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Forget the Facelift


by Doris Day, M.D.

Step 2- The Ageless Skin Inner Makeover

Doris J. Day, M.D.

Doris J. Day, M.D.

Stress is a part of life. In fact, without it, life would be no fun at all, and probably not even possible. Clearly, if we spent all our days in a dark room and had no emotions we would live longer and have younger looking skin, but who would want to live in such an environment? Stress is not always bad and having stress can be an important motivator in many healthy situations. However, how we manage our stress plays a vital role in how our skin ages.

In Step 2 of Forget the Facelift my goal is to help the reader understand the critical importance of what I call the three “R’s” for ageless skin. These are: Releases, Rewards, and Relaxation. It never ceases to amaze me how much we carry our stressors on our face and how much it ages our skin. We make faces, not just faces, but such exaggerated faces that those lines become etched in our skin. We even make faces when no one is looking- when we are on the phone, or when we are just thinking something or remembering a specific situation. In the short run what happens is that people respond to these expressions in a defensive way, after all, if we are making such strong expressions, we must feel very strongly about what we are saying. This leads to dialogues that are often out of proportion to our feelings and can perpetuate themselves in a negative way. Breaking the cycle of wearing our stressors in our skin works miracles in the anti-aging process in the way none of the other steps can compete with.

The first of the three R’s- Releases- explores ways to recognize and let go of your own particular stressors that are aging your skin. In this section I help you create a very simple compliance journal that will serve not only to help you release, but also to help you track your progress. It is absolutely invigorating and rejuvenating to let go of all the baggage weighing down your skin, causing it to look and feel older for no reason. Most of us mentally kick ourselves for things we have said or done for long after we would have forgiven and forgotten about someone else having said or done the same thing. You can’t go back; you have to start right where you are. One example a patient of mine had as a release is: “I forgive myself for all those teenage summers in the sun with baby oil. Hey, I didn’t know how bad it was for me! Now I’ll do damage control for my skin and be happy about the changes I make.”

After this we were able to institute a healthy skin care and sun protection regimen, but even before that she started to see the changes in her skin, just from letting go. She is now able to go out and have a great time without being destructive to her skin. When you make the changes, think of it as steering the wheel of a car, if you try to make too big a turn too quickly you can swerve or even flip over. Changes of the skin, especially inner changes also should be made in a smooth and natural way so that the changes are real and lasting. I know when I get excited about something I want to do a lot quickly, then I get overwhelmed and then I have trouble continuing. With the journal, you can pace yourself and you will find that not only does the inner makeover feel effortless; the compliments that follow about how good you look will be your best impetus to continue.

Doris J. Day, M.D.
Rewards are ways of nourishing the spirit in ways that end up bringing out the best in your skin. We each have within us many gifts and strengths, and the rewards section gives you the tools you need to recognize and celebrate them. The changes you will see in your skin will surprise you. A simple example of a reward is: “I feel good about myself because I had lunch with my aunt in the assisted-living facility. She was so glad to see me! And, I brought her a jar of my homemade blueberry preserves. She loved it. It felt so good to re-connect with my family.”

Rewards can also be a place to put yourself first for a change, to celebrate something you love to do, a book you love to read, a place you love to go, a food you love to eat, just for you. It is your opportunity to celebrate yourself without reservation. It feels great and is great for your skin. Make sure to keep track of these rewards in your compliance journal, reading back on it later will bring a beautiful smile to your eyes and healthy glow to your skin.

Relaxation is all about lowering the skin-damaging levels of stress that accumulates over time. Rather than drinking or smoking or eating unhealthy “comfort” foods, relaxation offers you lots of helpful advice about how to balance all the things you are going through, without asking you to make drastic changes in the way you live. Relaxation is about music, laughter, dance, touch, pleasure, light, meditation, and all the other components that are a healthy part of our minds and our bodies, especially our skin.

I go into lots of detail on these and I share my own personal strategies for relaxation that work for me. One of my own examples was about how, when I was in medical school, studying for hours on end while my non-medical school friends were out having fun, I would take a “dance break” instead of a snack break, and put on my Rick Astley cassette on high volume and dance and sing my heart out. I then sat back down, exhausted but completely refreshed, ready for more studying. When I look back at that time of my life, I have fond memories of learning and energy, not feelings of deprivation or stress.

Another important component of the inner make-over comes from the outside- how we look. In this section I review the importance of making your spirit soar and jumpstarting you on your way to more beautiful skin from the approach of: wardrobe, hair styles/color, nails, teeth, shoes, make-up, and more. By understanding the difference a small change can make, a change you can see right away, you will be encouraged to continue and to follow the program without any effort at all. There are detailed explanations on the components of skin, hair and nails that will guide you through to making quick, easy changes that will catapult you on your way to younger looking skin, from the inside and out.

Next, in Step 3, I will review my Ageless Skin Diet and Exercise Program for Beautiful Skin.



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