Super-foods with Super-Benefits

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy Superfoods and Healthy Skinfood.”

(Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine.)

Two thousand years later, modern medicine changes the perspective to “a pill for every ill”. Where’s food in this equation? Nutritionists try to bring it back as the fundamental of health and insist that most of our health problems can be prevented and why not, alleviated or cured with proper nutrition. This doesn’t equal a load of vitamins in a colorful jar, as nutrients are not only vitamins and minerals, but also include the antioxidants, dietary fiber and enzymes from raw food, which are crucial to the well-being of our body. Nutritionists advise: a 51% raw daily diet would be most appropriate for our bodies.

As far as beauty is concerned, an inclusive approach to skincare teaches us that good health is also reflected on the outside: “looking” healthy is a kind of beauty that no skincare or makeup product can replicate. But in today’s world where stressors and processed foods threaten our health and produce more damage than our body can take, this inclusive approach to skincare seems to be a difficult task.

Super-foods to the rescue! A minimum daily intake can provide our body with a significant amount of necessary nutrients that would make up for the chronic lack from other sources. The “super-food” term has become quite popular in the past few years and has made a huge impact on the diet considerations. Defined as “foods with high phytonutrient content that may confer health benefits”, super-foods are a daily must-have in your meals. We could very well add “beauty benefits” to the health ones.

Which are the best super-foods?

Berries – most of these berries pack more antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber than any other fruit: goji berries, blueberries, raspberries.

Broccoli – always available and one of the best everyday choices. High in vitamin A, C, calcium and fiber. It is of great help in reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.

Garlic – known to fight cholesterol, it is also our immune-system’s ally because of its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Egyptians trusted garlic to give them strength and heal a lot of ailments.

Nuts – nuts and seeds make an excellent source of protein, heart-healthy vitamins and fats. Have a handful with your meals every day: almonds, peanuts, flax seed or pumpkin seed are popular choices.

Spice – cinnamon & turmeric stand out on the spice shelf nowadays and have been proven to help with diverse ailments ever since the ancient times.

Oats – always great for your body because of their high fiber and protein content.

Salmon – rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, this fish leads the battle against heart disease and guarantees our body -and our skin’s!- well-being. Rainbow trout is a great (and tasty) alternative.

Spinach – praised for its high contents of vitamin C. calcium and Iron, spinach is essential for a healthy body.

Mushrooms – often omitted in favor of vegetables and fruit, but they should definitely make the super-food list. The common button mushrooms and any other edible types are great immunity boosters and fight cancer. A significant source of selenium, B-vitamins, magnesium and potassium.

Tomatoes – they are high in lycopene (the bright red pigment called carotene) and are known to fight cancer.

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Things You Didn’t Know About Sunscreen

Sun protection is crucial for your skin. You’re probably using sunscreen every day, but do you know how to use it?

  1. Higher SPF doesn’t mean better protection – it means longer protection. SPF of 15 filters up to 95% of the UVs while SPF50 up to 98%. But the higher the SPF number, the longer you can stay in the sun without burning. In theory, SPF of 15 means you can safely be in the sun up to 15 times longer than you could without using sunscreen. This is only a guideline and it is 100% valid only if you’re using the sunscreen correctly and reapplying as indicated.
  2. Less is NOT more. Apply generous amounts of sunscreen lotion– and make sure you reapply as needed. You can lose protection even when you sweat or rub your skin.
  3. UV-Bs are the ultraviolet rays that burn your skin – but not the only ones to cause damage! While UV-As only cause sun burns in large doses, they are still associated with aging and other detrimental changes to the skin because of their action on the collagen and elastin fibrils. UV-As are milder, but they are still not safe. So make sure you choose a sunscreen that guards skin from both UV-As and UV-Bs.
  4. The SPF number only measures the amount of UV-B protection you get. It doesn’t measure the amount of UV-A protection, which is given by another number. When purchasing a product, try to find out the UV-A protection factor. If this is not available, a broad-spectrum sunscreen which protects against both A and B rays will suffice.
  5. Clothes are not an efficient barrier against sun damage. Wear sunscreen on your entire body under your clothes when you spend lots of time outdoors. Clothes only have a SPF of 4 up to 7, not enough to protect during longer sun exposure.
  6. Tan is the skin’s defense reaction to the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. It eventually acts as a filter for ultraviolet rays (partially) but this doesn’t recommend using your newly achieved tan as SPF. The beginning stage of tanning is essentially skin inflammation and the tan itself is just damaged skin which can be seriously affected when overexposed to sun.
  7. Layering sunscreen lotions will not multiply the SPF protection. If you apply a lotion with SPF 15 and then makeup with SPF 20, the total SPF you’re benefiting from is 20; the SPF you end up with is the highest one you have applied.
  8. Sunscreen will not prevent body from producing the necessary amount of Vitamin D. Your skin needs UV-B rays to make vitamin D. While these can be filtered out by sunscreen, you only need approximately 10 minutes of sun a day for producing vitamin D – which you are likely to get considering people almost never apply sunscreen correctly and just a little time outdoors is enough. Be careful though: your skin stops producing Vitamin D a few minutes after sun exposure. Sunbathing for hours will not increase your vitamin D levels.
Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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What Skin Care Products Do You Need in Your Gym Bag?

For those with an active lifestyle, making sure that you have the right skin treatment products is essential to having great-looking skin. Regular workouts can be healthy for your body and skin, but the buildup of sweat on your clothes during your workouts can cause breakouts that can damage your skin. Of course, you probably take a shower or clean up after your workouts, meaning you most likely put a few products into your gym bag to keep your skin clear and clean. While there are times that you may forget or run out of your usual skin care products while you’re at the gym, you also want to think about using products that are milder and gentler on your skin. If you’re going to be washing your skin a little more than usual during the day, you don’t want to irritate it! Here are gentle skin care products you want to start keeping in your gym bag.

Cleansers for Removing Sweat and Salt

No time for a wash?

Get a few spritzes of the on-the-go-friendly, refreshing Hydrating Toner to rehydrate skin and neutralize surface impurities

A mild, gentle cleanser is important if you’re going to wash your face after a hard workout. Make sure that you use one that won’t irritate your skin and cause problems down the line. You also need to get skin those vital nutrients and antioxidants that will help combat breakouts as well as the signs of aging. Murad Daily Cleansing Foam helps give your skin a healthy glow while gently clearing it. It works to restore skin’s natural balance while pomegranate extract gives your skin the needed antioxidants it needs to stay protected from free radicals.

Have 5 minutes?

Cleanse skin immediately with the antioxidant-rich Essential-C Cleanser to remove oil and sweat, and refresh skin with a burst of citrus.

 

Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion for Hydrated, Post-Workout Skin

A gentle cleanse means making sure that you use the right lotion to make sure that your skin isn’t irritated after frequent washings. Murad Canada’s Skin Perfecting Lotion is formulated to reduce the size of pores and refine your skin’s texture. As an oil-free moisturizing formula, Murad Canada’s Skin Perfecting Lotion contains Queen of Meadow and Algae extract which work to clear pores.

A Lip Treatment

In our skin care treatment routines, we tend to focus on our face or body when it comes to anti-aging or acne treatments. While skin care products that focus on your face or body are the primary products of any regimen, you should also be using a lip treatment that will moisturize your lips. Murad’s Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips is especially formulated to help moisture penetrate your skin. It’s the perfect size to pop in your gym bag for use after every workout.

But No matter what….

Always use an SPF before heading back to work. Apply the 3-in-1 Invisiblur formula under or on top of makeup to protect skin from UV rays, blur imperfections and treat signs of aging.

When you’re going to the gym more often, making adjustments to your skin care treatment routine can be tough when you want to keep your skin healthy while not irritating it after an extra washing. Make sure you choose the gentlest skin care products that will make sure your skin keeps that healthy glow, especially after a tough workout!

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Take a Deep Breath

The practice of quieting your mind and focusing on your breath is not just for the enlightened. Here’s one of my favorite deep breathing exercises. It can be done at any time and any place. Try it lying down or sitting in a comfortable chair while maintaining good posture.

  • Close your eyes and relax your body as much as possible. Scan your body from head to toe and let go of any tension.
  • Pay attention to your breathing. With one hand on your heart and another on your belly, notice the rise and fall of each breath. If you are using the lower part of your lungs, your abdomen should be noticeably rising and falling. Your chest should not be rising nearly as much.
  • Continue breathing deeply through your nose.
  • After several more breaths, inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Keep your mouth, tongue, jaw relaxed.
  • Continue this pattern of methodical breathing as you stay relaxed, and focus on the sound and feeling of long, slow, deep breaths.

relax2

Meditation is not for everyone, but it’s also not just for monks anymore. With time and patience, anyone can learn to meditate. It’s like entering a deeply restful sleep while being fully awake; its casting the human brain back to a more primitive state where we are freed of our analytical and critical selves. In this blissful state of mind, you are more aware of senses and feelings rather than negativity and stress. Here’s a simple way to try it:

  • Sit in a quiet comfortable spot. Be mindful of your posture. Set a timer for five or ten minutes.
  • Choose a word to repeat to yourself. Many people like to use the word “om” because it has been shown to be calming. Or you can murmur “breathe in” and “breathe out” to yourself, or count your breaths from one to ten, then repeat.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your work or count. When thoughts intrude, gently bring your attention back to the words or count.
  • Keep going as long as you can without falling asleep.
  • When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes. How do you feel?

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Do Skin Types Matter

There’s no dearth of skin products on the market to match every skin type, but don’t let it drive you crazy. Go by how your skin feels in response to the products you choose. Most people are oily in some places and drier in others. A few tips to consider:

  • If you’ve got oily skin, don’t be afraid to cleanse, treat and moisturize twice a day, as would a person with dry skin. Even though your skin looks “moist” doesn’t mean you could be missing key lipids to maintain your skin’s barrier: Your oil glands within the follicles are simply genetically programmed to be more active. Try using a cleanser with hydroxy acids on alternative days, or more often if your skin seems to respond well to it.
  • Dry skin is the most fragile. Be careful about over cleansing and over exfoliating, as your skin is more susceptible to irritation. Use a cleanser and tone with hydrating ingredients and exfoliate gently (and not every day). Look for products that contain skin soothers such as chamomile extract and arnica.
  • Fair-skinned people and those who spend a lot of time outdoors need to be extra cautious about over exposure to UV radiation. While a sunscreen with SPF 15 if sufficient for many, I recommend upping that coverage to at least 30 if you’re more sensitive to the sun. Similarly, if you take drugs that increase your sensitivity to the sun, which is the case for birth control pills, for example, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • Don’t overdo it. No matter what kind of skin you have, it’s easy to over clean and over exfoliate and in a word, irritate. You can also trigger excessive oil production with excessive use of soaps, cleansers, scrubs, and toners made with drying alcohols. Listen to what your skin is telling you and adjust your skin care routine accordingly

Give products up to six months to work and show results.

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Healthy Eating for a Healthy Body

In addition to eating foods containing the specific nutrients that directly eliminate cellulite, it is necessary to create an environment of inclusive health within your body. Your system will find it easier to smooth out the imperfections in your skin if it is also running smoothly internally. Having a healthy mental state is another vital step in repairing any affliction in your body. An unnecessarily strict diet that causes undue stress eventually winds up doing more harm than good, and it is unlikely that you will stick to it.

Five Tips for Healthy Eating:

  1. Eat when you are hungry, not when you think you should eat.
  2. Stop eating when you are full, not when your plate is empty.
  3. Listen to your body. We often get cravings for food rich in nutrients that we are deficient in.
  4. Substitute healthy alternatives and cellulite-stopping foods whenever possible.
  5. Take supplements every day.

Smoothies are an excellent energy booster and a great breakfast option or mid-afternoon snack. For best flavor and smooth consistency, drink them as soon as you have made them. Experiment with different fruits, juices, and spices. Dried fruits offer another good option when your favorite fresh fruits are not in your local market.

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Why You Should Be Using An Oil-Based Makeup Remover

Did you know:

Today’s makeup is super long-wearing—that means great day coverage but a real risk of clogged pores and acne at night. To meet the challenge of easily removing these long-wearing products without stripping your skin, we’ve developed Renewing Cleansing Oil. Renewing Cleansing Oil is a remarkable new, non-greasy cleanser that has the power to thoroughly remove your makeup without scrubbing. Renewing Cleansing Oil not only leaves your skin remarkably clean, it actually leaves your skin noticeably softer and smoother.

How it works:

Renewing Cleansing Oil forms a strong bond with the oils and minerals that give your makeup its staying power. That’s why when you rinse off with Renewing Cleansing Oil, makeup, BB cream, sun-block, excess oil and impurities rinse off too—leaving skin free of potentially pore clogging debris. And Renewing Cleansing Oil isn’t just an exceptional makeup remover. Renewing Cleansing Oil supports the health of your skin by preserving your natural pH balance and strengthening skin’s natural protective barrier.

How to use:

Massage Renewing Cleansing Oil’s botanical oil formula directly onto dry skin to dissolve makeup—even the most stubborn mascara. Rinse off dissolved makeup and grime with a splash of water to enjoy skin that’s soft, residue-free and healthfully clean.

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Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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What is the differences between Cellulite and Stretch Marks?

Think of a rubber band that is stretched out over time. It loses its elasticity and becomes weak. The same thing with your connective tissue. As parts of it become damaged and brittle, their newly ridged texture and lack of elasticity become visible. Stretch marks are cause by acute damage to specific areas of the body that are stretched. It affects 70% of adolescent females and 40% of young males, 90% of pregnant women (during the sixth and seventh months of pregnancy). The most common areas where they occur is on the abdomen, thighs, breasts in women; armpits in men. Stretch marks affects adolescents experiencing growth spurts, body builders who practice strenuous and repetitive exercise, users of topical and systemic steroids, people with massive weight gain and loss (including pregnancy), and people with certain diseases such as tuberculosis.

You know that fatty tissue is found in most parts of your body to varying degrees. It primarily functions as a protective cushion for your organs and as an energy reserve. When you reduce your normal intake of food, your body automatically burns its own reservoir of stored fat. On a low-calorie diet, fat comes off in many areas, but the cellulite bulges remain. Cellulite is a complex disease or problem that starts with damage to the vascular system. Its causes are both hormonal and genetic. It affects 80-90% of women and rarely seen in men. The most common areas they appear are on the thighs, hips, buttocks, knees, upper arms and abdomen.

It’s rarely discussed, but the skin of your behind needs special care too. Bring the saying soft as a babys bottom to your own backside by exfoliating the skin on your derrière 2-3 times per week with your favorite body scrub or dry brush. Minimize the appearance of cellulite by using topical products like the Firming Peptide Body Treatment that help restore skin elasticity and firmness. Or get a deep tissue massage (butt included) to help break up that connective tissue and improve circulation for healthy skin everywhere!

Dont forget to take care of your skin – all of it! Your body will thank you.

Recommended products for Cellulite and Stretch Marks

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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Skin is a water gauge

The Water Principle is not about drinking four to eight or twelve glasses a day, it is about getting water into cells and keeping it there so that every one of the trillions of cells in your body functions at full capacity.

Next to oxygen, water is the most important substance you need, and almost everything we know about aging tells us that the decline in function over the years is a story of water loss. At birth, about 75 percent of our weight is water, but gradually as we age we lose the ability to hold on to water. On average, man is about 60 percent water and a 15 percent decrease in water may not seem like much, but as you’ll see, if we look at the cheek of a baby and a seventy-year-old, it makes a dramatic, visible difference.

The skin is the largest and only visible organ of the body, and it reflects the aging processes – including water loss – that occur throughout the body. The damaged, water-deprived fibers and cells, and the gel-like substance in which they are all embedded, tell me that a similar situation exists in the cells of the heart, the muscles, the liver, the walls of the blood vessels, and the joints. Each and every cell of the body is connected. Therefore, if water is lost from the epidermis, those cells will withdraw water from somewhere else. It comes from the fluid circulating around the cells, then from an adjacent cell or from the dermis beneath it, and eventually from other tissues or cells of other organs.

Water is essential to the life of every living cell. It is what keeps a cell from collapsing in on itself, so one of the purposes of the body’s natural chemistry is to insure that each cell from the brain to the heart to the organs of the abdomen are kept plump with fluid on the inside and lubricated with moisture on the outside. Water also gives volume to the blood and pliability to the tissues. You can see this in your skin.

Without an adequate water supply, the skin cells, disintegrate. Structures that support skin become stiff and lose flexibility. The skin layers become thin and flat. Blood vessel walls become fragile, porous, and leak water like old pipes. Nutrients can’t be delivered, and waste materials aren’t carried away. And the more water that’s lost, the more fragile and penetrable the barrier is. That weakening means even more water is lost, and a destructive, self-perpetuating cycle is set in motion.

You can put a stop to this water loss. You can rebuild a vital strong barrier than not only gives you a more youthful appearance but also functions at its full potential, defending itself against further water loss.

Read more about:
The Science of Cellular Water
Health Benefits of Watermelon
3 Rules for good health
Recipe for hydration
 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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How sunscreen protects

Sunscreens protect your skin by blocking or absorbing the sun’s rays. Depending on the active ingredients in the sunscreen you use, you will protect yourself from the burning ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and the more penetrating ultraviolet A (UVA) rays.

The growing awareness of UVA’s destructive power is especially disturbing because since sunscreens were invented we have has the ability to protect ourselves against the burning UVB rays. That, obviously is a good thing. However, the downside is that since we’re less likely to burn, there is no warning sign that we’ve gotten too much sun. We could stay at the beach or on the golf course much longer than we might have in the days before sunscreens, exposing our skin to huge doses of UVA. Today we have broad-spectrum sunscreens that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.

Tip: Always wear a moisturizer with SPF.

What are the side effects of sun damage?

Dr. Murad explains.

 

Doctor Murad Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Read more about Dr. Murad.

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