By Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
Skin care products promise us the world, but sadly many of them don’t deliver and can actually end up harming our skin more than helping. With all the money we spend on maintaining youthful skin, it’s clear that women are looking for something that works. I’ve been helping women with skin issues for decades, and the secret to stunning skin is getting at the root cause: inflammation, an over-reactive immune system response that can damage healthy cells.
In a kind of domino effect, smoking, undiagnosed food sensitivities, artificial sweeteners, sugar, trans fats, stress, and more can lead to free radicals and inflammation in our bodies, which in turn leads to cell damage and aging skin. There’s a way to reverse this process, and I promise it’s not difficult.
My approach to healthy skin is definitely not skin-deep. It covers the whole body and will not only have your skin glowing, but your body feeling great. Healthy foods, nutrients, and minor changes in lifestyle, along with antioxidant nourishment can preserve your healthy skin cells and repair damaged ones.
1. Start with a skin-healthy diet
- Skin is often where toxins make their way out of the body. Try to eat organic as often as possible to limit intake of chemical pesticides. If organic food is too expensive, just make eating vegetables and fruits a priority at every meal. You can also take a look at the dirty dozen, a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides, and buy them organic. Foods like leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, berries, and citrus fruits are all high in the antioxidants that can help calm inflammation. Drinks like green tea and red wine also contain antioxidants.
- Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar, refined flours, trans fats, and overly processed food. A high-sugar diet can age skin cells dramatically. And be mindful of the glycemic index of your meals.
- Drink 8-10 eight ounce glasses of filtered water a day.
Marcelle’s skin story
Several years ago after being at the beach with my kids, I looked at myself in the mirror. I couldn’t believe how damaged my skin had become and I was only in my 30’s. Freckles, rosacea, and what seemed like a permanent red nose — I was ready to make some serious changes. Here’s what I did to repair my skin:
- Changed my diet to the diet I recommend in tip 1
- Threw out all of my skin care products that contained harmful chemicals (see tip 4 for details)
- Began using a vitamin C toner in the morning
- Began using a vitamin A serum at night
- Tried to reduce my toxic exposure
Over time, my efforts paid off. And now my skin seems to be what people comment most about when they see me.
2. Add extra antioxidants
- In addition to eating foods with high antioxidant power, find a good multivitamin like the one we offer in our True Health Program. It can boost your skin quality and overall health by providing antioxidants like beta carotene, and vitamins C and E to combat your daily exposure to free-radicals.