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may 5 food question

May 04, 1999

Q. Some hand lotions and and soaps say they include vitamins. Can you really get vitamins by applying them to your skin?

A. The vitamins in lotions and soaps do not function in the same way as vitamins taken orally. They treat only the skin, according to a spokeswoman from The Andrew Jergens Company in Cincinnati.

Vitamin A is a moisturizer that enhances the elasticity of the skin and promotes cell regeneration, she says. Vitamin C forms a protective barrier against free radicals - harmful agents inside the body caused by smog, cigarette smoke, food additives and other toxins - and is a mild sunscreen. Vitamin E serves as an antitoxin and protects against premature aging and free radicals, she says.

- Meg H. Partington, Staff Writer

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