Purslane- The Power Packed Health and Beauty Plant

purslaneQuestion:  I heard   a radio show that discussed the beauty benefits of  an herb called  purslane.  It sounds amazing, maybe too amazing.  Do you recommend it for anti-aging skin care?

Answer:  Cool question!  Purslane is one of the oldest  and widely used medical plants.  It is found throughout the world in warm climates and is a popular vegetable in the Middle and Far East.  Purslane is packed with minerals and  vitamins including, zinc, iron, potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, and beta carotene.  But wait there’s more.   Purslane has the highest levels of Omega 3 fatty acids found in a vegetable. Seriously.

Studies have shown that purslane preperations  made from dried leaves have significant  anti-inflammatory and anti- pain properties.  To my mind this makes a purslane  the perfect  treatment for  a … Continue Reading…

A Moisturizer For All Seasons

Q&A2Question:  Is there a moisturizer that doesn’t clog pores?  When my skin gets dry from RetinA or a laser type treatment, I need to  put on a moisturizer to relieve dryness and flaking.  But whatever I try  seems to provoke acne  breakouts.  Any ideas?

Answer:  This is such a common problem and until last week I didn’t have  much of an answer.  Sometimes a moisturizer that was both oil and fragrance free would work, but often that too  could provoke problems.  Then at a recent dermatology conference in New York,  laser care expert Dr Mark Nestor of Miami recommended a  water based spray to provide moisture.  In addition to water, the spray should contain glycerin and  natural  moisturizing factors  such as hyaluronic acid. Plain water sprays would actually increase dryness but  the glycerin and hyaluronic acid would help the skin … Continue Reading…

Question and Answer: Menopause Beauty Issues

Question:  I’m 48  and in menopause.  Because of hot flashes I’m taking extra showers.  Now my skin, especially on  legs and arms  is terribly dry.  Any suggestions?

Answer:   A perfect question for National Menopause Month!  Several showers a day may increase  skin dryness, but its hormonal changes that are also driving the problem.  Between the ages of 45-60, the ovaries no longer release eggs and estrogen levels start to decline.  Estrogen is known to play many roles in the body including  collagen production, blood pressure, metabolism and sleep.  But in your case, its estrogen’s role in oil production that is  the major driver behind your dry skin. Less oil  means that the skin can’t hold onto its natural moisture.  To help restore skin hydration  take shorter showers and while your skin is still damp, slather on a plain unscented moisturizer like Aquaphor.  If the … Continue Reading…

Budget Beauty Guide:Moisturizers

I often get the sense  that  my friends have an almost mystical faith in moisturizers.  While they avoid taxis and  stagger home  from Costco  with 10  pounds of rice, they  have faith that a $300 moisturizer  is the key to beautiful  young skin.  If  only it  was that easy.

First, a little back story.   Water is essential  for healthy skin.  It promotes normal  metabolism   and keep skin cells organized and flexible.  The mission of a moisturizer is to simply help the skin maintain a healthy water balance. The  most basic   water and oil formulas act  like Saran Wrap to prevent  evaporation of water from the skin.   And the  simplest moisturizers will do  just that.  But there are three affordable and effective ingredients which  crank up   water attracting and holding powers in a moisturizer.  Hyaluronic … Continue Reading…

What’s Wrong With My Skin?

I get interesting questions every week, but recently a question included a great  photo.  A women I’ll call Tracy (she asked that her identity stayed private)  asked me  for a recommendation for dry,  red flaking skin around  her eyes.  She had already tried washing with baby shampoo and applied both vasaline and Gold Bond and nothing seemed to help.  To get the best answer I went to  New York dermatologist, Dr Albert Lefkovits  to take a look.While its not really possible to make an absolute diagnosis  from a  photo, Dr L came back with an impressive comment

The online diagnosis? Not simple dry skin, but   Contact dermatitis,  caused by something Tracy was using in her personal care.  Most likely culprit  was nail polish  or a  shampoo  with ingredients that  her skin found unfriendly.  Tracy did not want … Continue Reading…

Cold Weather Skin

Last week I woke up  with bright red splotches on my cheeks and leathery dry patches under my eyes.   I tried using my usual mixture of  a daily  moisturizer mixed with a dab of anti-inflammatory steroid.  No change.  Thinking it was some kind of allergic reaction I mixed some oatmeal in cool water and dabbed the mixture on  my face.   This usually soothes anything, but this time  my skin seemed  to get worse.

I was on my way to call Dr Marmur when I glanced at the hygrometer ( it measures  humidity)  on my dresser and solved the mystery of my mutant skin.  The humidity in my apatment was a surprising 28%.  The unseasonable snow storm  that whipped through the tri-state area had brought cold windy weather that lowered natural humidity.  For healthy … Continue Reading…

Are Ceramides the Key to Beautiful Skin?

I get frequent questions about individual anti-aging  ingredients. Can it REALLY reverse aging?  Is it natural?  Dangerous?   Last time, I reviewed idebone, a powerful antioxidant.  Today I’m evaluating ceramides.  I’ve seen it advertised  on a number of products and  thought it was finally  time to do a little research.

Here’s how it works: The cells of the top layer of the skin are held in place by fatty ceramides, a substance  which kind of acts like glue to keep the cells in order.  In addition ceramides hold onto water  molecules,  helping to attract and retain moisture in the skin.  And it will probably come as no great surprise that ceramide levels decrease as we get  older.  By age 60, we  have lost so much ceramide that the upper layer of the skin is 30% thinner.

Ceramides are used  lotions, creams … Continue Reading…

Anti-Aging Skin Care for the Legs

I was so pleased with the way Clarisonic smoothed and polished  my face I went out and bought  the body brush.  It is about 30% bigger in diameter and the bristles are  a bit thicker and longer than in the facial brush.  When I applied  it to my legs I could feel more vibration from this brush than I did to my face.  Going in small circles with the brush, it took about a minute to do each leg ( lower part only.  After treatment my  skin felt  so deliciously smooth and soft,  I kept touching it, just  to confirm the sensation.

Even in my oddly lit leg self-portrait, you can see the benefits of Clarisonic body brush. The” before” leg on the left is dry … Continue Reading…