By Dr. Katie Rodan
In January, bookings in my medical practice reflect a common New Year’s resolution—to improve our overall health and well-being. According to a recent New York Time’s article, as well intentioned as we are, come January’s end, one-third of us break our commitment(s). By July, the majority of us have long abandoned our resolutions altogether.
Why do we fail? The answer is complicated, seeming to stem from a desire for a quick fix coupled with a lack of a realistic strategy to achieve our goals. When it comes to reversing the signs of past skin sins, there is no magic laser chemical peel, or injection, providing a quick fix. A healthy, beautiful complexion requires daily commitment. Devoting a few minutes twice a day to a targeted skincare routine that addresses your specific issues, plus, making a few dietary changes are two steps to set you in the right direction.
So, if you were seeing me for a so-called “vanity visit,” here’s where I’d ask you to start:
First, look in the mirror (3x magnification will do) examining your skin without makeup. Determine your one or two top complexion concerns, i.e. discolorations, enlarged pores, wrinkles, broken capillaries, facial redness or acne. Once identified, we would discuss a straightforward skincare program, most likely containing a low dose OTC medication, to address your issue that would demonstrate visible improvement in a matter of weeks.
Second, I would ask you about your daily habits, including your diet. Our skin is more than just “window dressing” for the rest of our body. It’s a living organ that needs a constant supply of nutrients to do its job. Fortunately, making smart food choices often yields three huge benefits—a pretty complexion, a healthy body and weight loss.
So here are a few clinically-proven tactics to consider:
Subtract pro-inflammatory foods by cutting out high fat, high sugar and overly processed foods that accelerate aging. To help you resist temptation, clean your cupboard of “junk food.”Avoid more than the equivalent of 3 glasses of wine per week and eliminate added salt even if you don’t have high blood pressure (for more on why it may be time to throw away the salt shaker, visithttp://www.udel.edu/udaily/2012/sep/salt-blood-pressure-092911.html).
Add foods rich in antioxidants like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries along with foods high in fiber and lean proteins. Not only will they act as skin beautifiers, they’ll fill you up and slim you down and help protect you from environmental aging factors.
Don’t get overwhelmed by making massive changes overnight; just tackle it a day at a time. And instead of thinking about what you’re giving up, just think of every meal or snack as an opportunity to improve your skin’s appearance and your overall health!