

Dear Heloise: I’m tired of all the promises cosmetic companies make that are never fulfilled. This product or that product will claim to “erase wrinkles,” then show a young woman of about 19 who has yet to see any wrinkles on her skin. Most products are designed to moisturize the skin, but cannot and will not erase wrinkles.

I worked for a major cosmetic company, and women would try to find a moisturizer that would get rid of 20 or 30 years of smoking, sunbathing and drinking alcohol. That product does not exist, and it never did. Of course, countergirls don’t tell customers that their products are basically worthless, except in adding a little moisture to their skin.

Instead of making false promises, let’s take pride in our skin just as it is. As women age, they gain experience, practical knowledge and usually a healthier view of themselves and their accomplishments. These qualities are far more important than crow’s-feet around the eyes. Even Hollywood has started to embrace silver hair on many men and women.

In Europe, most women wear very little makeup, and they look radiant at all ages. They’re well aware that a clean, healthy look is attractive. They also know that they can’t get rid of sags, wrinkles or other imperfections with a cream.

So, I hope that one day, the manufacturers of cosmetics will encourage women to take care of their skin, but not expect unrealistic results. — Sharon B., Monessen, Pennsylvania

Hotel Toiletries

Do you ever go on a trip and stay in a hotel with soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion that you end up taking home? Many of us do, but what if you get home and realize that you don’t actually need them? Here are a few suggestions:

— Donate them to a battered women’s shelter.

— Hand out the items at homeless shelters.

— Donate them to a children’s home.

— Donate them to a summer camp for children.

— Keep them in the guest room of your home for visitors.

Unhealthy Foods to Avoid

Dear Heloise: It’s no secret that Americans are gaining weight at an alarming rate. There are foods we eat that are unhealthy for us and seem to be everywhere. An occasional bowl of ice cream isn’t too bad, but that treat added together with the other things we eat make for an unhealthy diet. Here are a few items to avoid or enjoy only as a rare treat:

— Fried foods: Not only are they very unhealthy, they can eventually cause people to gain weight.

— Potato chips: This is sheer junk food and a diet buster.

— Hydrogenated fats: Sadly, these are everywhere — in our fast food, butter and commercial baked goods.

— Corn syrup: It’s found in far too many foods and beverages.

— Fruit juice: When you drink a glass of fruit juice, you’re basically drinking the juice of not just one, but several fruits. A glass of orange juice, for example, might require as many as five or six oranges.

— Processed meats: These are high in fats and unhealthy preservatives.

— Alcohol: For many people, this can put weight on them in no time at all.

— Desserts: Most desserts contain added sugar, which is just another waistline killer.

— Cheese: I love cheese, but it’s murder for your diet. In fact, most dairy products are. — Fiona J., Nutritionist in Chicago

— Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to [email protected]. I can’t answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.