You guys responded with so much love to my Stressing 24/7 is B-B-Bad to the Biome post, where I explained the connection between stress and our skin. Stress is a constant in so many of our lives and in so many of our days. It impacts our entire bodies – and, of course – our skin.

As I explained, when your brain perceives something as stressful, your fight or flight response is activated. Once that happens, the digestion in your belly slows as your blood is shunted away from your intestines toward your extremities (just in case you need to fight or flee). Given that you most likely don’t need to do either, this is just disruptive to your body’s healthy functioning.

Stress hormones also restrict the contractions of your digestive muscles, and diminish your digestive juices—all of which forces food to sit idly in the GI tract, inviting an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast. These unsavory characters cause your intestinal lining to grow weak and leaky, allowing toxins to spill into the bloodstream, and triggering body-wide inflammation and a host of potential diseases. You’ve heard me talk about Leaky Gut and Leaky Skin, so this is what we are talking about.

Of course – exercise and meditation are incredibly effective options when it comes to dialing down chronic stress. And admittedly, although I meditate regularly now using my Breethe or Headspace app, this was not exactly a smooth transition for me. My brain is always racing, I love to try to do a million things at once . . . sitting still is not my natural state (at all). But, with practice, it has gotten easier and my entire day shifts when I actually take the time to meditate.

But, as a reality check, sometimes we just need something that works quickly and is accessible and easy. As a working mom, when I’m in the middle of juggling and trying to keep my cool, sometimes I just need something in a pinch to help me get back to zen and I don’t want to reach for pharma-grade medications. I love to find safe, effective natural options and I love to share them with you.

I saw OLLY’s Goodbye Stress Gummies at the pharmacy and the packaging was bright and appealing – so I decided to investigate. I reached out to the company to share more information on the product. The deets – these gummies are made with L-Theanine (an amino acid frequently found in tea), GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid, the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the human cortex. Here, we are talking about the food supplement version of GABA), and Lemon Balm (an herb known to have relaxing properties). They are made without artificial flavors or colors (their color comes from sweet potato, radish, apple, tomato, and pepper).

This is an area that is not regulated by the FDA, so I always proceed with caution and do my research. I looked into these ingredients from a scientific standpoint:

L-Theanine is an amino acid found in tea which may modulate aspects of our brain function. Specifically, EEG studies show that it has a direct effect on the brain by relaxing our brain without inducing drowsiness. The levels and doses needed to induce this effect need to be studied in greater depth, but the science here is fascinating.

With respect to GABA, it turns out that many consumers find that GABA supplements provide a calming effect but the scientific studies aren’t entirely convincing yet –we truly need more studies in order to better understand whether this is a scientifically proven effect or a placebo effect.

And, lemon balm is an herb from the mint family. In alternative medicine, many people believe that lemon balm has calming effects. It can be ingested, inhaled or applied topically, and some early studies are showing that it might be promising for anxiety and even insomnia.

I also checked in with my friend, Natalie Gluck, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist in private practice in New York City. Natalie added – these gummies aren’t habit forming and shouldn’t increase drowsiness. “The sugar in the gummies is likely the most addictive ingredient,” Dr. Gluck says.

After reviewing the science, I was ready to try the gummies and invited my sister to try them, too! We genuinely felt a difference in our stress levels after taking the gummies. They worked quickly (within 30 minutes) and the feeling of being overwhelmed was really somewhat mitigated. I felt no mental cloudiness and maintained my energy levels and clarity.

Was it a placebo effect or was it real? I decided to reach out to a group of my friends, who range from multitasking moms to corporate executives, to see what they thought. Check out their experience.

To learn more, check out this link: https://www.olly.com/products/goodbye-stress/.

Dr. Whitney

 

Great for: addressing signs of aging, Melasma, protection against skin cancer

Sunscreen doesn’t protect against half of the free radical damage we face every day. That’s where your Heliocare natural supplement comes into play. Heliocare is a patented specialized extract of Polypodium leucotomos (PLE), a tropical fern native to Central and South America that has been used for centuries as a remedy for skin related conditions. The science behind Heliocare is strong and solid, which is critical to me when I recommend a product to people who trust me or use it myself.

Made of a powerful blend of antioxidants, Heliocare protects your skin from the inside out from free radicals. Those free radicals can come from UV light, infrared light, visible light, pollution, or even from our natural metabolic processes. Heliocare is one extra layer of protection against premature signs of aging, including brown spots, and skin cancer. I suggest that my patients take one pill every morning. If you’re heading out in the sun, consider taking 2 each morning. But it’s not a substitute for sunscreen. It’s meant to work synergistically with sunscreen.

Studies have shown the fern extract protects against free radicals, so it is one of the best ways to protect against hyperpigmentation. My Melasma patients swear by Heliocare. Once they start using it, they finally see their skin start to brighten and their tone start to even out.

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Beauty is so much more than skin deep, as I often say. Your diet has a direct impact on the health and radiance of your skin. I encourage my patients to incorporate skin-friendly fermented foods and beverages such as kombucha, miso, kefir, and sauerkraut into their diets. I also encourage my patients to supplement their healthy diet with an oral probiotic to boost their skin’s glow.

The word “probiotic” literally means “for life.” Oral and topical probiotics support the health of the “good bugs” that make up our microbiome, to keep our gut and skin healthy. To keep it simple, among their many health boosting jobs, probiotics:

  • fight bad bacteria in our gut and on our skin,
  • help regulate our immune system by working to control inflammation, and
  • support the healthy barrier function in both our gut and skin, preventing “leaky gut” (and “leaky skin”)

But, all probiotics are not created equal. Different strains of probiotics serve different purposes and, certain probiotics are much more effective than others. For example, the most studied families of oral probiotics are Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.

Several strains of Lactobacillus have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the risk of skin disorders from the inside out. They have also been shown to improve the strength of our skin barrier, keeping our skin nourished and hydrated. This family of probiotics has also been studied and linked to reduced UV-induced sun damage in the skin.

The Bifidobacerium strains also have demonstrated the ability to protect against sun damage. While I would not advocate replacing your sunscreen with a probiotic, used together, they offer enhanced sun protection! Of course, the more protection we have against UV rays, the lower our risk of skin cancer and premature signs of aging, such as wrinkles and brown spots.

To keep my signature “Bowe Glow”, I take a probiotic supplement every day and I encourage my patients to do the same to nourish their skin from the inside out! One of my favorite probiotics is made by Genuine Health. It’s called advanced gut health probiotic 15 Billion CFU Daily Care. This probiotic contains 15 strains chosen to mimic our gut flora and the capsules are delayed release, meaning they are protected from the stomach acid so they can survive all the way to the gut, where they have the maximum impact. Research has shown that this particular probiotic’s formulation and delivery system increases the delivery of live Lactobacillus and Bifidobacerium bacteria by up to 10x! They are also vegan, dairy free, gluten free, non GMO and soy free.

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@DrWhitneyBowe

RT @DrOz: Could you be buying fake beauty products online and not know it? @DrWhitneyBowe reveals what could be in these counterfeit items.…

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