Timeless Skin Care Tips

I get asked about beauty and skincare all the time! "Dr. C, how do you keep your skin looking young? What moisturizer do you use? How do you handle wrinkles? I’m going to explain it all below! 1. Let me start off by saying much of beauty comes from within! A person's enthusiasm for their life, their self-acceptance, and their spirit can cultivate beauty in itself. Truly the most important part of beauty is radiating a deep love for yourself and the world despite its flaws. You can't prove or measure beauty, yet everyone "gets it," because all that is beautiful is healthy, harmonious, and true. A true state of beauty is aligned with the design of the universe. 2. Eat for Youth. Like any other organ of the body, the skin requires the nourishment of vitamins and minerals from food—first and foremost for skin health are the fat-soluble vitamins A and D. Rough, dry and prematurely aged skin is a telltale sign of vitamin A deficiency, which often first manifests as rough, raised skin on the back of the arms. Vitamin A is critical to the repair process, including repair from sunburn and damage from toxins. Vitamin A increases the thickness of the epidermis, especially the granular layer (the portion of the epidermis that produces horn cells). Many cultures use liver as an excellent source of vitamin A, along with egg yolk, cod liver oil, and carrots. Healthy skin must start on the inside, nourished by a healthy diet. A diet low in refined carbohydrates and high in fats (animal ones as well), rich in fat-soluble vitamins and proteins that support skin and collagen integrity, is the basic recipe for skin health. Bone broths and stews rich in collagen help make skin thicker and healthier; lacto-fermented foods support intestinal health and gut integrity. 3. Balance your hormones. Acne is common in peri– and postmenopausal women and is a sure sign of hormone depletion. Transdermal natural progesterone is a skin moisturizer. When used as a skin cream, not only is progesterone well absorbed but it restores skin hydration. The skin becomes more youthful in appearance and most small wrinkles disappear. Thyroid contributes to overall skin health. In general, normal levels of thyroid hormone are associated with well-hydrated skin, as well as with thicker, healthier-looking skin. Now that there are medical tools that measure the circulation of blood throughout our skin, we have a better understanding of the importance of the thyroid hormone in maintaining healthy skin. Studies show that a low functioning thyroid may result in reduced blood circulation. In advanced cases of hypothyroidism (when the body produces too little thyroid hormone), the skin may receive as little as 20 to 25 percent of the normal blood supply. With reduced circulation, the nourishment supplied by blood is compromised and waste products are not removed promptly and completely. 4. Supplement when needed. Magnesium deficiency stimulates the release of histamine from the mast cells. As a result, the person becomes prone to allergies including eczema. In order to metabolize one molecule of glucose, we need at least twenty-eight molecules of magnesium; thus eating sugar and refined carbohydrates can have detrimental effects on the skin. Nuts, whole grains, bone broths, and unrefined salt are our best sources of magnesium. Other minerals that play key roles in skin health include zinc, iron, and selenium. Zinc deficiency is associated with acne because zinc helps control the production of oil in the skin. It is also a co-factor for vitamin A utilization. Good iron status supports a rosy glow in the cheeks. Selenium supports tissue elasticity and protects against free radical damage. Red meat, liver, and seafood are our best sources of these vital minerals. 5. Other Lifestyle Factors Make sure to honor these lifestyle factors as well.

  • Deep, restful sleep.

  • Stress reduction (cortisol breaks down skin tissue).

  • Exercise

What Should I Put on My Face? We know that the skin is the largest organ of the body and readily absorbs much of what is applied to it, good and bad. That is why so many drugs can be administered through the use of transdermal patches. Therefore, it is an excellent principle and wise precaution not to apply substances to our skin that we would not readily take internally. It would be ideal if what we used on our skin were edible, and yet more, a whole food, in which case it would also have the potential of actually nourishing the skin and helping it to heal itself. A few of our favorites: -Grassfed tallow -Olive oil -Coconut oil Our ancestors overwhelmingly used tallow for skincare. For example, a book of "recipes" for all facets of life, written by Dr. A.W. Chase, MD in 1866, lists ten formulations of salve, eight of which contain tallow, in addition to other natural ingredients. When your face is dry, you may want to try out one of our above favorites that have been used to anoint the skin effectively for a very long time. Quality Matters. The quality of the tallow used in a balm would be of paramount importance to the therapeutic properties of the product, but that goes for everything we put on our skin! Not only creams but makeup. Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products, and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine—an indicator of PFAS, so-called "forever chemicals" that are used in nonstick frying pans. Certain brands have incorporated more natural ingredients. Some of the ones we like are Mineral Fusion, 100% Pure, and La Bella Donna! It is interesting that, with modern skincare, a separate product is marketed for the face, presumably because it is gentler, making one wonder if this is an admission to the harshness of the not-so-natural ingredients found in body lotions. Red light therapy. For skin health, I like to lay in a red light bed at the office. Although red LEDs do not feel hot to the touch, they create friction and heat below the skin’s surface. Energizing cells in this way increases their activity, causing them to reproduce faster. Cells take in energy through their mitochondria, which tells them it’s time to divide. Using red light therapy is like a boost to your skin cells’ metabolism. Each time a skin cell splits from the energy of red LEDs, it creates two new copies of itself. As new cells emerge, they displace old, damaged cells that contribute to signs of aging. You can book an appointment by calling our office at 949-680-1880. The Skin Remembers.The skin maintains life-long the written and visible memory of our life. Its characteristics and texture reveal our age and lifestyles. Our daily habits have a huge impact on our skin. I am not afraid of aging, but I do care about living a healthy life that maximizes this beautiful gift of life. I hope these tips help! It's never too late to address your health concerns and improve your lifestyle. You can be the picture of wellness. You can live the best life you have ever had. If you are interested in improving your overall health, early cancer detection and, prevention, or our personalized integrative cancer care approach, please call our Patient Services Team at (949) 680-1880 x1 and they will assist you or email them at: patients@cfnmedicine.com. If you need any tools to help you thrive, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Your Partner in Health, Dr. Leigh Erin Connealy