5 Healthy Skin Secrets of a Celebrity Dermatologist

Written by: on Monday, January 30th, 2012
Dermatologist Debra Jaliman

With youthful skin like this, you'd never know that Debra Jaliman has a 20-year-old daughter!

So many women I’ve spoken with are overwhelmed by skin care: which products to use, what to do about the little lines here and there, how to treat a certain condition, and more. Typically you’d have to book an appointment with a dermatologist to get answers to all your questions (or chance it with Internet answers). But not so anymore.

Celebrity dermatologist Debra Jaliman, M.D., has written a book (out March 13; preorder for $15.34 from barnesandnoble.com) that demystifies everything about skincare. Called Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, the book features seven-seven rules about skin care. Sounds like a lot, right? That’s exactly what I thought when I picked up this book. BUT, the way Jaliman writes (each rule is short, sweet and super easy for everyone to understand), I actually enjoyed reading every single rule—and page. A few of her secrets that resonated with me (I’ve dog-eared the pages on these):

1) Don’t waste money on expensive cleansers. Spend it on moisturizers, sunscreens, and anti-aging products instead. Otherwise, “you’re just washing money down the drain,” says Jaliman. This is one rule that I myself follow—and was happy to see it in Jaliman’s book: I buy drugstore cleansers (despite trying to be persuaded otherwise by department/specialty store salespeople). My favorite cleanser is Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash because it keeps adult breakouts at bay. (I also use Neutrogena’s Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover to take off mascaras, shadow, and liner.) Then I splurge on serums: one for day (I love SkinAuthority’s Wrinkle Reversing Serum,

Wrinkle Reversing Serum from SkinAuthority

My favorite serum for day—in an airtight pump container.

which absorbs quickly and makes my skin healthy and radiant; $125, skinauthority.com) and one for night (I’m addicted to Skinceuticals Phloretin CF antioxidant serum; $162, skinceuticals.com); both are pricey, but are worth the smooth-skin results you get. Just use sparingly so you don’t go through the containers too quickly.

2) Buy physical sunscreens that are white, not clear. Despite all my years of working in health and beauty, I had never heard this advice before. According to Jaliman, the whitish part of the sunscreen is what “makes these products safe to use. They appear white because the particles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide [the protective ingredients] are too big for the skin to absorb”.  Jaliman goes on to say that “particle size matters…and this is one area where big truly is better”. But “when [the sunscreen] comes out clear from the tube, the manufacturer has used nanoparticles that are many times smaller. And scientists are growing increasingly concerned about nanoparticles and their possible effects. Recent studies have shown that people whose sunscreens contain zinc nanoparticles have increased levels of zinc in their blood.” Hmm…a bit disturbing, but good advice that I’ll be putting into practice ASAP. One sunscreen I do love—and feel comfortable using on me and my kids: Soléo Organics All-Natural Sunscreen ($19.96; amazon.com).

3) Take it nice and slow.“I always tell my patients to approach skin treatment the way they would approach exercise. Nobody should run a marathon the first day out on the track: by the same token, you should gradually build up a tolerance to any skin treatment.” I just love this analogy. People expect miracles when it comes to skin care (just as they do with weight loss or exercise regimens)— but slow and

Skin Rules Book

The new beauty bible: every woman should read it!

steady wins the race when it comes to keeping your skin healthy.

4) Good things come in tubes and pumps. Anything else, says Jaliman, “deteriorates quickly when exposed to air and sunlight, which happens every time a jar is opened”. If you want to use a product in a jar, use a cotton swab (or the little spatula that sometimes comes with it) instead of your fingers to get the product out. “Every time you stick your finger into a jar, you are introducing bacteria into it,” she explains.

5) Take biotin for cracked, brittle nails. “Far more effective than those ‘nail-strengthening’ polishes is a daily dose of biotin (vitamin B-7),” says Jaliman. “Most recent studies recommend 2.5 milligrams a day.” I’ve started taking biotin after reading this! But Jaliman also adds:

Avoid the UV heating lamps used in salons to speed drying of nail polishes “because those UV rays age your hands”.

Stay away from nail gels; “more and more salons are offering them, but there are increasing reports of serious side effects, including neurological damage (they’re so hard to get off that nails can be damaged in

woman with smooth skin smiling outdoors

You'll look more youthful with this advice from dermatologist Debra Jaliman.

the process),” explains Jaliman.

Ban nail extensions. “People don’t realize that the space between the fake nail and the real nail is the ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow,” says Jaliman, who adds: “Sooner or later, people who use nail extensions are going to get an infection…If you like long nails, take biotin and grow your own instead.”

Just a few of the helpful tips she includes…

What I also love about this book: despite the fact that Jaliman has her own line of great products, she never mentions them once in this book and actually goes out of her way to recommend other products—drugstore brands and pricier options—to go along with each rule. So you know exactly what to buy to get results. In my mind, this gives her even more credibility as a smart, objective dermatologist.

I’m not one for casually reading skin-care books, but this one is a keeper: it’s the new “bible” of skin-care for every woman. I highly recommend reading this…and putting Jaliman’s advice into practice. Your skin will thank you for it! (And just so you know, I’m not even a patient of Jaliman’s…I just love the book!)

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Need a little motivation to get off your butt? This may help…

Written by: on Sunday, January 29th, 2012
Heroes for My Son by Brad Meltzer

This book is a must-read for everyone…truly inspiring whether you have kids or not.

I just recently finished a compelling book called Heroes for My Son by Brad Meltzer. I highly recommend it whether or not you have a son or kids. In it, Meltzer details—in a concise but compelling way—people who have overcome different kinds of challenges to become, in his mind, true heroes. (I’ve already pre-ordered from barnesandnoble.com his next book, Heroes for My Daughter, which is due out April 10.)

Two of the people he features are Team Hoyt (teamhoyt.com). I had never heard of this father-son duo before, so I did a bit more research on them—and realized why they are heroes, and also an inspiration for everyone.

Rick and Dick Hoyt

Team Hoyt after finishing the Boston Marathon 2014—their last. (They’ve been racing the Boston Marathon since 1981.)

Rick was born in 1962. Deprived of oxygen at birth (which—as a mom—I can’t even imagine), he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the result of his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and oxygen being cut off to his brain when he was born. Rick’s mind is intact but he can’t speak or control his limbs.

His parents were advised to institutionalize him because there was no chance of him living a “normal” life. But instead, they worked to teach him to speak and do, as best as possible, “normal” things that kids do. (In my mind, they’re hero parents too.)

Team Hoyt in a race

Team Hoyt during one of their more than 1,000 races together. 

But when he was 15 years old, Rick told his dad that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile run for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed. His dad wasn’t a runner, but he pushed Rick in his wheelchair all 5 miles and they came in next to last. After that, Rick told his father, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.” Since then, they’ve completed over 1,000!!! races together, including marathons!, duathlons, and triathlons (six of which were…get this, IRONMANS! That’s a 2.4-mile swim and a 112-mile bike, topped off by a 26.2-mile run—a marathon.). If you’re wondering how they do it, his dad swims in the triathlons, pulling a boat with Rick in it. And they have a specially designed bike for the two of them.

After reading this, all my excuses for not fitting in my run, bike, or swim (or just exercising at all) seem completely lame. I mean, really, no excuses seem valid after reading this!

I’m reminded, too, of something Christopher Reeve said before he died: “I get pretty frustrated by people who are able-bodied but who are paralyzed for other reasons.” A great quote…and a good one to remember the next time you need a push to get out there—whatever it is you’ve been wanting to do!

* Update: Rick and Dick (his dad) just completed their last marathon together: Boston 2014. They planned to make the 2013 Boston Marathon their last—but then the bombings changed everything—for everyone. They may run smaller races together, but no more marathons or triathlons. Dick Hoyt is now 73 and Rick is 52; Rick may compete with others moving forward, but hasn’t decided yet.

 

 

 

 

 

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Demi Moore: No man worth this! 3 Facts Every Woman Should Remember …

Written by: on Saturday, January 28th, 2012
Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher

No matter how long you were together, Demi, Ashton is not worth ruining yourself over.

I feel bad for Demi Moore. She let her identity and confidence and strength as a woman be totally tied up with Ashton Kutcher, who in my mind is a total jerk. We all know women who have let this be done to them. Enough is enough!

According to news reports, she’s been drinking Red Bulls almost exclusively for months, to the exclusion of almost everything else, including food. And she was reportedly doing whip-it’s (inhaling nitrous oxide) for a high the night she was rushed to the hospital after someone called 911.

Demi, get a grip. No man is worth ruining yourself over. Three facts always worth remembering:

1) YOU are worth it. Something good for every woman to recognize. Stand strong. Be confident about who you are…and never let anyone—including a guy—start becoming everything to you. Have your own job, your own bank account, your own friends, your own life outside of your relationship to ensure this.

2) Women friends should be there for each other. If a woman you know is going through something similar, do NOT go out drinking with her. “Rumor” is that Demi’s 23-year-old daughter Rumer Willis, was out clubbing with her the night Demi ended up in the hospital. Shame on you Rumer! Instead, take her to a kickboxing class at the gym (amazing for getting out aggression while getting the blood circulating!), out to a spa for “men-are-not-worth-it” hot-stone massages, and for an amazing dinner (complete with chocolate cake and ONE glass of wine!).

3) You will survive. We’ve all listened to Gloria Gaynor’s “I will survive” when we’ve gone through a breakup. Turn on this song and crank up the volume if you’re going through something similar. When the going gets bad, women need to stay strong. Because in the end, YOU WILL SURVIVE!

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Mental Toughness: The Secret to Success at Just About Anything

Written by: on Monday, January 23rd, 2012
woman with outstretched arms celebrating success

Think you can succeed...and you will.

It was several months before the recent birth of my child that I became interested in the topic of mental toughness: the idea that you can almost will yourself through pain, difficulty, and discomfort—no matter how bad it gets. I believed that this would get me through a natural, no drugs birth. And while the no-drugs birth did happen, it was not because of any mental willing on my part. (I was reduced to practically begging the doctors to give me drugs, but they couldn’t because of how fast the labor had progressed.) While in the hospital, I came to the “conclusion” that I just didn’t have a great deal of mental strength or willpower (if any at all).

That may be, also, why I read about IronMan triathletes with awe … (Please click through for the rest of my newest blog post on Maria Shriver’s site…)

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What to Eat After Exercise…So You Don’t Gain Weight

Written by: on Sunday, January 22nd, 2012
woman lifting a barbell

It's easy to negate the effects of a good workout by eating the wrong foods afterward!

What’s best to eat for recovery after a hard workout? That’s what marathoners, body builders, and exercisers ask. They read ads for “recovery foods” with the “perfect” ratio of carbs to protein and a “proprietary” formula— and emphasize immediate consumption the minute you stop exercising. But the truth is that engineered recovery foods, which often cost more, are actually no more effective than standard foods.

Q: Who should eat a recovery diet?

A: Too many athletes are obsessed with rapidly refueling the minute they stop exercising.  They’re afraid they’ll miss the one-hour “window of

best recovery food for exercisers

Skip the pricey "recovery" foods; a glass of low-fat chocolate milk may be all you need.

opportunity” when replacement of glycogen [stored glucose] is fastest. But refueling still occurs for several hours after exercise, just at a slowing rate. So there’s no rush! Given a steady influx of adequate carb-based meals and snacks, muscles can refuel within 24 hours. If you have a full day to recover before your next training session, or if you have done an easy (non-depleting) workout, you don’t need to obsess about refueling immediately afterward. Over the course of the next 24 hours, you should repeatedly consume carbohydrates with each meal/snack, along with some protein to build and repair the muscles (e.g. chocolate milk or a fruit smoothie).

Refueling as soon as tolerable is most important for serious athletes doing a second bout of intense, depleting exercise within six hours of the first workout, including:

√ triathletes doing double workouts

√ soccer players in tournaments

√ people who ski hard in the morning and again in the afternoon.

The sooner these athletes consume carbs to replace depleted muscle glycogen and protein to repair damaged muscle, the sooner they’ll be able to exercise hard again.

Q: How many carbs do I need?

A: According to the International Olympic Committee’s Nutrition Recommendations, adequate carbs means:

Amount of exercise Gram carb/lb Gram carb/kg
Moderate exercise (about 1 hour/day) 2.5 to 3 5 to 7
Endurance exercise (about 1-3 h/day) 2.5 to 4.5 6 to 10
Extreme exercise  (more than 4-5 h/day) 3.5 to 5.5 8 to 12

 

For example, a 150-lb triathlete doing extreme exercise should target about 500 to 800 grams of carb/day (2,000 to 3,200 carb-calories). That’s about 500 to 800 grams of carbs every 4 hours during the daytime.

Q: What are some good carb-protein recovery foods?

recovery food for exercisers

Simple recovery food: cereal (carb) and low-fat milk (protein). Nothing elaborate and pricey necessary!

A: Your recovery meals and snacks should include a foundation of carbohydrate-rich breads, cereals, grains, fruits, and vegetables plus a smaller amount of protein (at least 10 to 20 grams per recovery snack or meal). Best bets:

√ fruit smoothie (Greek yogurt + banana + berries)

√ cereal + milk

√ bagel + (decaf) latté

√ pretzels + hummus

√ baked potato + cottage cheese

√ turkey sub

√ pasta + meatballs

Do NOT consume just protein, as in a protein shake or protein bar. Protein fills your stomach and helps build and repair muscles, but it does not refuel your muscles. Your muscles want three or four times more calories from carbs than from protein. If you like the convenience of protein shakes, at least add carbs to them. That is, blend in some banana, frozen berries, and/or graham crackers.

Keep in mind that recovery calories “count.” I hear many frustrated dieters complain they are not losing weight despite hard workouts. Perhaps that’s because they gobble 300 or so “recovery calories” and then go home and enjoy a hefty dinner. By organizing your training to end at mealtime, you can avoid over-indulging in recovery-calories.

Q: What about recovery electrolytes? Do I need them?

woman exercising hard outdoors and sweating

Simple foods still work best after a particularly tough workout, particularly if you sweat a lot.

 

 

A: After a hard workout, many athletes reach for a sports drink, thinking products like Gatorade or PowerAde are “loaded” with sodium (an electrically charged particle). Think again! Milk and other “real foods” are actually better sources of electrolytes than most commercial sports products. These electrolytes (also known as sodium and potassium) help enhance fluid retention and the restoration of normal fluid balance. Here’s how some common recovery fluids compare:

Beverage (8 oz) Sodium (mg) Potassium (mg) Protein (g) Carbs (g)
Water
PowerAde 55 45 19
Gatorade 110 30 14
Low-fat milk 100 400 8 12
Chocolate milk 150 425 8 26
Orange juice 450 2 26

 

As you can see, after a hard workout, recovery fluids that such as chocolate milk, orange juice, or a latte offer far more “good stuff” than you’d get in a sports drink. Sports drinks are dilute and designed for drinking during extended exercise.

bagel with peanut butter

A bagel with peanut butter provides carbs, protein, and sodium—important for replenishing after a tough workout.

To assess how much sodium you lose in sweat, weigh yourself naked pre and post an hour of exercise, accounting as best you can for any fluid consumed. Loss of one pound equates to loss of about 700 to 1,000 mg of sodium. If you sweat heavily and lose a significant amount of sodium, you can easily replace those losses with pretzels (300 mg sodium/10 twists), a bagel (500 mg) with peanut butter (200 mg/2 tbsp), Wheaties and milk (300 mg), or a spaghetti dinner with tomato sauce (1000 mg/cup Ragu sauce). The truth is: most athletes actually consume plenty of sodium, from everyday food!

Q: What should I eat before I exercise?

A: According to research presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, consuming protein before lifting weights enhanced recovery better than consuming a protein drink afterwards. That’s because your body digests pre-exercise protein into amino acids during exercise and puts those amino acids right into action repairing damaged muscles.

Q: I never really feel like I recover well. Is something wrong?

woman running on beach in sweats

Sure, you love your morning runs, but make sure you take at least a day off every week to rest; your body needs it!

A: If you have to drag yourself through workouts, there could be an underlying issue. The most common:

√  You’re overtraining. Rest is an essential part of a training program; muscles need time to refuel and repair. Take at least one, if not two, days off from exercise per week.

√  You’re anemic. Anemia is common, so have your doctor monitor your serum ferritin (stored iron). If your iron stores are depleted, you’ll feel needlessly tired during exercise. An estimated half of female athletes are iron-deficient, as indicated by low serum ferritin stores. (About 14% of all women are iron deficient.) A survey with collegiate male runners suggested about 20% had low serum ferritin. Iron supplements help resolve the problem, along with a good recovery diet.

So the moral of the story is: Eat wisely, and you’ll recover well—and feel great without gaining extra weight!

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD January 2012

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It Only Takes a Girl

Written by: on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

A powerful video, a powerful message…

It Only Takes a Girl

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