News & Features

Forget The Facelift

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

Doris J. Day, M.D.

Part 3 The Ageless Skin Diet and Exercise Program

(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 best care for your skin in the third of four monthly installments.)

One of the most popular sections of my book is diet and exercise. In it, I discuss the importance of a diet that is not only healthy for your body, but specifically, good for your skin. Some foods you should eat while others should be avoided if you want to have beautiful skin. All the best cosmetic products and dermatologic procedures in the world will not make up for a poor skin diet. If you follow the plan, you will also lose any unwanted pounds you may be trying to shed. I use the word “diet” to mean a way of eating for life, not as a temporary measure towards a certain end. As you follow the healthy skin diet, you will see changes in your skin in hydration, glow, and resilience. When you combine the diet with the other sections, the changes will be even more dramatic and lasting.

Ten Commandments of Skin Care

I begin with my ten commandments for the care and feeding of your skin. Those include the ten basics to get you in line for the change to come. One of the most important of these is Commandment 4- Avoid simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, substances that are metabolized even though they can be toxic and cause your skin to age. Most people are not aware of commandment 8- Stop looking for a miracle diet. I get calls and questions all the time about what the “best” product or food or treatment is for the skin. There is no absolute right answer to this, which is why there are so many choices and so many claims. I remain skeptical. You have to understand that science does not have all the answers, but it does offer lots of clues. In this section, I let you in on some of the most important recent discoveries as they relate to the skin. Plus, I created a five day diet to get you started. It is the diet that not only did wonders for my own skin but also helped me shed 50 unwanted pounds, and I have never looked back.

High Antioxidants

I believe that supplements, as well as a daily multi-vitamin can be helpful for many of us since it is very difficult to maintain a proper, balanced, diet in a big city where foods are not always fresh or available. The types of foods I think are most important are those with the highest antioxidant content. Those also happen to be ingredients that are found in many fruits and vegetables. The reason fruits and vegetables make antioxidants is to protect themselves from the ravages of the sun. Scientists have learned to tap into these excellent substances, called phytochemicals, and study how they can benefit us. Those are food families of ingredients with names like flavinoids and isothiocyanates; they are found in foods like cherries, red cabbage, berries and various teas. In my book, I give you details on the ones that are more important for the skin and recipes to incorporate them into your diet.

There are also fats which are important for your skin. I review the different types of fats in various foods, including the ones you should avoid as much as possible, along with the ones you should seek. My favorite source of healthy fat is olive oil. I use it in almost all my cooking and salads, not only to add to my health but also to inject great flavor as well. Finally, I review the vitamins that I think are most important for your skin, as well as foods that naturally contain these ingredients.

Jump Start

I have found that there are some general guidelines that can be very useful in staying on the right path to beautiful skin. I list them for you and follow them myself. I also explain how they will help improve your skin. For example, start your day with a bowl of berries because it gives you an antioxidant jump-start. Also, don’t eat within two hours of bedtime because you need time to digest all your healthy food before you lie down.

Once you are on the right path with your diet and new attitude towards all the wonderful, delicious, satisfying, healthy skin food choices, you should also get on the right path for exercise that is good for your skin. Exercise is good for every organ in your body, and skin is no exception. When you realize how much improvement it makes for your skin, you will be more motivated to exercise. I refer to two different types of exercise, one for the whole body, that helps your skin in indirect ways, and exercises that benefits your skin directly. I also review all the excuses of why so many don’t exercise, along with the ways to get around them. So you jump-start your path to beautiful skin -- and a healthy body that goes along with it – which is not a bad side effect. There are also different skin conditions like acne and rosacea that can flare under some circumstances when exercising, so I review ways to avoid, minimize and treat these flare ups.

Moves the Skin

For exercises that are directly beneficial for the face, it is important to understand a few very important points. First, many of the muscles of the face, notably the muscles of facial expression, are attached directly to the skin. That’s opposed to other areas of the body where muscles are attached to tendons or bones. This means that when you move the muscle, you move the skin. Over time, that leads to wrinkles if you over-use certain muscles, get excess sun exposure, consume a poor diet or lack a skin care regimen. Muscles have only one action, they contract and pull. No muscle can push. That means for movement in one direction by one muscle, there is an opposing muscle that moves your skin in the opposite direction. I show you how to strengthen the muscles that hold the face up, and relax the ones that pull your face down. I review specific exercises and how to perform them in order to get specific results. The difference is immediate. And, when you work on those muscles over time, it becomes a rejuvenating habit that is simple and costs nothing, making it priceless.

By the end of this section, you will have gained important insights to healthy skin from the inside out, and an eye-opening workout that will take years off your skin in no time. The information will help you achieve your goal of beautiful skin, and will also make a difference in your overall health and energy level.

Next month, in Step 4, Ageless Skin Without Surgery, I will walk you through the most recent boom in technology and non-surgical treatments to rejuvenate and enhance the beautiful you whom we have been working on together. These are treatments with little or no “down time” which means they can be done with minimal interference in your daily life. Moreover, nobody knows what you have done, unless you choose to tell them.

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

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