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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Time-saving Skincare and Beauty Hacks

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Celebrity makeup artist Nikki DeRoest, has an extensive amount of knowledge on makeup and beauty, so we asked the pro. What are her tips and advice on applying makeup when time is limited?

She starts by sharing how to get a glowing, radiant look in just a few steps. The key to a bright, radiant skin? The preparation before makeup with skincare. We all know that beautiful skin is first healthy skin, so her beauty hacks focus on using skincare together or before makeup.

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The first step is to use the Active Radiance Serum in order to prep the skin before the foundation. Nikki explains how that is going to brighten skin so that it looks even more radiant before working on the foundation.

Next step is to apply a moisturizer. Don’t skip it! In order to give your skin an extra boost of hydration without making it feel greasy, Nikki uses the Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture. The light-weight texture is going to hydrate skin and help the foundation melt on the skin for a smoother skin.

An important part of achieving a glowing, radiant is to brighten up the eye area. Using an eye cream together with a concealer is a great idea to get the full benefits. Blend a pump of the Renewing Eye Cream with your favorite concealer and apply under the eyes.

Now quickly before you leave the house, add a touch of color to your lips! Mixing a lip treatment and a cream blush, Nikki explains how fast and time saving this process is. Simply mix your chosen blush with our Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips to give your lips some color and treating them at the same time.

Ready, Set, Go!

Check out the full video of Nikki’s best beauty hacks for the busy gal on the go:

 

Shop the look:

Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips

Renewing Eye Cream

Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture

Advanced Active Radiance Serum

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The Power of Pomegranate

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Pomegranate contains a super antioxidant called ellagic acid, which is even more powerful that the antioxidants in green tea. Pomegranate appears to be effective against viruses, destroying them on contact. And it is especially effective in protecting cells from free radical damage.

Other compounds in pomegranate –the anthocyanidins –interact with ellagic acid to further boost its antioxidant potency. The powerful antioxidants in pomegranate work by boosting the levels of glutathione, a natural antioxidant in the body that helps protect the DNA in cells from free radical damage. Glutathione is also essential in helping the body recycle hormones such as estrogen, which also protect the skin cells.

Spring Cleansers Hydrators

Most Murad products contain antioxidants and are essential ingredients to receive the best results. Now you know why!

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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Hydrate

Applying a moisturizer after every cleansing will immediately replenish the skin with structural lipids, smooth the rough, dry surface cells, and seal the barrier of the stratum corneum. A good moisturizer contains a mix of water-attracting and water-holding ingredients. Keep in mind, though, that as with every other product, it the total formulation that affects how the moisturizer feels on your skin as well as it’s hydrating potential. For example, two moisturizers can contain similar ingredients yet one will be more occlusive than the other, making it better for dry skin that needs that kind of invisible, nongreasy, water-holding shield. One moisturizer may work better under a foundation. And some women prefer a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen when they’re not wearing foundation. Men may prefer a moisturizer with more soothing ingredients to use after shaving.

Although most moisturizers are meant to be slightly occlusive, many of those on the market today don’t make the skin feel greasy. In the past, petrolatum or mineral oil was often used in a moisturizer because of its occlusive properties. With the new technology available to cosmetic chemists, though, these sticky products have been replaced with lightweight ones that are even more effective. They often contain ceramides that seem to dissolve right into your skin,

In the past most moisturizers were available in either a water-in-oil formulation or an oil-in-water one. People with dry skin were encouraged to use the water-in-oil products that were more occlusive; and people who produced too much sebum or structural lipids were advised to use oil-in-water products. These distinctions are now outdated, as new ingredients and manufacturing processes have improved the formulations.

New delivery systems are also now incorporated into many moisturizers. The liposome, for instance, involves a kind of encapsulation process that transports whatever agent is put within the liposome into the epidermis. In contrast, biovectors can be attached to ingredients to keep them at the top of the skin.

Typically women prefer creamier moisturizers, and men prefer lotions that don’t have thickening agents. But a lotion can be just as hydrating as a cream. One of the most popular moisturizing products in the Murad skincare line is neither a lotion nor a cream, but a viscous liquid. It’s a combination of only water-attracting natural moisture factors and water-holding lipids. It’s light and it’s absorbed immediately into the skin, moistening and smoothing the stratum corneum and leaving no trace on the skins surface.

I believe that everyone, even those people with oily skin, needs to use a moisturizer. The idea of a moisturizer is not to add structural lipids alone. Rather, a moisturizer serves several purposes: smoothing, hydrating, and restoring the barrier function of the stratum corneum.

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Hydro-Dynamic® Ultimate Moisture
Topically, you can fight dryness and the visible signs of aging with a moisturizer that contains humectants and emollients. Hydro-Dynamic® Ultimate Moisture is a powerhouse moisturizer that intensely hydrates, absorbs easily and quickly into the skin, and is gentle enough for someone with sensitive skin. It’s also filled to the brim with high-performance ingredients.

 

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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Sensitive Skin

People of all skin colors can have sensitive skin, but it is more common in those with a fair complexion and light-colored eyes. Your skin tends to sting when you put certain things on it, and you’ve probably learned over the years what to avoid. Your skin may even react to cold temperatures or wind by becoming red and irritated. You may also notice tiny cracks in your skin, and that makeup becomes flaky. In fact, the barrier function of skin in people with sensitivities has been disturbed, which is why it’s so vulnerable to anything that’s put on it.

Although the irritation –redness, stinging itching, and burning –that you sometimes experience is not the same as a truly allergic reaction, you are more prone to true allergies, and you can break out in a rash all over if you are allergic to a fragrance or some other ingredient or drug.

With few exceptions, the formulations of my products are safe for the most people with sensitive skin. Therefore I have not designed a separate daily regimen for this skin type. Usually following the recommendations for dry skin will be fine for you. However, you may have an allergic response to some ingredient in any formulation, regardless of how much testing has been done to ensure that it is unlikely to cause a reaction. So you might do your own skin test on the inside of your upper arm before using a product for the first time. Also, you can develop an allergy to something you have used without any problems for yours, so don’t ignore any unusual symptoms such as redness, rashes, irritation, stinging, or dry patches that occur when you use a product.

According to some surveys, about 40% of women say they have sensitive skin. They say their skin becomes red, itches, feels tight, stings, and burns in response to changes in the climate, in the reaction to the sun, or when they use some products. No one knows how many people really have sensitive skin, but it is estimated that as many as 20% of people are allergic to certain things that make contact with their skin.

 

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 should I use a night cream?

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A night cream is a moisturizer in which there is a greater concentration of hydrating ingredients than is typically used in a day cream or lotion. Because of this richness, night creams may leave the skin with a slight occlusive layer that many people would not be comfortable wearing during the day or under foundation.

There are two reasons why a night cream is useful. One is that transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is greatest at night, and a night cream can help prevent that kind of dehydration. Two is that the body’s cells are replenished with nutrients and are being regenerated at night, so this is the time to optimize the delivery of the raw materials skin needs. Now, too, is when free radical damage from the environment is at its lowest point. You’re indoors, in the dark and not active, so fewer free radicals are being produced within your skin as well. You can take advantage of this break in the action to disarm the free radicals that have accumulated during the day and saturate the skin with an extra supply so that you don’t start the next day unprotected.

We recommend the following intense and moisturizing night creams:

  • AGE-BALANCING NIGHT CREAM to replenish moisture.
    While your body rests, this luxurious, hydrating cream boosts and restores moisture, improves elasticity, and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles overnight.

    • Essential Fatty Acids and Shea Butter provide and lock in intense hydration against dry, dull skin
    • Phytoestrogens and Retinol improve elasticity and help smooth skin
  • ESSENTIAL-C NIGHT MOISTURE to neutralize toxins.
    This ultra-hydrating formula encourages healthy cell renewal to reveal healthier, younger-looking complexion overnight.

    • Vitamin C neutralizes toxins and fights free radical damage
    • Shea butter delivers deep, instant hydration to reduce creases
  • PERFECTING NIGHT CREAM hydrate overnight.
    Rejuvenate your skin overnight by restoring hydration and promoting cell turnover.

    • Evening Primrose and Borage Seed Oils, both rich in Omega-6, restore lost moisture
    • Medowsweet Extract refines

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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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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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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.

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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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