Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A 2004 study by the United States Department of Agriculture found that berries – especially cranberries, blueberries and blackberries – provide the highest levels of antioxidants for the lowest cost when compared to other foods.
Antioxidants are powerful preventative weapons in your skin care arsenal. Not only do they minimize redness and inflammation, they also protect the skin from sun damage and slow the formation of wrinkles, sagging and other signs of aging. Just one cup of berries provides all the antioxidants you need for an entire day!
A sound diet can provide all the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy, but there are a few supplements out there that can really give your skin a boost. I take OPC Synergy supplements by Standard Process every day. They contain resveratrol, which has been shown to activate sirtuin, an enzyme important in anti-aging. Resvertrol is found naturally in red wine, but you'd have to drink a ridiculous amount of wine to get the levels found in a single supplement.
If, like me, you get a lot of sun (I'm a golfer who lives in Miami), resolve to take a daily SunPill. The SunPill lifts your skin's natural UV defenses and reduces redness and inflammation caused by sun exposure. Taking it every day makes it work better – a one-month supply costs about $15 dollars.
Ceramides, peptides, apple stem cells – seems like every year beauty companies trumpet a new miracle product that will instantly make us look younger. In 2010, resolve not to fall for the latest marketing hype. Instead, do your research! Separate fact from fiction and only use products backed by sound scientific research. My blog, skinguru.com, is a great place to start.
Expensive beauty products are often no more effective than drugstore brands. In fact, Consumer Reports once tested wrinkle creams and found no correlation between price and effectiveness – the top performer, Olay Regenerist, was also one of the cheapest. However, there are brands I like even better than Olay. Stay tuned for my next newsletter on inexpensive skin care.
Instead of splashing on costly creams, buy drugstore brands and spend the difference on a prescription retinoid. Retinoids (vitamin A) include the brand-name prescription medications Atralin, Retin-A, Renova, Tazorac, Ziana and Differin, are the only topical products scientifically proven to improve wrinkles.
We already knew that mushrooms are naturally anti-inflammatory, making them a great ally in the fight against acne, rosacea, eczema and other inflammatory conditions. In 2009, we also learned that white button mushrooms can boost the body's immune system and protect against viruses and tumors.
And as if that weren't enough, mushrooms are loaded with selenium, antioxidants, and vitamin D, which new research shows can protect against melanoma, heart disease, and even the common cold.
While there's no conclusive scientific evidence that exercise improves the appearance of skin, it's my belief that there is a connection – we've all witnessed the healthy glow that comes as a result of regular workouts. Exercise is also a proven stress buster, and we know that too much stress can result in a damaged skin barrier, acne breakouts and dark circles under the eyes.
But if that's not enough to get you off the couch, how about this? A review of exercise studies published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Health Psychology concluded that regardless of your fitness level, the simple act of exercise makes people happier with their looks.
The best time to treat premature aging is before it starts! Even if you don't have an immediate skin complaint, make an appointment to see a dermatologist for preventative care. Your dermatologist can give you prescriptions for retinoids or acne treatments that are far more effective than those you can buy over the counter and also provide powerful laser and IPL treatments. And while insurance companies obviously won't pay for Botox or other cosmetic services, they often will cover prescriptions and treatments for acne, rosacea, and other common skin conditions.
Visit the American Academy of Dermatology website to find a Board-certified dermatologist near you.
Happy New Year to you – and your skin!
Dr. Leslie Baumann