Local Insights

Published on May 2nd, 2013 | by Publisher, Natural Awakenings New Mexico


Your Skin Health Questions Answered

Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, MD, a member of Pharmaca’s Integrative Health Advisory Board, offered up these helpful answers to common skin questions.

What can I do to minimize wrinkles?

The two most important things: Avoid excessive sun exposure and don’t smoke. Next, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. A pure, clean moisturizer is your very best friend when it comes to reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

As far as nutrition, make sure you’re getting omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, either by eating cold-water oily fish or taking 1,000 mg of fish oil (EPA/DHA) every day. And a diet rich in vegetables and fruits will provide you with all the antioxidants you need for healthy skin.

Retinol, a natural form of vitamin A, is available in many over-the-counter products and can be highly effective at increasing the skin’s capacity to hold water. Alpha hydroxy acids are natural fruit acids that remove the top layer of dead skin cells, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and stimulating the production of collagen. Topical vitamin C may also be helpful.

What are the most important things I can do to maintain youthful-looking skin?

In addition to the above recommendations, make sure you use a gentle cleanser and moisturizer every day. Look for a moisturizer that meets the needs of your skin (e.g. dry, sensitive). In addition, a gentle exfoliant once a week can remove older skin cells and brighten/freshen the appearance.

It’s also critical to focus on your diet if you want to look beautiful both inside and out. There is very strong evidence that all the sugar in our diet contributes to the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which bind and damage the collagen and elastin in skin. This is what makes the skin sag, lose tone and take on a lackluster hue. You can see early signs of this process when you look at the skin of a 45-year-old who’s smoked for 25 years.

If you want your skin to remain healthy and youthful in appearance, I recommend a low-glycemic load diet. The New Glucose Revolution by Jennie Brand-Miller is an excellent way to learn how to change your diet to reduce your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers. This dietary pattern will also keep your skin radiant!

Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy is hosting free Spa Day events, happening in Santa Fe on May 4, and Albuquerque on May 11. Customers can pick up product samples, get a free chair massage—and, of course, get skin care and color consultations with Pharmaca’s expert estheticians and practitioners. Visit Pharmaca.com/spa-day for more event details.

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