GREENWICH, Conn. -- Looking for ways to feel healthier -- and younger? Look no further than "Beyond Beauty," a new book by Debbie Palmer, D.O., FAOCD, a board certified dermatologist who specializes in cosmetic and medical dermatology at Dermatology Associates of New York in Harrison, N.Y.
The book -- her second -- is a culmination of Dr. Palmer’s 17+ years of experience working in dermatology, along with contributions from former Editor in Chief of Shape Magazine, Valerie Latona. The book is a practical guidebook to aging well in the modern world and offers readers simple, doable tips—backed by the very latest research—on how to make over the health of their body and, in doing so, dramatically transform their skin.
Here, the Greenwich resident offers her top skincare/anti-aging tips:
- Wash your face and remove all makeup, skin oil and dirt at night. Cosmetics can trap skin-aging free radicals from smoke or pollution against your skin—causing premature fine-lines, discoloration and sagging, said Dr. Palmer. "My favorite is Replere Deep Clean & Clarify Face Wash because it contains antioxidants and exfoliating glycolic, salicylic and azelaic acids."
- Exfoliate regularly. The skin is continually renewing itself—shedding dull, old skin cells to make way for newer, more radiant skin cells. As we get older, this process slows down. When we exfoliate, our superficial skin cells send signals to the layers of cells below to increase new cell production. This speeds up cell renewal and returns our radiance or youthful glow. It also gets rid of the debris on the skin, keeping skin smoother and less likely to break out. It has also been shown to help the absorption of serums, lotions and/or creams you apply to your skin.
- Use your daily sunscreen—and don’t forget to reapply every two hours when out in the sun. The damage to the skin from ultraviolet rays are cumulative. Protect against both skin cancer and aging with sunscreen use. "I also advise to wear your vitamins! Topical antioxidants help to repair the skin from sun damage and they also have natural sunscreen properties," said Dr. Palmer. "I always layer mine under my sunscreen for added protection."
- Avoid sleeping with your face in a pillow. No matter how soft your pillow, sleeping on your side or with your face in the pillow causes the skin to crease and the fabric—from the pillowcase—to bunch up, putting pressure on your face every single night. Over time, this repeated action can create sleep lines on your face, neck, and chest which can become permanent wrinkles. Sleeping on your back is the best option to avoid these lines. "Some patients have told me they find it helpful to place a pillow under their knees or molded next to their body to prevent them from sleeping on their stomach or on their side," she said." If you absolutely can’t avoid sleeping with your face in the pillow, invest in a silk pillowcase. The slippery surface of these pillowcases reduces the friction between your skin and the fabric, minimizing the bunching up of fabric that contributes to deep creases."
- Rejuvenate your skin from the inside—eat healthy, manage stress, exercise, and get enough sleep. More details about this in the book.
- Avoid excess alcohol consumption. Drinking a lot of alcohol isn’t good for any part of your body—skin included. One of the main reasons is that alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing dehydration. This can cause your skin to look older and more wrinkled; it can also make skin look pale or gray in color. (Too much alcohol is also toxic for your liver, which can contribute to skin discoloration.) It helps to drink water in between drinks to stay hydrated, but it’s better to limit your drinks from the get-go. Excessive alcohol also reduces blood levels of vitamin A, an important antioxidant for your skin that’s critical for collagen production. Collagen is the substance that gives your skin its fullness. Without collagen, our skin develops wrinkles and sags. It helps to drink antioxidants (coffee and green tea are good sources) or eat antioxidants (brightly colored fruits and vegetables are chockfull of antioxidants)—and to apply them topically to neutralize these effects. Replenish from the inside and out.
Stressed Dr. Palmer: "It’s always best to maintain a healthy balance in life to keep your body healthy—and your skin looking it’s youthful, radiant best."
Go to Amazon for more information on her book.