News & Features

Ageless Skin - Part One

by Doris Day, M.D.
Doris J. Day, M.D.

Doris J. Day, M.D.

Doris Day, M.D. is a New York City dermatologist and author (with Sondra Forsyth) of "Forget the Facelift," a new book in which Dr. Day tells readers how to turn back the clock with her own program for ageless skin. In four steps, Dr. Day explains ways to improve your skin from the inside out. Here, exclusively to readers of News, Dr. Day tells how to plan for your skin's future, in the first of four monthly installments.

Study your face in the mirror. How old would you say your skin looks? Do you see the start of wrinkles? Puffiness around your eyes? Sallow skin tone? Age spots? Your chronological age notwithstanding, your skin may seem to be older than the number of candles on your birthday cake would suggest.

The good news: you do have control over how old your skin looks.

My book, "Forget the Facelift," is a product of my own personal experiences, education, and over a decade's experience as a dermatologist. In the book, I include my own personal life experiences, as well as supply composite patient case histories with which most readers will identify.

One of my favorite parts is the "string of pearls" that runs through the book. These are concepts that I came up with on my own or got from patients and friends. My goal is that you should be able to open the tome to any page and find useful information. The book can be read in any order, depending on what you want to learn first. Eventually, I expect the reader to read every section in order to get the most out of the book.

In the process of skin aging, only 30% is genetic, which means that most of how your skin does, or does not, age is up to you. There are four steps to having beautiful skin. First is what you can do from the outside. Being directly accessible the way no other organ system is, you have a unique opportunity to keep skin healthy and young by applying the right products and protecting it from damaging agents.

The second step is the "inner makeover," or, managing your stressors. This is overlooked in every other book I have been able to find, and is one of the most powerful ways to rejuvenate your skin and your looks.

In the step three, I describe the skin diet and exercises that will take years off and keep them off. Fourth is information about the wonderful, non-surgical procedures that compliment and enhance the new you. Here, I describe the procedures and what you can expect, in detail, from each one.

Doris J. Day, M.D.
Now, let's talk about step one- what you can do from the outside and how to stop sabotaging your skin's efforts to stay young and beautiful.

The skin is an essential organ, something we cannot survive without. It helps control body temperature, protects us from germs trying to get into our bodies, gives us the sense of touch which protects us from pain and gives us pleasure. But probably the most important function of the skin for many of us is the aesthetic value. That affects how others perceive us and how we feel about ourselves. No one cares if you have an ugly liver, but having a bad skin day can be devastating. The good news is there are many very easy ways to help keep your skin as young and beautiful as possible.

I designed a skin aging test which you can take at the start of the book, and then return to it as a measure of your progress. The test helps you grade your skin based on factors such as skin tone, texture, wrinkles, broken blood vessels, enlarged pores and other factors. Progress is measured through a rating system. I also think it is very helpful to keep a compliance journal. I give an example of one to show how absolutely easy it is and how good it feels to see your efforts paying off. In the journal, you can make a list of your daily skin care regimen and give yourself a check mark for compliance. You can also see your own pattern of skin care which will help guide you into making choices that work for you. I have patients coming in every day with shopping bags full of products. They had every intention of being compliant when they bought the regimens because they were energized by the salesperson at the spa or department store. However, when it came down to doing everything on a daily basis, it quickly became evident that keeping up a complex routine is not for most people. The good news: it doesn't have to be.

With the Ageless-Skin-Care Regimen, you will create a routine that is right for you, easy to follow and bountiful in the results you desire. The regimen contains recipes for products you can make yourself, means of dressing up or enhancing products you have already purchased and ingredients you should look for in products that you would like to buy and use without alteration. To start, I explain how important the formulation is. In any product, one or a few active ingredients and the vehicle in which the active ingredients are combined. Depending on the quality of the vehicle, and the site where the product is applied, the same active ingredient may be more or less effective. For example, an active ingredient delivered via a gel is generally more potent than one delivered via an ointment which is more potent than a cream which is, in turn, more potent than in a lotion.
Doris J. Day, M.D.

Some products should be avoided. Those are products that will irritate your skin or contain ingredients high on the list for causing irritant or allergic reactions. An example: sodium laurel sulfate -- that ingredient is known as a surfactant and is found in most cleansers for the face, body and hair. It helps lift the dirt of the skin/hair and makes for a nice lather. But there are more gentle surfactants -- and products that contain little or no surfactant at all -- that might be better for your skin. A major emphasis of this section is the category of antioxidants. These are ingredients that are found in a wide variety of products that work to repair damage already done, and reverse the signs of aging in your skin.

The goal of section one is to emphasize the importance of a regular, appropriate skin care routine that includes cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and sunscreen and helping guide you to the products and ingredients that are best for your skin. I also think that the pearls in this section will jumpstart you on your way.

Next month: step two talks about the inner makeover, a very powerful way to see rejuvenating changes take place in your skin by using the power of your mind.

If you have any more questions about this topic or would like more information Click Here.

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