As a busy women’s health and beauty physician, I am frequently asked about my own skincare regimen. We have long appreciated the benefits of regular exercise for our heart, brain, bones and muscles. Exercise also helps to keep your skin looking youthful.
Genetics, ethnicity and lifestyle factors like occupation smoking status and sun exposure, can affect the extent of facial aging and skin deterioration. With time, skin ages with the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, loss of elasticity and textural changes. Over the past decade, we’ve now come to understand that what we once thought was a process of skin sagging is actually the result of loss of facial soft and hard tissue; bone, muscle, collagen, etc. This facial tissue loss leads to the three Ds of facial aging: deflation, deterioration, drift. Moderate-intensity aerobic exercise has long been shown to provide many health benefits that may extend to helping to mitigate changes of facial aging. So if exercise can be part of the beauty plan, it would make sense to have a beauty plan to couple with your work out regimen.
Here’s a quick peek inside my gym bag, where I keep my top seven must-have items. These will help you to keep your skin with a healthy glow as you get fit.
Degreasing pads. Remove the oil, debris and any makeup you might be wearing from your skin before and after you work out. When your pores open due to heat of exercise and perspiration, you can cut the likelihood of a post-workout breakout.
Water: Keeping yourself hydrated before, throughout and after the work out is so important. Energy drinks caffeinated beverages like coffee, cola and tea can deplete total body water. Working out outdoors especially in warm, humid or windy climates can be further dehydrating and water intake should be increased for the day post work out.
Vitamin C: This gentle anti-oxidant is great as a pre- and post-work out skin treatment. If used under sunscreen, it can increase the potency of sunscreen and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and pigment.
BioCell Collagen supplements. You may feel the need to reapply moisturizer after working out. Your skin may feel dry because you are dehydrated. Many energy drinks can also dehydrate you. They can wreak havoc on skin. While drinking ample water is important with your work out, it is important as well to hydrate skin from within. BioCell Collagen has been clinically shown to reduce skin dryness and reduce the appearance of fine lines.1 Its ability to safely promote skin beauty is supported by more than 20 clinical studies including six human trials.
Extra protein. Protein builds muscle and regulates many metabolic processes. Protein shakes are good but it is important to read the label. Choose brands that are free of added sugars, salts and chemical flavors. A top-quality protein powder should not only be palatable, but should also be free of artificial ingredients like processed sugars and chemical colours or flavours, and deliver about the same amount of protein as a can of tuna or a chicken breast (i.e. 30 to 40 g per serving). Whey protein is most extensively researched in conjunction with building muscle. For patients who can tolerate milk protein, I encourage balancing the type and form of protein, i.e. whey, plant protein powders with a varied diet. Protein powders should be mixed with as few additional calories as possible i.e. blend with coconut water or almond milk and a small scoop of frozen blueberries. Aim for 25-35g per meal with a total protein intake of 1.6 per kg of body weight for an average female (lower daily protein intake may be necessary in the setting of kidney disease).
Snacks with healthy fats. Healthy dietary fat is needed to maintain healthy brain function and radiant skin. The diet is needed to provide essential omega3 fatty acids, which are vital for optimal function of the neurological system, skin and have anti-inflammatory effects. Diets excessively restricted in fat lead to poor skin and nails. Omega3 has been shown to increase the sunburn threshold adding to the protection factor of sunscreen and reduce skin problems like acne psoriasis and certain types of skin cancer. Nuts, seeds in a pre work out snack and a post work out meal of fish are good options.
Sunscreen . Lots of research shows that outdoor exercise may be better for your brain but –without protection- it may not be better for your skin. As an avid runner, I always ensure I have an ample layer of sunscreen. Apply sunscreen one hour before sun exposure, and reapply after you’ve worked out and showered. I ensure my sunscreen protects from both UVA rays that age you and are most closely associated with skin cancer and UVB rays that tan and burn skin. These products contain minerals like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which act to physically block the sun’s rays. Avoid those that contain potentially carcinogenic chemicals such as benzone derivatives. The SPF rating does not indicate UVA protection factor so read labels carefully. Along with sunscreen, I always wear a broad-rimmed running hat and sunglasses to further limit exposure.
These seven tips can help you get the most out your work out for your health and beauty! So while packing your running shoes in your gym bag, think twice about adding these additional items to maximize beauty benefits from your work out.
Biography: Dr. Jennifer Pearlman
Dr. Jennifer Pearlman is a medical doctor with over 15 years of experience in the area of women’s health and wellness. Combining integrative medicine with aesthetic expertise, Dr. Pearlman helps her patients achieve optimal health and wellbeing from the inside out.
She is a NAMS Certified Menopause Practitioner (NCMP) certified by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and is attending staff physician at the Menopause Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, the largest in Canada.
Dr. Pearlman created PearlMD Rejuvenation as a State-of-the-Art Medical Vitality Clinic devoted to helping her patients successfully navigate the aging process by delivering comprehensive medical care and cosmetic enhancement employing the very best treatments, technologies, and techniques for mind, body and beauty.
Dr. Pearlman is a board certified Fellow of Functional, Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (FAARM), and is a recognized expert in the area of women’s health and mental health, designated by the Ontario Medical Association to work as an expert consultant to other physicians. With a cultivated expertise in the art and science of cosmetic medicine, Dr. Pearlman is a sought after expert called to train other physicians on the latest cosmetic techniques using injectable fillers (Restylane, Juvederm), neuromodulators (Botox, Dysport), and regenerative therapies (Selphyll) and technologies (Venus FREEZE). She has had the opportunity to work and train with leading experts in this field across North America.
Dr. Pearlman is a frequently published health expert with articles appearing in the Globe and Mail national newspaper, The Huffington Post, Canadian Living Magazine, Elle and more. She has appeared as an invited speaker on television shows such as Rogers’ Daytime Toronto and frequently lectures to public and professional audiences. She lectures and trains other physicians in the area of menopause, hormone therapy, and cosmetic medicine. She was awarded the Enterprising Woman of the Year award in 2013, named as a Women of Distinction in 2012 and 2013 and is an invited member of several prestigious organizations committed to supporting women entrepreneurs including, the Women’s President Organization and United Success.
Dr. Pearlman is an active member of the Canadian and Ontario Medical Associations, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, and the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Federation of Medical Women of Canada.
She is an active member of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) and the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) and is a board certified physician in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (ABAARM).