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Looking Good with Vitamins in Brazil

May 2013

By Glaucia Holzmann, Sao Paulo

Brazilians look to diet as a first step in good health. Healthy meals, based on a colorful local dish with fruit, vegetables and grains, are the unanimous go-to for feeling good in this country. But in a huge city like Sao Paulo, where people usually don’t have the time to think about a healthy diet, vitamins are consumed in the drugstore. The higher social classes above 35 years of age go to the doctor and follow prescriptions, while the lower social classes do not follow doctors’ orders and buy the pills themselves. 

The reason Brazilians take vitamins is more due to aesthetic than health considerations. To have a healthy, young look is of concern to Brazilians of all classes and ages. Face creams that have vitamin C, for instance, sell more than those without it. Having a face with few wrinkles, stains, or freckles, strong nails and a full hair is quite important to both men and women. Of course, combatting the sun also slows down the aging process. For the higher social classes, POS is important when buying skincare products. Vichy is the most desired. Not only do Vichy products have a good reputation in Brazil, but their products are found in any drugstore in Sao Paulo. The middle class, however, still sticks to Avon.

Another concern for Brazilians is the lack of vitamin D. Since sunbathing became a monster and people use a lot of sunblock, vitamin D is not being absorbed by the body. Therefore, doctors recommend that patients take at least 20 minutes of sun every day without sun protection, but this rule is not followed since Sao Paulo is not a city for sunbathing like Rio, for example.

One can notice that all these concerns come with aging. Young people do not think about vitamins as older people do. Brazilians still eat quite well due to our natural resources and cheap products (fruits, greens and vegetables) and most agree that the diet is more important than any product sold in the drugstore, even if they don’t always find time to eat right.

Health & Fitness
Food & Drink
Sao Paulo
Blog Issue: 
Doctor-prescribed vitamin regime to counter the effects of aging
A popular Sao Paulo mini-market, where fresh produce is available on the go
Vichy products, popular with the Brazilian upper-class shoppers

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