Keep your skin glowing and healthy, on and off the runway, with NY-based celeb Dermatologist, Dr. Whitney Bowe.

This week, I will be speaking at New York Fashion Week to over fifty models about keeping their skin healthy and radiant, not only for today, but for years to come as well. I wanted to share some of this insight with you guys because even if you aren’t hitting the runway this week, these healthy skin pearls will help keep your skin looking its most beautiful.

THE SKIN CHALLENGES: don’t let these common pitfalls dull your healthy glow

  • “Hydrating” with sugar and caffeine loaded drinks
  • Inconsistent sleep or a poor sleep schedule
  • the largely unrecognized urban skin saboteur: pollution

THE SKIN SOLUTIONS: Dr. Bowe’s empowering tools to put your healthiest face forward!

How You Hydrate Counts, Big-Time!

Do you rely on energy drinks and coffee to keep you going throughout your day, like many models do?

If you are an energy drink lover, listen up! Energy drinks oftentimes contain even more caffeine than coffee, other stimulants, and sugars.  Sugar molecules link directly to your collagen fibers in a process called glycation, targeting them for destruction.  When you break down collagen faster than you can replace it, you not only set yourself up for early signs of aging like fine lines and loss of firmness, but your pores will expand. Think of a pore like a basket made of collagen. If that weave loosens up, because you lose more collagen than your body can produce, the basket grows wider.  We call this a “peau d’orange” appearance to the skin, because your skin looks like an orange peel.

More and more energy drink companies are reducing their sugar levels and artificial ingredients to make way for options like stevia and natural flavorings. That’s the healthy hydrating team you want to be on! One of my new favorites to hit the market is HALO SPORT.

If coffee is your go-to, aim for no more than 2 cups of caffeine per day, ideally taking your last sip before 2pm. In fact, drinking coffee within 6 hours of bedtime can impact the quality of your sleep. Caffeine can be fine in moderation, and has even been shown to protect against certain forms of  skin cancer.  Even though new science shows that coffee is not dehydrating, I still recommend alternating cups of Joe with a cup of water for truly radiant skin.

Equally important, watch what you put IN your coffee!  Skim milk may seem like a good choice for models and people who are generally looking to cut calories, but studies show skim milk is most strongly linked with acne flares and inflammation in the skin! The milk proteins, including whey and casein, trigger an inflammatory cascade and increase blood levels of something called Insulin Like Growth Factor- 1 (IGF-1) which has been correlated with breakouts and unhealthy skin. Instead, add a splash of unsweetened almond or coconut milk to your morning Joe.

Beauty Sleep is a Real Thing!

Even experienced models who say that the shows don’t stress them out still suffer from irregular sleep schedules during fashion season. To be candid, Sunday night is never my most relaxing or restful (you too?)! Our sleep cycles are meant to be regular, and when that schedule is disrupted, it messes with our hormones.  Our body functions on what’s called a circadian rhythm, which is like our own internal clock.  Red-eyes and changing time zones that results from long-distance travel not only disrupt our melatonin release, but erratic sleep schedules can cause our baseline levels of cortisol to shoot up.  Yup, our body perceives loss of sleep, or lack of quality sleep (yes, quality and quantity matter) as STRESS.

Even if your mind feels like it’s totally in control, your body AND your skin will be receiving stress signals. Those stress signals not only cause breakouts, but also make skin less capable of trapping moisture and it slows down skin cell turnover. Translation?  Deep juicy pimple on your chin, dull skin, dry skin, and blotchy skin.  What can you do?  Carving out time for meditation or even just focusing on your breathing for 10 min every day can help keep those cortisol levels under control.  Try to get outside in natural light every morning, and try to shut off artificial sources of light at night.

Many of my patients travel with copper infused eye shields like this one and even download white noise apps on their phones to block out the elevators or extra noises in a busy hotel. Some patients carry calming mushroom sachets to add to hot water before bed and others swear by melatonin gummies.  While in general, melatonin gummies should not present health concerns if you are simply adjusting to a new time zone, I recommend that my patients make every effort not to rely on melatonin supplements for longer than needed for instances like this. Studies indicate that they’re safe in the short term, but it remains to be seen whether taking these supplements daily is safe in the long term.

City Living Can Impact Your Skin’s Health:

Fashion season involves hopping from city and city. What do those cities have in common?  Pollution.  We now know that pollution can take a major toll on the skin.  When your skin is exposed to pollution, those tiny invisible particles can not only land on the skin but can even dive into your pores.  When they interact with your skin, they release a flood of tiny missiles called free radicals and expose your skin cells to oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress from pollution can not only cause inflammation in the skin, but has been linked to acne, aging, and even to brown spots on the skin.  You can protect your skin from oxidative stress by applying an antioxidant serum directly to the skin twice a day  and making sure you’re getting enough antioxidants in your diet. I also recommend that my patients take an antioxidant supplement like Heliocare  every morning. You can also get antioxidants from deeply colored fruits and veggies (emphasis on the veggies to keep your daily sugar levels low), green tea and dark chocolate.

So, whether you’re walking the runway like the models I’m with here at NYFW or you’re walking the hallway back into your office after a summer vacation, take these tips to heart for your healthiest, gorgeous skin!

Dr. Whitney

QUESTION 1: What helps with acne scarring?
ANSWER: When it comes to acne scarring, there are many options that can smooth out those scars, but they usually work best when used as part of a personalized treatment plan. Topical retinoids are key to use at home, as they help to rebuild the collagen especially in atrophic scars (ones that appear depressed or have a shadow). If scars are raised (so called hypertrophic scars), then cortisone shots can make a huge difference. For ice pick scars, and many types of rolling scars, I usually combine lasers with microneedling and fillers. I use lasers like the Fraxel laser to resurface the skin. Microneedling is amazing for acne scars as well. I can combine microneedling with your own plasma (the so-called Vampire Facial), or I can combine microneedling with radiofrequency energy (the Endymed Intensif). Last, chemical peels can also help to slowly even out the tone and textural changes associated with acne sequelae. (more…)

All summer long, we eat blueberries. We even go blueberry picking as one of our favorite family traditions! Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants which fight free radicals to help protect your skin from premature aging! Plus, I have a serious sweet tooth, so fresh blueberries and a dash of toasted coconut really satisfy my sweet tooth without spiking my blood sugar.

Oatmeal, almond milk and coconut milk are all low in glycemic index, so they won’t trigger inflammation in your skin. It’s easy to find a blend of almond and coconut milk, just make sure it’s unsweetened! Some of these brands pack in the sugar, so you have a mistaken belief that you are drinking something very healthy. Check your labels, guys.

Chia seeds are rich in skin-healthy omega-3’s,and fiber to keep you full.  Although chia seeds have some protein, I like to add a scoop of plant-based protein powder to ensure my skin, hair and nails are getting the building blocks they need.

I make a big batch of these on Sunday night and portion them into jars. That way, my family has grab-and-go breakfasts for the week. My daughter and I can’t get enough of them and I hope you love them too!

Blueberry Coconut Overnight Oats

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons maple syrup
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup coconut milk (you can also use an almond/coconut milk blend instead of separating them)
½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries, plus more for serving
1 scoop plant-based protein powder (vanilla or unflavored)
2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut, toasted

To make:

Mix all ingredients – except toasted coconut – in a small bowl. Portion into smaller mason jars and allow to sit overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning, stir everything together to make nice and creamy. Sprinkle each portion with toasted coconut, a pinch of cinnamon, and a handful of fresh blueberries.

There are so many popular myths about Melasma! I am here to help you get the FACTS you need to keep your Melasma under control.

FIRST, no lemon juice.  If you google “home remedies for Melasma” you will find pages of home remedies listing lemon juice as one of the key ingredients. this is a MYTH!!! Do NOT use lemon juice on your Melasma!  Citrus fruits can irritate the skin, which can make Melasma worse.  AND lemons in particular actually make your skin much more vulnerable to the sun. I’ve seen these remedies make Melasma 10x worse in just 24 hours.

SECOND, no heat! Anything that causes too much heat or irritation in the skin can make Melasma worse! When it comes to Melasma, your doctor has to be gentle and you have to be patient. Trying to rush that process will only set you back. This means:

  • NO Hot yoga
  • NO saunas
  • NO steam rooms
  • NO sunbathing
  • NO tanning salons

THIRD, what should you look for: look for serums, lotions and creams that contain Vitamin C, kojic acid, licorice, or soy. Those are brightening ingredients that have been shown to gently lighten Melasma patches over time.

FOURTH, sun protection!! This is critical to your Melasma treatment!

FIFTH: I wanted to share the regimen that I provided to Ginger to treat her Melasma for your ready reference:

Morning:

  • cleanse with a gentle cleanser (Purpose, Dove, Cetaphil all good) fingertips only
  • pat dry using a clean towel
  • put a few drops of SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic antioxidant serum into La Roche Posay sunscreen
  • rub all over face and neck.  CE ferulic has Vit C (skin brightener) AND acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals that are thought to trigger Melasma.

Day:

HAT– wear a hat when outside!!!  I’m serious

NIGHT:

I mixed a Melasma Emulsion for Ginger. Less is more to start. I recommended that she use it every other night for the dark areas ONLY. Key ingredients here are Hydroquinone (which acts to block the enzyme that makes melanin and is the MOST powerful depigmenting topical ingredient for Melasma) and Tretinoin (prescription strength vit A) which increases skin cell turnover, bringing the stained cells to the surface where they ultimately slough off.

Alternate nights: dr. brandt DNA Night Cream (loaded with antioxidants) or a gentle moisturizer like Cetaphil or CeraVe.

4 nights before each PEEL: STOP the Melasma emulsion.

Check out the segment right here:

Share your thoughts and questions about Melasma with me on social media! My handle is @drwhitneybowe on FB, TW, and IG!

XOXO,

Dr. Whitney

I am so excited to share some of my favorite products with you! Several of the products I discuss below will be included in my giveaway to ONE lucky winner! Contest details below!!

At Home Chemical Peels:

As I discussed on Good Morning America, at home chemical peels – although less potent than in-office treatments – can still be very effective.

Two of the at home peels that I often recommend to my patients are NeoStrada’s Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 and Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Petal Peel.

NeoStrada’s Exuviance Performance Peel AP25: this peel is at a 25% professional level and includes glycolic acid, mandelic acid, and gluconolactone which work to exfoliate and resurface the skin while preserving the skin’s elasticity. I find that this peel delivers smooth, healthy skin without causing irritation.

Price: $75

Where to Buy: http://www.neostrata.com

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Petal Peel: I like this peel as a more natural alternative to chemical peels. The first step is an aloe-based gel which cleanses and exfoliates the skin while soothing the skin. The second step is a brightening peel mask which contains natural pomegranate enzymes for additional exfoliation and resurfacing alongside wild rose oil which contains Vitamin C to brighten skin.

Price: $64

Where to Buy: http://www.sephora.com

Diet and the Skin

As I discussed on air this morning, it is scientifically proven that the food you eat has an impact upon your skin. In addition to the skin friendly food swaps that I discussed on Good Morning America, I also regularly recommend dr. brandt’s detoxifying anti-oxidant water booster goji-maqui.

 

Dr. Brandt Detoxifying Anti-Oxidant Water Booster Goji-Maqui: One dropper full of this antioxidant blend of superfoods Goji berry and Maqui berry contains 90% polyphenols equal to 15 cups of green tea but is decaffeinated, calorie free, and sugar free. I use a drop in my water in the morning as one way that I nourish my skin through diet.

Price: $39

Where to buy: http://www.drbrandtskincare.com

**CONTEST DETAILS**

To enter for a chance to WIN the Korres Rose Petal Peel and dr. brandt’s Detoxifying Anti-Oxidant Water Booster Goji-Maqui, (1) tell me your favorite summer food and (2) tag a friend!

BE SURE TO COMMENT UNDER THIS POST on either my IG (@drwhitneybowe) OR on my professional FB page, starting at NOON EST on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. I will announce the winner on THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 at NOON EST.

**This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be announced on my FB, Instagram, and Twitter pages and notified via FB Message or Instagram Message. The winner will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

I was game when my friend Carolyn (an instructor at CoreLab) suggested the Lagree Fitness Workout which is performed on a Megaformer.

This workout is a modified version of Pilates which fatigues your muscles, but is still low impact. It helps to build your core and has a West Coast vibe.

I’ve been loving my body’s response. I used to gravitate toward high intensity workouts like extreme boot camp and kick boxing. When I started mixing in lower impact workouts like the Megaformer, I wasn’t dripping with sweat and totally worn out at the end of each workout, but I started seeing more muscle definition and I FELT stronger and more focused throughout the day.

Now, I alternate this kind of low impact workout with my higher intensity cardio workouts (spinning/running) and aim for about two Megaformer or Pilates-type workouts per week.

If you want results, my motto is surprise your body and keep mixing it up to get the best results!

@DrWhitneyBowe

Is Infrared #yoga bad for your skin? What does this hot yoga trend mean for your skin’s health?… https://t.co/Z1uW5GSM3e

@DrWhitneyBowe

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