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Skin care has radically changed in the last generation. Mothers of the past relied on heavy creams and expensive animal derivatives, but consumers today have seen the rise of not only plastic surgery but also "cosmeceuticals," compounds that exfoliate deeply and help build healthy new skin. These two books explore the interplay between these new products and healthy eating and exercise. Graf (former research fellow, National Inst. of Health) emphasizes a pH-balanced diet, while Copeland (clinical surgery, Mount Sinai Sch. of Medicine) focuses on cleansing, exfoliating, toning, and moisturizing. Both books include good, basic summaries of products such as Retin-A and also mention skin resurfacing and cosmetic peelers, which have a very slight effect or cannot be sold without a prescription. Collagen and elastin wrinkle fillers are also covered, though again these mentions are hedged. In the end, both books are heavy on unproven possibilities that may turn out to be beneficial over time. Neither is particularly well organized; one has to read the whole text to get a few nuggets of information. Buy only for demand.
—Susan B. Hagloch