Beauty Detox

Beauty Detox

Let’s get back to the basics on how to maintain beautiful skin.  Yes, good skin care products and treatments do make a difference in how great we look, but if we aren’t eating well and taking care of ourselves from the inside out, we won’t be able to sustain the youthful glow and nourished healthy look we all want in our skin.

For starters, its really important to drink plenty of good clean water. Half our body weight in ounces per day is what we should aim for.  Water flushes the liver and the kidneys, our primary detoxification organs.  The skin is our other detoxification organ. Sweating, whether through exercise, or a sauna, we can clean the skin by opening and unclogging our pores.  Aim for lots of filtered water and a good sweat most days if you can!

Clean eating is crucial over the years to help maintain healthy skin and body.  What should we try to stay away from? 1. Processed foods – processed foods are full of man-manipulated chemicals that are difficult for our bodies to breakdown and end up causing inflammation and weight gain (as these chemicals our body doesn’t know what to do with end up getting stored in our fat cells).  2. Sugar – try to decrease your sugar intake.  This is SO HARD because sugar is so addictive!  Sugar binds to proteins and fats in the body during digestion to create advanced glycation end products which are free radicals that reduce collagen and elastin in the skin, ultimately causing wrinkles.  Sugar also feed bad bacteria and yeast in our gut, which can cause inflammation and show up in the skin as acne or puffiness.  3.  Trans fats and many vegetable oils – these also promote inflammation.

We really should aim for a whole foods plant based diet.  I’m not saying to be a vegetarian, just eat more plants!  A variety of fruits and vegetables are going to give you an array of antioxidants to fight free radicals in our bodies.

Free radicals have seriously damaging effects on our skin, so we need foods full of antioxidants.  We expose ourselves to free radicals when the sun hits our skin, and when alcohol, sugar, smoke, or other toxins enter the body.  Vitamin C, E and A are the most common antioxidants; green tea is packed with them, and they are found in abundance in fruits and vegetables.  Cosmetic companies are combing the globe for new antioxidants in plants, like acai berries or rose hips, to put into their topical products.  Yes, antioxidants work when applied to the skin (in the right formulations found topically), but do not forget to EAT the fruits and vegetables as well.  Eating our fruits and vegetables, as well as applying them to our skin with good products containing them, is going to give you the most antioxidant power.

Our whole food plant based diet should also contain some healthy fats and adequate protein.  Fats help build cells, produce hormones, give us energy and allow us to absorb fat soluble vitamins.  Great choices are avocados, walnuts, salmon, unheated olive oil.

Lastly in this beauty detox blog, we are all pretty “overfed” in this country we live in.  It’s a blessing… and a curse.  We all could probably benefit from missing a meal now and then, and really start thinking about what foods are healing and truly good for us.  Our bodies have a remarkable capacity to heal if given digestive rest every so often … followed by healing food and clean pure water.

Have a great week!

Dr. Jill

Earth Day Beauty Tips

It was Earth Day yesterday, and after the rain washed everything clean, today is a gorgeous day in Dallas.  I appreciate beautiful days more now, because I moved closer to the city four years ago, and I have to say it’s obvious to me that with more cars, people and businesses all around me, I have definitely felt the effects of breathing slightly more polluted air, seeing and smelling more trash, and feeling the psychological stress of having less open space and open sky.

Pollution really takes a toll on skin, causing uneven skin tone, accelerated aging and even skin cancer.  Microscopic specks of smoke, soot, acid and other pollutants are released into the atmosphere from sources like construction sites, cars and power plants. Pollution breaks down collagen and the lipid layer in the skin, which impairs skin barrier functions. Washing your face thoroughly helps.  At night, remove the film of potentially harmful pollutants, not to mention makeup and dirt. The goal is to get everything off without too much scrubbing, which can exacerbate skin conditions like acne.  In addition, pollution erodes the ozone layer, which helps shield us from the sun’s harmful rays.  Apply a broad spectrum SPF 30 daily to protect yourself.  The latest formulas contain antioxidants, boosting their pollution-fighting powers. Utilizing sunscreen, antioxidants and proper cleansing, and you won’t end up with skin that’s older than your age.

But looking at the BIGGER picture, what can we do to help this gorgeous planet of ours?  I am tempted to throw my hands up and look the other way at times.  But the truth is, we all make an impact.  A healthy lifestyle and an eco-conscious one go hand in hand.

Here are some things for us to consider.

Can you drive a BIT less?  It’s a great way to reduce the amount of dangerous greenhouse gases (which are responsible for a large chunk of climate change) we release into the environment.  I carpool with my kids, and chunk my errands all at once if I can.  I also do more virtual shopping.  BeautyRiche is my one-stop-shop for my skin care products.

Start paying attention to the food items you toss in the garbage. That way, you can notice patterns (e.g., every week you throw away half a gallon of spoiled milk) and tweak your shopping habits accordingly.  Consider donating to a food kitchen if you have a party and are left with a lot of extra food.  And RECYCLE!!! Plastic, paper, cans, glass.  It’s really so easy once you start.  Most of the waste in my home is recycling now and not trash.

Use less food packaging.  It irritates me that food packaging takes up almost two thirds of total packaging waste in the United States. (All those cheese stick wrappers and yogurt containers!). That means a whole lot of waste ending up in landfills, which mean more methane is released into the air.  When shopping, look for products with minimal to no packaging, or at least packaging made from recycled items.

Carry your coffee cups. This is an area where we can make a huge difference in the amount of waste we produce. Bonus: Some stores (even Starbucks) provide discounts for bringing your own mug.

Consider buying in bulk the foods that last a long time (think pasta, cereal, and nuts). Just be sure to store them properly so they don’t go bad before you can use them.

Reuse your grocery bags!
Household cleaning products are among a number one cause of indoor pollutants that can hurt the environment as well as your lungs.  Choose non-toxic eco friendly cleaning products if you can.

Look for the Energy Star label, consider products that run on natural gas instead of electricity.  The same thing goes for the purchase of wood products (like furniture)—make sure it’s been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council—and less obvious paper goods, like tissues and toilet paper.

The most important idea to remember is that overtime, all these changes add up to a really positive impact on the environment. No effort is too trivial—so pick one of these new habits and take action today.

 

Happy Earth Day and have a great week!

 

Dr. Jill

Food for Thought

Food for Thought

I broke out with HORRIBLE acne my first and second year of Medical School.  It was so awful, so embarrassing, and I will never forget the pitiful look my Attending Dermatologist gave me as she wrote me a prescription for Accutane (twice).  Outside of the stress and late nights up studying, I lived on coffee and candy to get me through… and I paid the price.  I WISH I knew then what a huge impact diet and lifestyle plays on your skin.  Although great products and laser have helped get rid of most of my acne scars and helped skin look good again, I am more convinced than ever at my age of 46 HOW MUCH great nutrition keeps skin healthy and supple and vibrant.  Let me give you some insight…

First and foremost, nix the sugary, caffeinated stuff and DRINK MORE PURE WATER!  Over 60% of our bodies are comprised of water, and you will notice a difference in your skin within a day or two!  Water is crucial for our skin cells to stay plump and alive. Water helps cells move nutrients in and toxins out. Further, when we are hydrated, we sweat more efficiently, which keeps our skin clear.  You should be drinking 8 glasses daily at minimum and more if you are active.

Secondly, eat more PLANTS! More fruits and veggies will make a big difference on the health of your skin.  If you notice many of our higher end skin products have vitamins and minerals and enzymes derived from fruits and vegetables…  If we are spending “many pennies” to put them ON our skin, why not put them in our bodies as well?

Vitamin C is found in abundance in citrus fruits, and in a variety of vegetables, such as broccoli and kale.  Vitamin C promotes collagen production and skin healing.  Vitamin A is essential for new skin cell development and cellular renewal.  Sweet potatoes, carrots, dark leafy greens, winter squash, dried apricots, bell peppers, mango and canteloupe are excellent sources of vitamin A.

In general, many fruits and vegetables are full of ANTIOXIDANTS.  Some powerhouse choices are blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and plums.  Our skin is exposed to free radicals on a daily basis. Free radicals come from things such as sun exposure or pollution, and are responsible for skin damage and sun aging.  Antioxidants such as those found in berries can destroy these free radicals and protect cells from further damage and premature skin aging.  Why not start now so you can keep your skin looking great in the next 5, 10, 20, 30 plus years?!

Third, our skin’s cellular membranes are made of a “bi-lipid layer”, which means the covering of our cells is made of fat molecules.  When we eat more healthy fats, these get incorporated into new cells with healthier membranes and therefore healthier cells. Healthy skin cells hold moisture better, which results in plumper, younger-looking skin. Good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids include salmon, walnuts, and flaxseed. Essential fatty acids also protect against inflammation, which is good for our hearts and arteries, as well as our skin.

Fourth, green tea is known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and for its ability to help protect cell membranes. Whether you drink it or apply it to the skin, a 2000 study in the Archives of Dermatology showed green tea might help reduce the risk of damage from UV rays from the sun, which may reduce the risk of skin cancer.  It’s also full of antioxidants and polyphenols (anti-inflammatories) that we know are good for the skin.

Lastly, try to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.  Researchers believe are thousands of undiscovered of antioxidants, peptides, enzymes, and anti-aging ingredients that will nourish our skin and our bodies, keeping us looking and feeling great.

 

Have a great week!

 

Dr. Jill