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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5 Ways to Prepare Your Skin For The Colder Days

Our skin is always vulnerable during the cold winter days: the freezing breeze, the dry weather. The fact that we are busy shouldn’t let us forget about how important it is to take care of our skin. This winter, stay protected. It all starts now, before damages can happen. With these few tips, you’ll keep your skin beautiful all winter long.

1. ADOPT A NEW MOISTURIZER

A change in weather requires a change in moisturizer! In the winter your skin needs richer and creamier products in order to stay hydrated. Slowly make the switch to oil-based but non-clogging cleansers and daily creams.

2. EXFOLIATE

Although we all want to keep the last bit of tan we finally managed to get over the summer, your skin needs to breath and for that it should be exfoliated. Cellular build-up on the skin’s surface could result in a dull looking skin tone and cause pores to clog, ultimately leading to irritation. To effectively remove dead skin cells, exfoliate frequently.

3. DON’T FORGET SPF

You might be thinking: “Why should I wear sunscreen during winter? It’s not even hot out!” Most of us forget that the sun’s UV rays are still present over the winter and they remain strong. Wearing a daily moisturizer with SPF continues to be as crucial to protect your skin from environmental damages.

4. PROTECT DELICATE SKIN

Lip balms and hand creams are your best friends! We suggest carrying a lip balm and a hand cream in your handbag, so that you don’t forget about these very delicate areas. Keep your hands and lips as healthy as they were during the summer days.

5. HYDRATE

Although it is not as hot outside, our body still needs as much water! So don’t forget about the most essential liquid in your body and drink up. Caffeine-free teas or healthy juices can also help you maintain the same amount of water you should drink every day.

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What is exfoliation and why it is important.

Regular exfoliation is one of the things you can do to help transform your skin to a younger, healthier look. Deriving its name from Latin, “exfoliation” means “to peel off leaves,” and for centuries people have been peeling off the layer of dead skin cells using various exfoliation methods.

When you exfoliate, you are removing the dead skin cells from the upper layer of the skin, revealing the young, healthy cells underneath and encouraging new skin growth.

There are a number of reasons to consider incorporating regular exfoliation into your skincare routine:

  • Exfoliating reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Skin appears brighter, fresher and healthier after exfoliating.
  • Exfoliating prior to using a treatment product allows the active ingredients to better penetrate the skin.
  • Exfoliating helps to unclog pores, which can prevent acne breakouts.
  • Exfoliating speeds up the cell renewal process.

There are many ways to exfoliate, including scrubs, masks, brushes and microdermabrasion devices. Since everyone’s skin is different, with varying sensitivity, Dr. Murad recommends starting with an Murad scrub or mask first and monitoring how your skin reacts. Once you know your skin isn’t highly sensitive to exfoliating, you may wish to move on to trying other exfoliating tools and professional treatments.

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Q and A with Dr. Murad about oily skin

Question

My skin is very oily. To avoid a slick look, I have to wash my face after lunch at the office and reapply makeup. I usually use a mild cleanser and those little disposable abrasive sponges. Someone told me that I’m only irritating my skin with all this scrubbing and actually increasing the activity of my oil glands. Is this true? I like the “clean” feeling that I get after using the sponges, but I’m wondering if I’m making my oily skin even worse.

Dr. Murad Answer

Hormones and other internal agents control oil production from the sebaceous glands, not massage, face washing, or anything else you do to care for your skin. Instead of washing your face so often, though try using rice paper to blot the oil. You press the paper to your skin, on top of your makeup, and it quickly absorbs the excess oil. You might do this two or three times a day. You won’t have to spend the time reapplying your makeup and you’ll avoid irritating your skin with so much washing.

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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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Exfoliate

Cell turnover is an ongoing process. The skin cell forms at the bottom of the epidermis, rises up through that layer, dies, and is shed. It’s nudged free by wear and tear and replaced by a newly arrived cell that has completed the same process. As all of the body processes slow beginning at about age twenty, so does cell turnover. In youth the cells journey from the bottom of the epidermis to shedding, which takes about 28 days. By the time you’ve reached late middle age, it takes about 7-10 days longer. A week and a half doesn’t seem like much, but to a dead cell hanging tenaciously to the skins surface, its time enough to become dried out and crinkle around the edges. That’s why mature skin often feels so rough to the touch. And the irregular surface created by these flaking cells also reflect light differently, so skin appears dull and sallow, with fine lines standing out among the miniscule cracks in the surface. Skin cells are a little like the leaves on a tree. If I pick a fresh green leaf and put water on it, the natural moisture-holding molecules in the leaf won’t let anything penetrate. The water will bead up and run off, and the leaf is smooth and pliable for a while. If I put the stem in water, some of it will enter the leaf, keeping it fresh and green a little longer. Eventually, though, it will dry out.

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That’s what happens to the dead skin cells that pile up on the surface of your skin. For a while the natural moisture factors that surround them keep them supple. But eventually, exposure to the environment takes its toll. To keep that barrier strong, you have to remove those dead cells. Exfoliation makes up for nature’s slowdown by chemically or mechanically removing the topmost layer of those dead cells. To replace the shed cells, the epidermis then steps up production of new ones. The body’s natural effort to keep up with this increased shedding creates healthy cells more quickly. I believe that using an exfoliating agent to increase cell turnover to a more youthful rate is one of the best things you can do to improve your skin’s appearance. It’s also the step that gives you visible results most quickly. That’s because removing those rough cells improves skin color and texture almost immediately.

Exfoliation also temporarily improves circulation, so your skin appears brighter. I think skin literally glows immediately after an exfoliating treatment. People with acne may be surprised to see that not only do their fine lines and wrinkles disappear with regular chemical exfoliation with hydroxy acids, but they have fewer pimples as well. Hydroxy acids normalize the skin cell formation and shedding process in the hair follicles. The abnormal production of skin cells is one of the factors that causes blackheads and whiteheads, the precursors of acne, to form. Within a few weeks of using a hydroxy acid, you’ll notice less clogging of the pores and fewer breakouts.

If you choose your skin care products wisely, you can sustain the rejuvenating effects indefinitely. You can accomplish a little exfoliation when you wash your face using a cleanser that contains gentle abrasive materials such as jojoba beads or cornmeal and/or hydroxy acids to remain on your skin. And you can give your skin a serious turnover boost with a treatment product that contains one or more hydroxy acids once a day or several times a week. To jump start the process or to occasionally get a dramatic improvement you can use an exfoliating facial. And an esthetician can safely use a more concentrated solution hydroxy acids that are available in most treatment products for consumer use. A dermatologist can use an even more powerful glycolic acid formula to actually peel the top layer of skin.

We recommend the following Murad exfoliating cleanser:

  • AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser: Cleanse and smooth texture. This gentle but efficient exfoliator works two ways. Salicylic, Lactic and Glycolic Acids encourage clarity and brightness by dissolving skin cell buildup. Jojoba beads further polish and retexturize.  Part of the Murad Age Reform line of anti aging and anti wrinkle skin care products designed for genetic aging.
  • Skin Smoothing Polish: Powerful exfoliating scrub removes embedded impurities, without stripping skin of natural moisture, revealing a more vibrant complexion.
  • Transforming Powder: Dual-action cleanser and exfoliator in a unique, water-activated powder which transforms to effectively cleanse and exfoliate without over-scrubbing.
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 Brushing

Skin brushing is a simple technique that stimulates blood and lymph flow, removes dead skin cells, and encourages new cell growth. You need only a loofah or a body brush with natural rather that you can reach your back and buttocks. To work your whole upper body, start at your feet and work your way up. Brushing the whole body in this way takes between three and five minutes, depending on how many strokes you give to each area. Pay particular attention to the cellulite-prone areas, using small circular movements. It is best done in the morning –the resulting acceleration of blood flow can be quite invigorating. The difference in your skin may be visible after just a few sessions –it becomes very soft and develops a rosy glow. Dry skin brushing must be done gently without harsh or rigorous rubbing that can damage the dermis. Overbrushing causes the skin to turn red and become irritated.

Treatments that stimulate the blood flow to the skin can have beneficial effects when combined with other principles of internal and external skincare. Although there are no blood vessels in the epidermis, the dermis is rich with blood vessels, and the epidermis receives nutrients and oxygen supply from the dermis. The blood vessels in the dermis are continuations of larger vessels located deeper in the body that branch out into smaller vessels as they approach the surface of the skin. Brushing can help to stimulate these vessels.

Transform every inch of your skin with Murad Youth Builder Bodycare

Unlock the potential of Murad’s most advanced treatment technologies to transform every inch of your skin. Youth Builder’s unique transformative formulas awaken the spirit with fragrant aromas of Lemongrass Vetiver & Bergamot while delivering on the Murad promise of real results.

We recommend the following bodycare products:

 

Detoxifying White Clay Body Cleanser

 
Transform your shower into a detoxifying ritual with this rich, luxurious White Clay cleanser. Ginger Root Extract helps stimulate circulation while Safflower and Sunflower Oils impart moisture to skin, leaving it smooth and hydrated. Check it out here.

 

Collagen Support Body Cream

 
This intensely hydrating body cream triples skin’s moisture upon application and nourishes skin by locking in moisture for 24 hours, while lightly scenting skin with Lemongrass and Vetiver. Check it out here.

 

Rejuvenating AHA Hand Cream

 
Rejuvenate your hands with this lightweight, quick-absorbing cream featuring Glycolic Acid (AHA) to improve clarity and texture. A Hyaluronic Acid-rich botanical extract improves hydration and protects the moisture barrier to keep skin soft and smooth. Check it out here.

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Healthy Skin From the Inside Out

Healthy skin is a reflection of overall health and well-being. Good skincare practices consist of a double approach, internal and topical. Internal skincare is caring for your skin from the inside, by eating a balanced diet, full of beautifying nutrients, providing proper hydration and maintaining low stress levels. Topical skincare is caring for your skin from the outside by helping the epidermis stay strong and healthy. Sunscreen, creams, cleansers, and various treatments are necessary topical solutions for skin.

The inside-out approach to skincare can be summarized by a few basic rules and habits one must follow as part of the daily skincare routine.

    Internally:

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  • Eat a nutritious breakfast and include cereal, fiber-rich foods and probiotic yogurt. Fiber and probiotics help clean your intestines of toxins which can cause skin problems like acne, dermatitis, or irritation and sensitivity.
  • Integrate leafy greens, vegetables and fruits in you diet with every meal. Minerals like Zinc and Selenium are crucial in skin regeneration, anti-oxidants fight free radical damage at cellular level, vitamins nourish the skin from the inside making it radiant and healthy-looking. Tip: add spinach and other greens to your omelettes, sandwiches and salads.
  • Eat ‘good fats’ like Omega 3 and Omega 6 every day to maintain cellular integrity and help maintain skin hydrated from the bottom layers. If cells are optimally hydrated, they are stronger and healthier.
  • Be wise about losing weight. If you plan a diet, make sure you’re not excluding vital nutrients from your meals and exercise to keep your body toned and maintain optimal hydration levels in your muscles. Weight loss usually depletes your body of extra water in your tissues making skin appear saggy, while fat loss makes your skin appear older with visible wrinkles.
  • Don’t forget exercise! Even if you don’t exercise for a dream body, exercising improves blood circulation and skin appearance. Moderate exercise like an hour of walk every day could do wonders for your entire body and your skin.
  • Take time to relax and do a little something you love every day: sleep an extra 10 minutes in the morning, read, go to a spa, or meet your friends. Maintaining low stress levels helps skin stay healthy and wrinkle-free.

 

    Topically:

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  • Use sunscreen every day. Ultra Violet (UV) light in excess damages skin tissue and causes skin aging. Use a minimum SPF15 all over your body every day and reapply a few times when you’re outside on sunny days.
  • Cleanse twice a day. It is imperative to cleanse your face in the morning before applying moisturizers or makeup and in the evening before going to bed. This prevents acne flare-ups, inflammations, and helps moisturizers and treatments penetrate pores better. A clean face at night allows skin to regenerate and build new healthy cells.
  • Exfoliate! The older you get, skin regenerates slower. Help your skin with AHA & BHA peels or gentle scrubs a few times a week. On your body, use a moisturizing scrub or use a loofah while you shower.
  • Moisturize – hydration is essential for supple and healthy skin. Maintain optimal hydration levels with proper nutrition but help your skin stay protected by supplementing moisture with creams and lotions. Even oily skin needs hydration in order to balance the production of sebum; oiliness is often a sign of dehydration – when skin doesn’t have sufficient moisture, it compensates by producing more oil. Keep oil at bay by moisturizing, it will help skin regenerate and stay healthy.

Internal skincare supports topical skincare. The two combined significantly improve the quality of skin and maintain its youthfulness. While cleansing and moisturizing skin is important for everyday care, nourishing and hydrating from the inside with proper nutrients is vital for overall health and improves skin quality in the long term.

 

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Do Something Great for Your Skin in 1 Minute

Got 1 minute? Skincare doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process, but for great results, it has to be consistent. Some skincare routines can be completed in less than a minute, so here’s what you can do to pamper your skin without taking too much time off your other daily activities:

Tone and moisturize

To save some seconds, use a spray toner! Spritz some all over your face and then apply a bit of moisturizer on the damp skin. Massage until absorbed and you’re ready to go!

Exfoliate

Grab an exfoliating cleanser of your choice and gently massage all over your face for 1 minute. Voilà, your skin is smooth and baby soft.

Refresh

Got a minute on a late afternoon? Quickly wipe your face with a cleansing cloth to remove impurities or remove excess oil with some blotting papers if you have makeup on.

Apply a mask

You’d think this needs more time, but a cleansing or hydrating mask can be used for 1 minute only. If you’d prefer to create your own mask (and spare a couple extra minutes preparing it), mix 1 part olive oil with 1 part honey for a quick hydrating mask, or equal parts honey and fresh lemon juice for normal and oily skin. Otherwise use a store-bought 1 minute mask and leave on while you count to 60!

Treat your imperfections

Got an unsightly pimple, dark circles or a deep wrinkle? 1 minute is all you need to apply targeted treatments on these problem areas. Finish with a light touch of powder or tinted moisturizer and you’re good to go.

Take your make up off

Yes, this is one of the most amazing things you can do for your skin and 1 minute is all it takes. Use disposable pre-moistened wipes for a quick makeup removal before bed and you don’t even need to cleanse with water anymore.

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How to Find a Facial Cleanser That’s Just Right for You

How to Find the right Face Cleanser
Before you select your cleanser, you must understand your skin type. A well-targeted skin treatment can dramatically change your skin. We’ve laid out the 4 most common skin type, their characteristics and the cleansers that will best fit you!

Acne-Prone Skin

Whether an occasional pimple or a painful, chronic condition, it’s all acne and it can occur on anyone at any age. Characterized by pimples, whiteheads, blackheads, redness, inflammation and irritation, an acne-prone skin is not curable but can be controlled and managed.

Acne-prone skin responds well to daily use of exfoliating AHA- and BHA- based products, along with anti-irritants, anti-inflammatories and antibacterials to alleviate excess skin cell buildup, keep pores clear and disinfect. Salicylic Acid is a powerful yet gentle BHA that clears skin and prevents future breakouts.

The Cleansers for you: Clarifying Cleanser (Acne), Soothing Gel Cleanser (Redness, Sensitivity).

 

Dry or Sensitive Skin Type

Dry or sensitive skin requires special care and handling because it is susceptible to irritants of all kinds. Characterized by tightness, fine lines, redness and irritation.

Deliver moisture and nutrient to your skin, day and night. Opt for a creamier cleanser that will sooth the skin and boost moisture. Avoid foamy cleanser, which can dry up the skin and once a week us a gentle exfoliator with AHAs to enhance the penetration of moisturizers.

The Cleansers for you: Renewing Cleansing Cream and Refreshing Cleanser (Creamier), AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (Gentle Exfoliator)

 

Normal or Combination Skin Type

Normal skin is balanced and trouble-free. Combination skin is characterized by excess oil in the T-zone where occasional breakouts may appear, while cheek and eye areas are drier.
You may benefit modifying your skin care regimen according to the season or geography. In warmer months or climates, cleansers and moisturizers for oily skin work best, while in cooler conditions, the skin may need more moisture. Use mild acne treatments, clay masks and hydrating treatments such as our Skin Perfecting Lotion, the perfect oil-free hydrator.

The Cleansers for you: Daily Cleansing Foam (Oily T-zone), Essential-C Cleanser (Sun exposure).

 

Oily Skin Type

Oily skin feels thicker, it is characterized by an overproduction of oil (sebum) and may appear greasy, shiny, or with large pores. It requires care to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for the acne skin disorder.

Using overly drying or harsh products and cleansers in an attempt to control shine can easily cause dehydration. This only triggers the skin to produce more oil, leading to more surface grease: making the problem worse. Opt for an antibacterial deep cleanser, exfoliate regularly to remove dead skin and use clay-based masks to help pores appear smaller.

The Cleansers for you: Clarifying Cleanser, Skin Smoothing Polish
 
You are now ready to choose the perfect cleanser! Shop all Murad Cleansers here.

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Take Care of Your Skin From Head to Toe

The skin is the largest organ of the human body. However, when many think of “skincare,” the instinct is to focus on the skin on the face. The face, of course, is probably the most visible and noticed part of you, but it is important to remember to take good care of all your skin.

Here are a few areas of skin that can sometimes be overlooked:

Hands
Your hands are perhaps the most used of all the body parts, coming into contact with the most external elements. This also means that the skin on them sees more wear and tear.  Additionally, the skin on the palms of the hands is thicker and more resilient than the skin on the tops of your hands, which means they each need unique care. Start by cleansing your hands daily with a moisturizing soap. If your have rough palms, care for them regularly with a gentle exfoliating scrub and moisture treatment. As collagen and elastin in the skin naturally begin to decrease over the years, use treatment products (especially on the tops of your hands) to help firm and tighten the skin. And finally, don’t forget the sunscreen to help protect from UV damage and age spots.

AHA Hand Cream

Feet
Arguably, your feet may take the roughest treatment of all the skin on the body. They carry you through your days, are pounded on as you exercise, are shoved into shoes, and are often overlooked when it comes to tender loving care. Give your feet some love by regularly exfoliating them with a pumice stone or exfoliating scrub. Give them a nightly deep moisture infusion by covering them with a heavy moisturizing cream and socks each night while you sleep. And say yes to an extra callous treatment and massage the next time you get a pedicure.

Neck & Chest
For women especially, the neck and chest (or décolleté) are areas known for showing aging – especially sun damage. The easiest way to keep this area of your body looking young is to extend your facial skincare routine down to your neck and chest. Also, be cognizant about the fabrics you wear. Wools and synthetic fabrics can irritate a sensitive neck and chest area. Finally, the skin on your neck and chest is thin, so sun damage is more obvious and harder to reverse. Make sure you wear SPF 15 or higher every day (even if you only plan on being indoors) on your neck and chest to avoid future damage.

Rear End
It’s rarely discussed, but the skin of your behind needs special care too. Bring the saying “soft as a baby’s 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 that help restore skin elasticity and firmness. Or get a deep tissue massage to help break up that connective tissue and improve circulation for healthy skin everywhere!

Elbows
Even people who take very good care of most of their skin often forget the elbow area in their daily care routines. This is understandable as you rarely notice your own elbows unless you go out of your way to do so. It’s worth noting, though, that smooth and soft elbows can quickly become rough and scaly. The skin over your elbows is there to protect the joint underneath. If you are constantly creating friction on the elbow area (such as leaning on a desk typing), your body responds by thickening the skin in that area to protect the joint. You can help reduce the elbow buildup by exfoliating and moisturizing your elbows regularly. And become more conscious of how you use them. When you catch yourself leaning on a table at lunch, consider sitting back. The less friction on the elbows, the less maintenance will be needed!

Of course, each of these areas can also benefit from an Inclusive Health lifestyle.  Reducing stress, exercising, eating a healthy diet with many water-rich foods and making time for yourself are among the ways to improve cellular hydration throughout all of your skin – and your entire body!

Don’t forget to take care of your skin…all of it! Your body will thank you.

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

Now that you understand why it’s so important to take care of the skin on your body, check out Murad’s Youth Builder bodycare line. This new line of products fights visible signs of body aging and leaves skin hydrated and soft.

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