Experts who consulted on the Whole Living Healthy Skin Awards agree: Products alone won't give you a lasting glow -- healthy habits are still the foundation of skin wellness. On the following slides are their can't-live-without wisdom and the advice they rely on for a radiant complexion.
"I don't believe in facials because steaming and extractions can damage skin, but I do recommend weekly deep-tissue massage or body work to decrease tension, which diminishes breakouts and helps give the skin an all-over glow."
-- Gervaise L. Gerstner, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center with a private practice in New York City
Not dark chocolate!
"Dark chocolate actually contains zinc and flavonoids, which are potent antioxidants. I'd been told that my indulgence was incongruous with my healthy lifestyle, but now I'm vindicated!"
-- Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, M.D., assistant clinical professor at Yale University School of Medicine and director of the Dermatology and Laser Surgery Center in New York City
Washing your face is the single most important step in skin care -- it preps the canvas for the rest of your healthy-skin regimen. Follow these guidelines from Dr. Erin Gilbert, a dermatologist in New York City, to make sure you're doing it right.
Twice Is the Charm
Washing morning and evening is sufficient to remove makeup and other debris of the day. Dry skin types can skip the morning cleanse, but more than twice a day will dehydrate anyone.
Give It a Rub
Massaging the cheeks and around the eyes while you cleanse has been shown to increase blood flow as well as collagen production. Don't skip the area around your forehead and behind your ears, where excess dirt can hide.
Keep It Cool
Wash with warm water -- hot temperatures remove the natural layer of oil, drying out skin.
Try a Tool
Skin brushes stimulate skin and may improve its texture. Just be careful if you have sensitivity or acne, as brushes can make inflammation worse.
"Every day I do something healthy for my body and mind, and that is reflected in my skin. In addition to my regular exercise, I walk up seven flights of stairs to work (and down and back up again for lunch) and take 10 minutes for calm breathing."
-- Francesca Fusco, M.D., New York City-based dermatologist for nearly 20 years
1. Drink like a fish: I try to drink a gallon of water a day (with freshly sliced lemon and lime).
2. Eating a clean, alkalinizing diet featuring foods with a neutral pH (like veggies) promotes clear, wrinkle-free skin.
3. Go green. I drink a glass of greens every single morning.
-- Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center with a private practice in Great Neck, New York
"People don't apply sunscreen everywhere they should. Make sure to dab it on all the way up to the lashline, covering the whole under-eye area, not only to protect skin but to decrease dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. People also tend to miss the hairline and ears, leaving those areas vulnerable to skin cancer."
-- Jeanine B. Downie, M.D., dermatologist at Image Dermatology in Montclair, New Jersey
1. Omega-3 and -6. Found in flaxseed oil, these fats reduce inflammation and dryness.
2. Evening primrose capsules contain a key fatty acid, GLA, that helps with scaly, itchy, and aging skin.
-- David Bank, M.D., president of the New York State Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery
"Exercise every day, but don't overdo it -- working out too much (like training for several marathons in a row) increases oxidative damage to the body, including the skin."
-- Valori Treloar, M.D., integrative dermatologist in Newton, Massachusetts, for more than 20 years
"I swear by moisturizer to prevent aging. I use products based on the weather: If it's freezing cold, I layer a serum with a rich cream, but if it's warmer, I'll use just a light moisturizer with SPF. As soon as my skin starts to feel dry, I reapply."
-- Lisa Houghton, professional makeup artist based in New York City
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