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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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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Skin Typing – what is normal skin and dry skin

Everyone has a unique genetic profile. No two of us are exactly alike, with the exception of identical twins. The characteristics of your skin –its color and pore size, how much hair you have and where you have it, and how much sebum and sweat coats your skin –are dictated by your genes. Your skin characteristics may be similar to your father’s skin or your sisters but there are going to be important differences. After all, the medicines you take, where you live, the stress you experience are unique to you. Even identical twins are exposed to different environmental influences. And your own skin will not be the same tomorrow as it is today.

When people think of skin type, they typically mean how oily or dry the skin is. Oily is actually a white, fatty, sticky, substance secreted by the sebaceous glands. Except for the lips and eyelids, which have no hair follicles or sweat glands, sebaceous glands empty sebum into the upper part of the hair follicle. As the oil emerges from the follicle opening, or pore, it lightly coats the skin, mixing with the structural lipids within the stratum corneum, creating a kind of protective barrier that keeps water within the layers, helping the skin stay moist and soft.

When the sebaceous glands are overactive, the excess sebum can make skin look shiny or feel greasy. When sebaceous glands are underactive or harsh chemicals or overzealous scrubbing remove the natural lubricant, moisture is lost and the skin becomes dry.

Using sebum and structural lipids, or oil, as primary criteria, the skin types are broadly categorized as oily, dry, or normal/combination. It is normal for pores to be more abundant on the nose and chin, and so there is more oil secreted in these areas, the so called T-zone. There are fewer pores on the cheeks and around the eyes, so these normally tend to be drier.


The pores of your skin are medium-size. Although you may have more pores along your nose and chin, and these areas may be oilier than your cheeks and around your eyes, you are not troubled with blackheads and pimples. Your complexion is bright and it feels smooth to the touch. Your skin is usually free of blemishes and tolerates extremes in temperatures well. Your cheeks may redden in the cold, but they don’t become irritated and chapped. Makeup stays where you put it and doesn’t flake. Weather conditions may change your skin: it’s a bit oiler when it’s warm and drier when it’s cool.

Your pores are small and fine, even across your nose and chin. You may have flaky areas where there are fewer pores, and your skin is thin over your cheeks. It may be transparent and delicate that you can see small blood vessels beneath it, especially on your cheeks. Your skin looks smooth, but it feels rough when you run your fingers across it. There’s tightness to your skin’s texture within a half hour after you wash your face with a gentle cleanser, especially when you don’t use a moisturizer. That tightness may even feel uncomfortable by midday. Harsh weather –cold temperatures and wind –can make it feel even worse. You may even get red, scaly patches after being outdoors. You may notices very fine superficial lines etched on your cheeks. That’s because the normal creases in the skin are more obvious when there isn’t enough moisture to soften them. Moisturizing creams and lotions disappear quickly into your skin after you apply them.

 

In a sense, dry skin is like a dry sponge. It rough, hard, and has little cracks in it. When the sponge is soaked in water, it becomes plump, soft, and smooth, and those little cracks disappear. Dryness is caused by lack of either sufficient sebum or structure lipids or both. So if you have dry skin, it may be because your oil glands are not producing enough sebum, or aging has taken a toll on the production of structural lipids within and outside of your skin cells, or because you are cleansing your skin too aggressively or too often. Sometimes the wrong foundation or face powder can be drying. Whatever the reason, the lack of moisture disturbs the skins barrier function.

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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Know Your Skin

Whatever your age, there are two guiding principles underlying everything you do as part of your daily basic skin care: one is to increase its moisture content. And two is to protect the skin’s barrier function. Water is what keeps the cells plump and functioning. Even after the cells die, their ability to absorb moisture continues for some time. As long as the cells are moist and fit tightly together, the barrier function of skin is assured.

Protecting the topmost layers, the stratum corneum, is essential when caring for the skin. Washing, toning, and moisturizing seem so simple and straightforward that many of us take these routine skin care steps for granted, assuming we know what we’re doing and using our favorite products. I’ve found that as knowledgeable as many men and women are, they are often victims of misinformation. They mistakenly believe, for example, that some products will shrink pores. Or that one cleanser is as good as another. Some people also believe that the skin type they are in their thirties or fifties is the same type they were a decade earlier or when they lived in the desert or in the mountains.

People often don’t realize that skin type may not only change with age, it can also change in response to a shift in the external or internal environment. Traveling to a different climate or a higher or lower altitude and seasonal shifts in temperature and humidity are the most obvious examples. But certain medications, particularly hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives, can affect skin type, too. So do drugs designed to get rid of wrinkles, such as Retin-A, or those used to treat acne, such as Accutane. Illness, pregnancy, and menopause cause significant changes in skin physiology. Normal/combination skin can become dry. Dry skin can become oily.

Just as we all have different hair colors, eye colors and skin tones, we also have different skin types. Knowing yours can help you choose the skincare products that are right for you. For example, is your skin oily, dry or a combination of both? Using the appropriate products formulated specifically for your skin type will make a difference in how your skin looks, feels and repairs itself. Our expert team here at Murad has put together this simple flow chart to help you identify your skin type.

What's Your Skin Type Infographic_FINAL

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 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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