Over the years of dealing with my skin woes, I’ve learned a very important thing: Inflammation is behind a ton of conditions, from rogue breakouts to things like rosacea. Usually, said inflammation starts in the gut, which means that while skin is a giveaway that something could be up with the microbiome, so too, are conditions like constipation and diarrhea. In other words: If you suspect something is up with your microbiome, look to your skin and your stools for validation.
When you think about it, though, your entire body sends signals to you about what’s going on beneath the surface. “Digestion is the root of all health—something that Ayurveda has known for thousands of years,” says Jessa Blades, herbalist and natural beauty and wellness expert. “A healthy body means having ways to get rid of waste and toxins through different pathways: kidneys and urine, skin and sweat, and through bile and the intestines.”
First things first: Let's start with what hyperpigmentation actually is. According to Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in the department of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, it's simply, "when you have extra pigment in the skin." The causes, however, are a bit more complicated.
The most common culprit? Dr. Zeichner says it's excessive exposure to UV light, which "causes your pigment producing cells to go into overdrive and leads to sunspots aka solar lentigines or liver spots." These spots tend to show up later in life (usually in the mid-30s and beyond) and are more prevalent on the face and hands.
"In some cases, hyperpigmentation may be due to hormonal fluctuations and is characterized by dark patches on the cheeks and temples or around the mouth," explains Dr. Zeichner. "It tends to get worse during pregnancy, which is how it was given the nickname 'the mask of pregnancy.' It can also by triggered by external hormones like oral contraceptive pills (which is something you may have noticed after switching to a new birth control) or exposure to excessive heat."
Whatever the cause, there are myriad options for treating and preventing hyperpigmentation altogether. The first place to start? Daily and diligent sunscreen application.
Did you know that your skin could be dehydrated even if you'd classify your skin type as oily? Yep. Basically, dehydration is a skin condition that doesn't discriminate based on skin type. And the only way to quench it is with the appropriate products. But how do you know if your skin is dehydrated? Easy. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, from Vibrant Dermatology in Wellesley, MA, gives us the scoop.
There are plenty of reasons to love avocado. Avocado is among the best foods you can eat today. It is packed with important fats and basically takes care of the entire organism. What is more, avocado can easily become a great addition to your breakfast, lunch, snack,and dinner. Given its benefits, food and nutrition experts urge everyone to have an avocado a day.
Read how an avocado a day boosts your health, and how to make the most of its benefits, starting today.
Top 10 Benefits of Eating an Avocado a Day
I get asked about drinkable collagen often!
There’s a reason why more eateries are serving up bone broth and why Dirty Lemon has caught Coca-Cola’s eye (and pocketbook): We just can’t get enough collagen. It’s in beauty products, protein powders, and even in matcha. Between helping relieve sore joints, improve digestive health, and keeping skin looking plump and young, the wellness minded are hooked. While most people know the best sources to get collagen, what’s less talked about are the habits we do every day that are unknowingly depleting the stuff we’re working so hard to build up. While the biggest reason for the breakdown of collagen is aging—alas, not to be helped—there are easy lifestyle tweaks that can work in our favor.
To immediately clear up any confusion, yes, it is a fact that alcohol wreaks havoc on the skin. Many people enjoy going out and having a few drinks every once in a while. However, they may not appreciate waking up the next morning and seeing the effects of alcohol on their skin.
Alcohol is metabolized through a specific enzyme in the liver and is known as a hepatoxin, meaning it is toxic to the cells that detoxify the body. Liver failure can cause damage to the skin such as large pores or pasty-looking skin. When alcohol is metabolized, an enzyme in the liver releases a byproduct called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is also a known toxin to the body; however, this toxin dehydrates the body causing hangovers and skin dehydration.
Shortly after my 30th birthday, during a particularly stressful time at work, I found myself with a breakout of epic proportions. (Like, call-in-sick-so-nobody-has-to-see-me bad.) So I recruited the big guns: glycolic acid face wash, prescription retinol, and antibacterial spot treatments.
But no matter how many new acne products I tried—and I tried a lot in my panicked state—my skin just kept getting bumpier and more inflamed, especially on the lower half of my face. A dermatologist prescribed me a steroid cream, which helped to a certain extent, but things never fully cleared up. For the next five years, my chin was perpetually red and covered in pimples of varying size and severity, which I blamed on stress and hormones
Until a few months ago, I had clear skin. Then one day, I woke up and my cheeks had exploded with blackheads. Despite a diligent skin-care regimen, it looked like I was perpetually forgetting to take off my makeup before I went to bed and sleeping on a pillowcase that hadn’t been washed in eight months. I pulled out my usual arsenal of products containing glycolic and lactic acids, but nevertheless these clogged pores persisted. They’d go away for a few days, then emerge again like the regenerated heads of the Hydra.
I relayed my woeful tale of cheek acne to celebrity aesthetician and Take Care Spa founder Sadie Adams. She reached down, felt my face, and told me something that I honestly wasn’t expecting: I had tons of tension in my jaw from clenching it all the time. And that, she said, was probably what was causing my cheeks and jawline to break out. Curious to know more, I consulted other pros to figure out just how common this could actually be. More on that now.
My goal is to be your Age Management Retreat. Ladies, I speak your Age! I'm 56 and have encountered, or will soon, the aging issues we 'd like to avoid.