We’ve all had the quick-fix doctor. The one who spends five minutes with us and sends us on our way with a prescription for some miracle pill guaranteed to cure [insert ailment here]. And, we all know how that turns out. It either doesn’t work, or it works like a charm until the refills run out and it’s back to square one.
Luckily we’re a little older (and hopefully a little wiser) now, and we’ve had the pleasure of spending some time with a doctor with an entirely different methodology: dermatologist Dr. Murad. You probably know him as the founder of Murad Skincare, but he’s known for more than just great products. He’s a pioneer in the field for his “connected beauty” approach. While in short that means to put good in, and get good out, but it’s more than eating the right foods. Keep reading for four dermatologist- and yogi-approved whole-person beauty tips for better skin.
Eat Your Water
Let’s start with the obvious: What you eat affects your skin. Hydration is the key to healthy cells. So yes, drink plenty of water. But Dr. Murad takes it a step further, recommending you to eat your water. When you eat your water, your body absorbs the water more slowly because it’s trapped in the structure of the food, which means the water stays in your body for longer. So fill your plate with nutritious, water-rich fruits and vegetables to help your cells lock in hydration. Try starting your morning with a skin-food smoothie, like Dr. Murad’s hydrating pomegranate smoothie (pomegranates are rich in antioxidants and have even been proven to improve the SPF of sunscreen). Get the scoop on water-rich foods and watch us make a hydrating pomegranate smoothie in the video below!
Hydrating Pomegranate Smoothie
- 1/2 cup pomegranate
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 2 tbsp. dried goji berries
- 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed
- 1/2 milk (or milk alternative)
- Stevia, to taste (optional)
Awaken Your Body
The connection between exercise and skin health is also scientifically proven, and the reason can be summed up in two words: stress reduction. Physical activity releases endorphins (the hormones that fight stress) in your brain. "Physicality is important; movement is important," says internationally-recognized yoga instructor Caley Alyssa. "As we practice yoga, we tune into the gross muscles and broad movements in the body. The subtle starts to become more and more noticeable. Sensations that we may normally ignore or aren't even aware of start bubbling up to the surface. So keep coming to class, keep tuning into the subtleties of the practice and the sensations in your body. Explore and play."
Dr. Murad says the best form of exercise is the one that brings you joy. Find that (whether it’s yoga, running, or anything else that gets your heart rate up) and you’ll not only build strong muscles that hold optimal hydration, you’ll also be less stressed.
Be Kind to Your Mind
Speaking of which, Dr. Murad says the modern pressure to always be “on” has us more stressed than ever, causing the release of skin-dehydrating hormones like cortisol. Stress also leaves you more susceptible to inflammation, the core cause of every skin ailment from acne to aging. "We are all becoming more socially isolated," Dr. Murad says. "One way to combat the stress of modern living, which I call 'Cultural Stress,' is to physically connect with people who make you happy. So why not reach out to a friend who shares a passion of yours and do something together?"
Another way to be kind to your mind is to unplug. (Did you know the average person checks their phone a whopping 110 to 150 times a day?) Be present. Take time out of your day to meditate, even if it’s just a minute or two in the shower. Caley Alyssa agrees. She recommends taking a step back from the craziness of day-to-day life to listen to what you really need. "I've realized, there's always time when you make it. You're in charge of your day. You choose who you see and don't, what you do and don't, what you need and what you don't—in order to do so you have to get quiet and listen," she says. So, quiet your mind and take a few deep, calming breaths. Your body will thank you.
Nourish Your Skin
Caring for your cells from the inside out is step one, but your skin also needs support in the form of efficacious products. After all, it is your largest organ and the first line of defense for every cell in your body, so treat it to good skincare. Moisturize and protect your skin with products that suit its unique needs. Shop the moisturizer that’s right for you below!