This year, I went all in, I let myself fall of the healthy-eating bandwagon more than I would have liked, and I felt the difference in my skin as well as my body pretty quickly. If ever you want to test how much sugar affects your skin, take a photo of yourself one week after dropping it and I promise you’ll see a healthier visage in the photo. And, if it’s affecting your skin, you can be sure it’s also affecting your other organs, from your brain to your heart to your gut. It affects how you age and how long you live. That’s how important it is. Your skin is the- messenger, pay attention to the message.
Now that I have your attention, here are some simple things you can do to help your body help you look and feel your best and live your most energetic and fulfilling life. Some of it will be familiar, but still needs to be said, others may need extra approval from your doctor and yet others will not be right for you. Here is what I do and what I recommend for many of my patients:
- Habits: There is almost always a lag between habits and outcome. Sometimes the lag can take years, like with sun exposure, and skin cancer formation, but on the good side, the lag can be a matter of hours to days, like with drinking water, eating less sugar, or getting a good night's sleep.
In those cases, you will see the improvement in your skin almost immediately and my hope is that will encourage you to keep it going, take control of your habits and age beautifully.
It’s a little different when it comes to skin care, as it can take four to six weeks to see lasting improvement beyond basic hydration, so it’s very important to stick with your routine for at least a month before deciding if a product is or isn’t making a difference for your skin.
- Homeostasis: Our bodies love sameness, that is, waking up and going to sleep at the same time every day, even having daily bowel movements at the same time every day, maintaining the same weight over time. The more you stay in homeostasis, the more your body will be able to manage stresses that are not under your control.
- Intermittent Fasting or time restricted eating. This can be good for the skin as well as the body and brain. I try to keep to as close to a 16 hour daily fast but there are days I get to as little as 13 hours or as much as 20 hours. Your body heals and rejuvenates when you sleep and you sleep better when not on a full stomach.
- Hydration: Water is essential for health and life. One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling tired. You may also notice puffiness around the eyes and sagging skin. Once you re-hydrate you’ll perk right up!
- Foods: Try to stick to a whole food, plant rich diet as much as you can. I’m not a purist so I don’t go all in for vegan or keto, but if you can do it, great! Otherwise, less red meat is better, more fish and more green leafy vegetables is good too. Avoid processed foods, aka fast foods and cold cuts, deserts, and candy as much as you can, and then try harder. You will see the difference in your skin and feel the difference in your body very quickly
- Supplements: Some say that supplements are a waste, I’m not one of those people. I’ve been studying this for decades and there are certain supplements I believe could make a big difference in our skin and in our bodies. They will never replace a healthy diet or lifestyle but they can add value to it. Here’s what I take based on my research. Be sure to ask your doctor about what would be best for you
- Vitamin C 1,000 mg per day
- Zinc Piconolate 50mg per day
- Niacinamide 750 mg per day
- Quercetin 500- 1,000 mg per day
- Magnesium approx. 300-400mg daily.
- Zinc Picolinate 50mg once daily.
- Vitamin D 5000 IU once daily. I like "Superior Source Micro Lingual Vitamin D", available on Amazon
- Elysium "Basis" - anti-aging, anti-inflammatory supplement increases NAD+, activates sirtuins, supports cellular energy and metabolism, promotes healthy cellular aging process, helps maintain healthy DNA. Can purchase online at http://www.elysiumhealth.com
Bottom Line: Small changes can make a big difference. You don’t have to be perfect every day but it helps to be good on most days for beautiful, healthy skin that ages beautifully.
Happy New Year!