As a dermatologist, a mom and a skincare lover, I am making a conscious effort to transition towards products that are not only safe for the skin, but also better for our bodies and to the environment.

I want to share my deep dive into clean beauty with you guys, as I educate myself on all things “clean.” One of the biggest issues I’ve been noticing in the clean space is that there is so much “greenwashing” and misinformation out there. I’m incredibly evidence-based and have always taken pride in making recommendations that are backed by sound science. My clean skincare journey is no exception, so I wanted to connect with the pioneers in this space and share their insight and knowledge with you!

My first Q & A on clean had to be with my friend and colleague, Mia Davis. Mia is not only one of the pioneers of “clean”, but her approach to her work is so innovative and thoughtful, it is just incredibly impressive. I know you guys will be as blown away by Mia as I am. I’m so thrilled to share this interview with you.

WB: Mia, your passion for clean began in 4th grade and you have been moving the needle ever since. You were the first hire at Beautycounter, you’ve consulted for goop, Honest Company, type A . . . and the list goes on. Now, at Credo Beauty, you’ve created the Credo Clean Standard and you lead the Credo “brand’s consortium,” which addresses key challenges in this industry, from fragrance disclosure to more sustainable packaging. I think it’s safe to say that you live and breathe all things clean beauty. How do you define the term clean?

Mia Davis: Clean is an evolution of natural, green, or eco—those are elements of clean, but it goes much further. To me, clean is nexus of these important elements: safety, sourcing, sustainability, ethics and transparency. A little more about these:

  • Safety is about the ingredient’s potential impact on health.
  • Sourcing is where it comes from—is it a synthetic chemical? A natural compound? Or naturally-derived?
  • Sustainability comes back to the ingredient’s impact on the environment.
  • For Ethics, questions include “were people paid a living wage to mine or harvest this ingredient?” or if the ingredient it comes from animals, “how were the animals treated?”
  • And transparency is really the web that holds these other terms together. If we don’t have transparency about the ingredients or the supply chain, how can we know it is “clean?” We cannot make an informed decision without information.

Check out this “Clean Beauty” infographic I made with Credo Beauty that illustrates all of this!

WB: I love the way that you share all of this information in a way that is accessible, clear, and beautifully stated. I absolutely agree that any brand that calls itself “clean” should consider those factors very carefully. When it comes to sourcing: can you elaborate on how you feel about ingredients that are natural vs naturally-derived vs synthetic?  I personally have seen numerous patients develop skin reactions when switching from synthetic to natural products.  Do you agree that when it comes to skin health, natural is not always better?

Mia Davis: Thanks—I know my definition of clean is complex—there is a lot to consider. But it is also the most honest approach! Your question about natural vs. synthetic really gets right to the point. If we only talk about an ingredient’s “natural-ness” but not about its safety or sustainability, then we’re missing the point of “clean.” Natural ingredients can be irritating, for sure. They can even be unsustainability, or unethical.  Some ingredients can be perfectly safe and natural for one person, and not for another person who might have sensitivities to it. So, I embrace the complexity—otherwise, it is just marketing.

WB: I have been searching and testing a variety of clean products over the last year, and trying to transition my own skincare to clean products.  Since “clean” is not an FDA regulated term (and in fact, the entire beauty industry is pretty under-regulated), different brands and different retailers are adopting different definitions.  For example, Sephora Clean is different from Target Clean is different from Credo Clean. I know you’ve been a trailblazer in this area, and many experts consider Credo’s standards to be among the most discerning — the “highest standards” of clean, if you will!  Can you elaborate a bit on the standards that Credo has adopted and how they differ from other brands and retailers that use the term clean?

Mia Davis: Credo, the largest clean beauty retailer, has a Clean Standard that operationalizes “clean,” so you know that the brands Credo carries have accountability. Outside of some system of accountabilty, “clean” can mean something or nothing. People have to look into the brand’s commitments. For example, are they formulating without ingredients of concern, like parabens, phthalates and more? Are they disclosing their “fragrance” ingredients? Do they talk about the source and safety of ingredients? Ask the brand what “clean” means to them. If the answer is wishy-washy, that is a red flag.

WB: Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge on this topic! I know we’ll go deeper into all of the clean elements—safety, sustainability and more—in the near future. I always value our discussions so much.

Mia Davis: Thank you so much for having me, and for sharing your clean skincare journey with your patients and community. What we put on our bodies and rinse down the drain matters, and how we make these ingredients in the first place really matters too.

 

 

 

 

Cellulite is one of those topics that dermatologists find frustrating.  We are very solution driven, and up until now, there haven’t been many effective long term solutions for cellulite.  All the creams and gadgets out there claiming to help with cellulite are more hype than reality, and the in-office procedures that actually work have been, for the most part, somewhat invasive to the point that most patients are turned off by the process.

So, you can imagine, I was pretty pumped to learn about a new FDA approved injectable treatment for cellulite… yes, an injection, similar to Botox and Dysport, injections I do all day long… that can be done in the office and dramatically improve the appearance of cellulite.

Caveat: Whenever things are new, they tend to be hyped up and marketing tends to focus on all the good without doing justice to the bad.  We also tend to learn about the downside of procedures long after they launch… sometimes it takes a full year or more to really assess the real life efficacy and safety of a new treatment.

That being said, this is pretty exciting! Let’s break it down together.

First, some groundwork. What is cellulite? 

There’s a major misconception out there that cellulite is caused by diet or lack of exercise.  That’s totally not the case- stop blaming yourself for your cellulite!

Cellulite is caused by the outpouching of fat lobules under the skin.  So we have a layer of fat under the skin, and there are bands of collagen called septae that attach the skin to the underlying layer of fascia.  So imagine a sort of sandwich—the skin on top, the fascia on the bottom.  These fibrous septae run up and down and tether the two together.  Where the septae tug on the skin, that’s where you see a dimple. In between the dimples are bulges of fat pooching up (protrusions of fat). So you’re left with an uneven surface.  There are some shadows and some bulges.  That’s cellulite. These fibrous septae are oriented differently in women as compared to men, so almost ALL women get cellulite whereas lass than 10% of men get it. About 9 out of 10 women have cellulite, and it affects women of all races and ethnicities and all shapes and sizes. Yes, you can be thin, muscular, in great shape and still have cellulite!

Why do we care?

Cellulite can have a major impact on self-esteem and confidence. And no surprise here: we blame ourselves!  Studies show that the majority of women are convinced it’s THEIR FAULT they have cellulite!

What can we do about it and what is Qwo? 

Yes, there are topical treatments and devices that can temporarily improve the treatment of cellulite.  Any time you boost circulation to the area, or any topical ingredients that stimulate blood flow or help to thicken the dermal layer of the skin can make the area look better.  The thing is that most creams and lotions on the market, and most at home devices, only give you a temporary improvement.  If they do create lasting changes, those results are very subtle.

So what’s Qwo?  It’s the first FDA approved injectable for cellulite. It just got FDA approval for moderate to severe cellulite in the buttocks of adult women. Will we end up using it off label for the thighs or the arms?  Maybe!  It’s still super early so that remains to be seen.

Qwo uses an enzyme called collagenase that targets types 1 and 3 collagen, so it basically eats away at or dissolves those fibrous collagen bands tethering the skin down.  I think it’s so interesting how we are trying to fight these types of collagen degrading enzymes in the skin, face and neck, but when it comes to cellulite, we want them to chew away at the collagen.  You can see the collagen band dissolving in the images below:

The trials to evaluate Qwo are the largest cellulite studies every conducted with 845 participants, and I REALLY love that about a third of the participants have skin of color.  So many procedures are only studies on white skin, and that’s not ok.  Darker skin types have different reactions- especially things like hyperpigmentation- that need to be carefully studied so we, dermatologists, can counsel those patients appropriately about the possible risks and side effects.

So what are the risks?

So far we’re seeing mainly tenderness, bruising, some discoloration which I’m SURE will be more common in skin of color, and of course swelling. This is probably a treatment you’re not going to want to do during the summer because a bruise in the buttock or thigh area can last up to 3 weeks and bruising seems to be pretty common. The protocol involved about 3 rounds of injections, spaced 3-4 weeks apart.

Cost?  Big question mark!  We shall see when it becomes commercially available—the thought is probably Spring 2021.

The studies are still ongoing to assess how long the results will last and to assess long term safety.

So what’s my take home?

I am very excited by the photos and clinical results I’ve seen thus far. It seems to be very effective even for severe cellulite. Here are some images the company shared with me:

I like that it’s an injectable.  I consider myself an expert injector, and I feel right at home with a syringe in my hand.  I can’t imagine incorporating this into my practice will be a challenge whatsoever from a skill and technique standpoint.

I like that it’s getting to the underlying root of the problem- the septae.  It has the potential to truly deliver long term results- we’re talking years if not permanent.

I’m worried about the cost—I suspect this will be pretty pricey, especially since there isn’t a competitor on the market yet in this space. Hopefully other companies will come out with competitive molecules, but until then, these guys are going to corner the market and that always leads to high prices.

Side effects: we need to really asses how severe the swelling, bruising and tenderness are, and how often it leads to hyperpigmentation – and how long it takes for those dark spots to lighten up.  My patients with skin of color who suffer from hyperpigmentation after a bug bite or scratch or pimple sometimes find the stain left over for months is worse than what caused it in the first place.

Stay tuned! I promise to update you guys on this as new info comes out.  For now, stick with self-tanners and cellulite creams and a cute skirt or flattering shorts!  And, please stop blaming yourself if you have cellulite.  WE ALL DO.  You’re in good company.

Check out my video with more info right here!

Dr. Whitney

During my Bowe Glow Boot Camp, my dear friend, David Kirsch, shared fitness and healthy cooking tips each week. David and I have known each other for years and every time I have the opportunity to see him or speak to him, I adore him even more. He’s not only an incredibly inspiring and talented trainer — to celebrities including J. Lo, Liv Tyler, and Heidi Klum – but he’s also a natural teacher. He has connected with so many people during quarantine through virtual platforms like HoneyComb.Fit and through his Instagram page – providing free workouts and tips to keep us all motivated, healthy, and moving. One of the most beautiful things about David is his role as a Mapa to his absolutely beautiful twins, Francesca and Emilia.

I am so honored to share this interview with you:

WB: In many homes, it’s a constant battle right now between screen time and staying physical.  How do you get your girls off their screens and convince them to be active? 

DK: So, full disclosure, there is still the occasional battle over screen time with Emilia and Francesca.  That said, my girls have grown up watching me exercise – both in the gym, at home and on vacation.  They have been organically exposed to the importance of moving your body a little every day.

WB: Do you think that people will return to gyms and working out with personal trainers in facilities in the same way they did pre-Covid?  What do you think people miss most about those in person workout experiences as compared with the remote training people have been doing from home? 

DK: I don’t think that things will completely go back to pre – Covid ways.  I think there is and will be genuine concern and monitoring of the number of bodies in the gym at any given time.  I think the thing that people miss the most about going to the gym is the social aspect and the overall general positive energy.  I have worked ‘overtime’ to try to create the energy, intimacy and vibe through my Zoom training sessions.

WB:  What’s your plan to return to training people in person?  Will you and your clients wear masks during the session?  Any tips for using a mask during times when people are really exerting themselves? 

DK: I think for the immediate future and for some time after, we will be masked and be socially distant and maintain a high level of personal hygiene.  I think masks are going to be extremely important, especially when people are exerting themselves – exhaling hard, and, at times, ‘spraying some saliva.’

WB: Do you have a go-to breakfast that Emilia and Francesca love and that you also feel good about giving them in the morning? We loved your frittata recipe and would love more of your insight! 

DK: Francesca and Emilia’s favorite go-to breakfast is avocado toast!!  My girls don’t like eggs, so my frittata doesn’t work for them.  I am a huge believer in healthy, substantial breakfasts.  Some of my favorites: frittata with whatever is in the fridge; avocado toast with hard boiled eggs, and Kite Hill unsweetened vanilla almond milk Greek yogurt with some seeds and fresh almond butter.  My girls are quite comfortable and competent in the kitchen, so I let them create at will.

WB: Do you have a mantra that keeps you motivated? Do you share a mantra with Emilia and Francesca?

DK: “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles” — Buddha

WB:  What does your own personal workout schedule usually look like in a week? 

DK: My workouts have been shortened and are more frequent now.  I have turned my living room into a home gym with some hand weights, kettle bells, a strength band and a medicine ball.  All that said, my favorite purchase was a pull-up bar that I need to pass every time I leave my bedroom.  I workout via Zoom with a friend of mine no less than 5 days a week for at least 30 – 45 minutes.  Additionally, we ‘push’ each other to do at least 100, but most days, 200 pull-ups.  Last, in addition to my personal workouts, I often workout along with my clients.

WB: What type of activities do the girls like to do to stay active?

DK: Emilia loves to dance and she’s got those TikTok moves down (unofficially, as I won’t let her have an account).  Francesca loves doing Live workouts and has gotten quite good at it!  They both love to swim, play tennis and softball.

WB: What’s the one tip you would give families right now who are struggling to stay active? 

DK: It just takes a few minutes to get off of the sofa, put down the devices and MOVE your body!  It could be a walk, bike ride, or a swim in the pool.  Do it as a family, 5 – 10 minutes a day and build up from there.  You’ll have better energy, have a more positive outlook, be less stressed and look and feel healthier.

WB: Tell us more about Honeycomb and these amazing free workouts?

DK: HoneyComb.Fit was born out of the idea of creating a fully comprehensive health, wellness and lifestyle destination. We realized the best way to disseminate this philosophy was through social media. Mark Messier is one of the founding partners. Stacey Griffith, Tracy Carlinsky, and I have been offering exclusive, free workouts for almost four weeks now and the feedback has been good, as the buzz and our following is steadily growing.  After over thirty years in the fitness industry, I have truly enjoyed the opportunity to reach out to so many people around the world that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance to train with me.  I am so proud to be part of the HoneyComb family!!  In the next coming weeks, we will be inviting guest trainers with a variety of different exercise disciplines to join the team and share their expertise.

WB: What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself as a trainer during quarantine? 

DK: The most important thing I’ve learned about myself during quarantine is that I have discovered my love and passion for online training.  I was born to teach and I have conquered my initial trepidation of “talking” to my iPhone, and thoroughly enjoy the relatively new medium.

WB: What is one thing you’ve learned about yourself as a parent during quarantine?

DK: The one thing I have learned about myself as a parent during quarantine – in spite of the moments, and there are some, I love, appreciate and am grateful for the time I have gotten to spend with Emilia and Francesca.  Real quality time of laughing, loving, cooking together, exercising together, and just quality quiet time.  I have honed the art of patience, and realize that I am not always the perfect Mapa.  By the way, the art of good parenting is not about perfection, but striving to do your best, and remembering to say “I’m sorry, and daddy loves you always and forever” when I have those moments and ‘lose my xxxxx.’

And now you can see why I love David so much!! Be sure to check out his insta page because you will become as hooked on his workouts – and family workouts- as we are!

The subject of how our diet impacts the health of our skin has been incredibly important to me. I’ve been very vocal about this subject – even writing a book centered around the GUT-BRAIN-SKIN axis called The Beauty of Dirty Skin.

However, many dermatologists have remained skeptical about this connection because they felt that the data wasn’t strong enough to convince them to change their practice.  A new study, just out in JAMA, may finally change that.

This large, robust, epidemiological study AGAIN shows that adult acne is, indeed, associated with high glycemic index (e.g. sugary) foods and beverages as well as dairy milk.  Those findings appear consistent with prior studies as well, so this didn’t come as a surprise to me!

With the trending term “Maskne,” and all the stress we’ve been living with over the last few months, conversations about acne have hit a record high in my practice and in my direct message inbox on Instagram.  Adult acne, in particular, has been increasing in prevalence over the years, and it can really take a toll on quality of life, self-esteem and confidence.

Most observational studies to date looking at the link between diet on acne look back (retrospective design), this one looks forward.  It has what’s called a prospective design.  That prospective design, combined with the very large number of people involved (over 24,000 participants), and the wide number of dietary factors taking into account, makes these results hard to ignore.

As someone who sees the powerful effect of acne on lives every day, I firmly believe that educating patients on these associations between their diet and their skin are helping way more than hurting.  I personally don’t feel the need for a large scale clinical trial to further prove these associations. I believe if we keep waiting for “perfect” studies to be done, we will end up with many more emotional, and physical scars that could have been avoided through simple, accessible changes.

 

So many people are breaking out right now.  Combine the “maskne” from the friction and moisture rubbing against our skin with the chronic stress many of us are experiencing, and blemishes are popping up all over so many beautiful faces.  Acne won’t kill us, but it can certainly impact a good Zoom or Facetime!

Here’s a key tip when it comes to avoiding breakouts: try to reach for ingredients that are what we call “non comedogenic,” meaning they will not clog your pores.  As you guys know, I’m all about going CLEAN, so here are some clean ingredients that are BOWE GLOW approved and won’t break you out, followed by some natural sounding ingredients that are almost guaranteed to clog your pores:

BOWE GLOW APPROVED OILS & BUTTERS

Some of my favorite non comedogenic oils and butters that will NOT clog the pores are

  • Argan Oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Safflower Seed Oil
  • Rosehip Seed Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Mango Butter
  • Raspberry Seed Oil
  • Hemp Seed Oil
  • Prickly Pear Seed Oil
  • Camelina Oil
  • Watermelon Seed Oil

LIMIT using on your FACE (and other acne prone areas like your chest or upper back) if you are breaking out:

  • Coconut oil
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Palm kernel oil
  • Linseed oil
  • Cocoa Butter

I have much more on this topic to share very soon!

Dr. Whitney

We don’t need a twelve step routine to keep our skin healthy! In fact, I am a big believer in a lean approach to skincare – giving our skin only what it needs and what it wants. Everything I use has a purpose and works in synergy with my skin’s natural balance and with the other products I’m using.

Here are 3 of my must-have categories of products for my morning skincare routine:

1. GENTLE CLEANSER: My first step in the morning is cleansing with a gentle cleanser.

Your skin should feel hydrated and nourished after you cleanse, not tight and squeaky clean. I always use warm – not hot – water to cleanse and I pat dry with a clean baby wash cloth.

Here are 4 of my favorite cleansers (at different price points):

Naturopathica Manuka Honey Cleansing Balm

Farmacy Clean Bee

La Roche Posay Toleriane Gentle Facial Cleanser

Simple Kind to Skin Unscented Micellar Cleansing Water

2. VITAMIN C SERUM: I apply my Vitamin C Serum immediately after cleansing.

Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, boosts collagen production, and brightens dark spots.  Vit C helps to reduce visible signs of aging by combating the free radical damage arising from sun exposure, heat exposure, and other environmental stressors (like pollution). I often explain that free radicals are like tiny missiles, and they destroy everything in their path. They are highly reactive forms of oxygen whose effects can damage cell membranes and other structures in the body, including DNA and collagen. When you are exposed to a lot of free radicals, it means you are suffering from oxidative stress, and too much oxidative stress can lead to premature aging, skin cancer, and chronic skin conditions like acne. Vitamin C is a free radical scavenger, thereby protecting your skin!

Here are links to four Vitamin C serums I’m loving right now (at different price points):

Summer Fridays CC Me Serum

Marie Veronique Vitamin C + E + Ferulic Serum

Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

Naturopathica Vitamin C15 Wrinkle Repair Serum

 

3. MOISTURIZER: I love to lock in all that goodness and hydration with a moisturizer.

I either layer a moisturizer under sunscreen, or look for sunscreens that also act as moisturizers. I will share my favorite sunscreens as a separate post, but here are some of my current favorites in the moisturizer category:

GLOWBIOTICS Probiotic HydraGlow Cream Oil (note: a little goes a long way…blend a few drops with foundation or sunscreen)

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration (this is great if you have extremely dry skin – otherwise, I would opt to use it at night instead of in the morning).

Tatcha: The Dewy Skin Cream

[*As I mentioned earlier, I will be sharing my favorite sunscreens separately, but I do wear sunscreen every day, rain or shine!]

I’m sharing more about my skincare routine and on my Instagram posts and stories, so be sure to check them out!

Dr. Whitney

Now that we are staying in every night and cooking so much more than we ever did before, I’ve been focusing on easy, healthy dishes that even my daughter will eat!

This veggie side dish is really easy to make and is packed with skin friendly nutrients. It gets two thumbs up from my 8 year old daughter, which makes it a keeper! I think you guys will love it as much as we do.

To make, start with one or more low glycemic, high fiber veggies: brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and/or broccoli. Don’t stress if you can’t get fresh veggies- this works with frozen ones as well. Here’s my glycemic index cheat sheet and more on why low GI foods are so good for your skin!

Add garlic and onions, which are amazing sources of prebiotic fiber. Prebiotic fiber gets consumed by the beneficial bacteria in our gut to keep our gut healthy and dial down inflammation.  You can either just slice these extra thin, or sometimes I even saute them before I add them to the sheet pan to release even more flavor.

Next, we add the olive oil. I use extra virgin olive oil both before I spread the veggies on the sheet and on the top, right before I put the sheet in the oven.  EVOO is rich in a skin-smoothing emollient called oleic acid. The essential fatty acids in olive oil richly nourish the skin and have anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil also contains polyphenols that act as potent antioxidants.

I always add some rosemary sprigs, which are an amazing source of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. Added bonus is they add a delicious flavor.  I bake the veggies with these lying on the top, but remove before I eat.

And finally, for the finishing touch, I love to sprinkle some dried cranberries on top. The dried cranberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is critical to help your skin cells make collagen. Just be sure to use sparingly because added sugars can bind to your collagen and elastic fibers and break them down through a process called glycation.

I generally bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes, or until I see the top start to brown!

Enjoy!!

Dr. Whitney

Sleep is such a hot button issue right now. People are struggling with sleep more than ever. I wanted to share some key tips to help get your sleep back on track. Sleep is one of the most powerful tools we have to stay strong, calm, and healthy – and that is exactly what we need during this incredibly challenging time.

Beauty Sleep

First, beauty sleep is a real thing. Deep, restorative sleep is crucial to our health and our skin health, specifically. Our skin is in its most restorative state during sleep. Poor sleep, on the other hand, is linked with problematic skin: dark circles, breakouts, dull complexion – we’ve all been there.

  • 1 in 3 people suffers from poor sleep.
  • 1 in 10 people suffers from insomnia.

Long term consequences of sleep deprivation include premature skin aging and significant health issues.  If you want to enjoy a healthy body, a healthy mind and skin that glows with health, listen up!

Circadian Health

The key to getting that deep, restorative sleep that allows your mind and your skin to truly repair itself overnight is to recognize that sleep is part of a larger cycle: circadian rhythm.

The secret to a healthy circadian rhythm is regular, cyclical and precisely timed exposure to periods of daylight and to darkness.

LIGHT cues are the strongest way to set your internal clock, and regular, predictable light exposure is essential to setting every organ’s circadian rhythm so that your whole body is in sync.

And it’s not just any light- it’s all about BLUE light.  When blue light enters your eye, it tells your brain to turn OFF its production of melatonin, so you can wake up and feel alert.  When blue light no longer enters the eye, the brain can begin pumping out the sleep hormone melatonin, allowing your body to begin to relax and ultimately fall into a deep state of reparative and restorative sleep.

If you can manage your eye’s exposure to blue light, you can align your internal circadian clocks, and this can have profound effects on your health and the health of your skin.

YOUR TOOLS:

Here’s what I do to limit my exposure to blue light to establish a healthy bedtime routine and optimize my sleep hygiene:

(1) I use blue light filtering glasses as soon as it starts to get dark outside. These are under $15 on Amazon and they work wonderfully. I use them anytime I have LED lights on, or if I am doing work after dinner on my computer or my phone.

(2) I limit my TV time before bed, instead opting to read. It makes a huge difference in my sleep, so it’s worth it to me. I try to shoot for no more than 30 mins of screen time (with my blue light glasses on) per night.

(3) Make sure your bedroom is cool and you aren’t overdressed for bed. You should feel cool and comfortable.  Your body is more likely to dive into deep sleep if the air temp in your bedroom is on the cooler side.

(4) Consistency is key as well when it comes to sleep hygiene. Whenever possible, I try to stay on a schedule and a routine when it comes to bedtime and setting my alarm – even on weekends. Plus, your sleep in the earlier hours of the evening is more restorative for your body, so I try to get as much of that quality sleep as possible!

(5) I have been syncing up my meals with the circadian diet philosophy, so I’m eating my heavier meals during daylight hours. This has made a huge difference in my energy and in my sleep quality.

Sweet dreams!

Dr. Whitney

 

You guys know I’m always reading the most cutting edge scientific studies that give me insight into living your healthiest life, and when your body is healthy, your skin is healthy!

The most exciting new science that has caught my attention surrounds a new way to approach food: The Circadian Rhythm Diet. Skin health, and our overall health, is not just about WHAT we eat — of equal importance is WHEN we eat.   Timing our meals first gained momentum with intermittent fasting, but the Circadian Rhythm Diet takes the science to a whole new level, and at its core is our exposure to BLUE LIGHT.

Humans have evolved to be highly sensitive to the 24-hour solar cycle.  We all have an internal clock that controls almost every biological system in our bodies, from our sleep-wake cycles to our mood, to our immune strength, our metabolism and our cellular health- yes, even our skin’s health.  The most important thing that sets our circadian rhythm, or sets our internal clock, is our exposure to NATURAL SUNLIGHT.

In the past, we rose with the sun, ate during daylight hours, and then rested and fasted when the sun set.  In fact, when our eyes perceive blue light, it tells our brain to shut down production of our sleep hormone, melatonin. It sets our internal clock to WAKE UP!  We need the sun’s bright blue light in the morning to become alert and active, and we need dark, or at least the absence of blue light, to jump-start our brain’s, and consequently our skin’s, sleep mode and recovery.

Now, we find ourselves totally MESSING with our internal clock as a result of using screens late that emit stimulating blue light rays. We’re tricking our brains into thinking it’s still daytime, and we delay our production of melatonin, impair our sleep, and mess up our health.  What else are you doing while you check emails or watch Netflix at night?  You snack.  Most of us eat a late dinner, oftentimes after sunset, and we snack until we finally pass out, way after our ancestors did when they followed natural light patterns in the sky.

When intermittent fasting became popular, people started to recognize that it’s not just WHAT we eat, but WHEN we eat is just as important when to comes to health. Now, we can take that one step further with Circadian Rhythm Diet.

Mounting evidence says that if you want to optimize your weight, your metabolism, your overall health, and of course, your skin health, you should try syncing up your mealtimes with the natural cycles of light.

Calories seem to be metabolized BETTER in the morning, and eating after dark jolts the brain into thinking it’s daytime and can disrupt the healthy circadian rhythm that is so critical for our health, including our skin health. As we know, beauty sleep is real! Sleep is a necessary phase of profound regeneration for the skin. While we rest, our skin cells are renewing, regenerating, and restoring themselves – and so is our entire body. Our immune system needs this quiet time to stay in peak condition.

If you want to try to take your health and wellness to the next level, give this a try:

  • Eat while it’s light, and limit what you eat during hours when it is dark.
  • Eat a heavier breakfast, a medium sized lunch, and a lighter dinner.
  • The earlier your dinner, the better. Try not to wait too long after the sun sets to eat.
  • After dinner, try to limit the amount you eat.

Craving info on relevant studies? Check out these links:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3756673/

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019-10/05/c_138448870.htm

https://www.technologynetworks.com/cell-science/news/meal-timing-can-make-or-break-your-cells-circadian-rhythm-318644

Dr. Whitney

 

 

 

The glycemic index, or GI, ranks food and drinks on a scale of one to 100 depending on how quickly and steeply your blood sugar rises after you consume them.

The benchmark is glucose at 100.  Technically, a GI between 1 and 55 is considered low while 56 to 69 is medium and anything 70 or above is high. The goal is to consume mostly foods low on the GI.

To keep things simple, because this can get a bit complex with all of the nuances, I’ve listed below common foods under which category they belong (low, moderate, and high).

You’ll want to ground your diet in low-GI items with medium GI foods in moderation! Ideally, you will work to limit high-GI foods as much as possible.

So, here we go! Healthy skin starts from within and this is a great guide, guys!

LOW GI FOODS   

100% whole grain bread

whole wheat tortilla

wild rice

quinoa

lentils

beans (kidney, garbanzo, pinto, and black)

fiber-rich fruits and vegetables (green beans, apples, grapefruit, asparagus, broccoli, berries)

nuts and peanuts

cereals made with 100 percent bran

unsweetened almond milk

full-fat plain Greek-style yogurt

tomato juice

 

MEDIUM GI FOODS

whole wheat pastas and some breads

traditional oatmeal

barley and bulgur

brown rice

sweet potato

sweet corn

graham crackers

OJ and other fruit juices without extra sugar

 

HIGH GI FOODS

white bread

white rice

white pasta

macaroni and cheese

pizza

couscous

bagel (white, plain)

baguette (white, plain)

low-fiber cereals (high in added sugar)

high-sugar beverages (sweetened tea and fruit juices, soda pop)

sweetened yogurt

rice milk

rice crackers

rice cakes

water crackers

pretzels

French fries and baked potatoes

raisins

**NOTE:

The GI is not perfect because some foods that appear high on the GI actually do not contain enough carbohydrates per serving to raise blood sugar significantly. Watermelon, for example, is one such food. (Foods that contain no carbohydrates, such as meats and oils, have a GI of zero. Similarly, coffee, tea, and wine have a GI of zero.) Also keep in mind that we rarely eat foods in isolation. They are combined with other foods during a meal, which also changes the chemistry of the food and how the body metabolizes it. Note, too, that your body’s response to foods is unique. The GI should be referenced for general guidance—not as a hard and fast rule.

Dr. Whitney

 

@DrWhitneyBowe

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This site offers health, wellness, fitness and nutritional information for educational purposes only. The information on this website is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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