Q: Do you believe in natural beauty? How is it possible to grow old with dignity? — Niña Gavino, Marikina, Rizal
A: Yes, I absolutely believe in natural beauty and that true beauty is radiant health regardless of our age. For example, children who are signficantly overweight, are deprived of good nutrition, exsiting on fast foods and sugary drinks, with no fresh air or exercise, quickly lose the radiant beauty that is their birthright. A person in their fifth or sixth decade and beyond, who follows a healthy, active lifestyle, avoiding self-destructive habits and pro-inflammatory foods, will glow with radiant health and vitality.
We have great personal control on how well or how poorly we are aging. My goal is not to avoid the positive signs of aging, but to help people age well. In fact, looking good and having a positive body image is not vanity — it is our road to a long, healthy and happy life.
Most people think that aging skin is caused by chronological age — that is, the older we are in years, the more wrinkled we will be. However, the truth is not that simple. There are many lifestyle factors that contribute to aging skin — factors that will actually accelerate the aging of skin, making us look (and feel) years older than chronologic age.
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Q: What are the main things to absolutely avoid if you suffer from dry skin? — Ericka Martinez, Los Angeles, California
A: TIPS TO PREVENT DRY SKIN
• Keep your showers and baths short, and use warm, not hot, water.
• Avoid coffee, it is a diuretic.
• Avoid alcohol, which will accelerate dehydration.
• Avoid sugary, starchy foods, which cause an inflammatory response in the body and exacerbate a host of skin problems from wrinkles to dry skin to acne, eczema, rosacea, etc.
• Avoid harsh cleansers and exfoliators. Use a gentle, antioxidant-based cleanser applied gently with a natural sea sponge and rinse thoroughly with warm water.
• Don’t smoke.
To Treat Dry Skin
• Apply antioxidant-rich moisturizers to skin while it is still damp from the shower.
• Stay hydrated with pure spring water.
• Protect your skin from harsh weather conditions (wind, cold, sun). Apply a phospholipids-based moisturizer over your treatment products to protect skin.
• Follow the same advice to protect skin from overheated, dry interior spaces, such as home and office.
• Increase your intake of the Omega 3 family of healthy fats, including salmon, sardines, anchovies, sablefish, halibut and take high-quality fish oil capsules for supple, smooth skin from the inside out.
• Use topical antioxidants to treat the underlying cause of dry skin — inflammation.
• Follow the anti-inflammatory diet of high-quality protein, lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and healthy fats.
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Send your questions to N.V. Perricone, M.D. through firstname.lastname@example.org