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Dr. G is a pioneer in the beauty and wellness community, who practices what he preaches. We sat down to ask him about the most crucial vitamin for the body and the skin. The answer may surprise you as its been around forever.

We talk about this time and time again – the importance of both internal and external health is what leads to optimal skin health because our skin is our largest organ (60% of our body). That being said, Dr. Goldfaden recommends ingesting Vitamin C through foods or supplements and also applying Vitamin C  for optimal health and exterior glow – arguably the most important Vitamin for glowing + radiant skin.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals, supports the immune system and helps make collagen in the body. Vitamin C has also been shown to lower LDL (the bad cholesterol), ward off heart disease and absorb iron in the body. However, tricky humanslack the ability to produce their own vitamin C. Oral supplementation is important for optimum health, 65-90mg per day should do the trick. Don’t take too much as it can interfere with the absorption of other crucial vitamins and upset the digestive system. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C is also beneficial, like red peppers, bell peppers, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, kale and fermented foods (like kimchi or sauerkraut) all rank super high in Vitamin C.

Why is ingesting Vitamin C not enough?

Just eating foods high in Vitamin C is not necessarily going to deliver all the incredible benefits to the skin. Due to the fact that the absorption of vitamin C is drastically limited by active transport mechanisms in your intestines, very little of what you eat or take orally ever makes it to your skin cells. Essentially, the only effective method for replenishing the vitamin C in your skin is to go straight to the source and apply it topically. In fact, it’s been shown that applying vitamin C to the skin is 20 times more effective than oral ingestion. Another advantage to applying vitamin C topically is the fact that once it s absorbed into your skin, it can’t be washed or rubbed off. Significant amounts of it continue to remain active in your skin for up to three days.

What role does Vitamin C play in our body?

The ability of Vitamin C to revitalize aging skin is largely due to its beneficial effects on collagen. Collagen is a tough, fibrous protein that is relatively inelastic and very strong. It supplies the basic framework that gives your skin its form, firmness, and strength, while elastin provides flexibility. Overall, the amount of new collagen that your skin produces declines with age, while the rate of its destruction increases. Fortunately, topical vitamin C has been scientifically proven to help stimulate collagen synthesis. It also helps block the production of enzymes that break down collagen, making it one of nature’s most effective anti-aging nutrients. Vitamin C is not only essential for collagen production and maintenance, it’s also a very powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in your the skin.

His challenge to us this fall, is to up our diets with foods high in Vitamin C as well as apply a daily serum containing Vitamin C. Our Brightening Elixir serum was created for this purposes. Loaded with 10% Vitamin C (gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin), Vitamin B3 + B5, Ferulic acid and Vitamin E, this serum will keep you even, glowing and healthy all year long.

The dog days of summer are wrapping up—and coincides with when skin has decided it can no longer take the heat, grime and sweat it’s been enduring for the past few months, going haywire. Just some of what you might be seeing in the mirror? Photo-damaged skin, discoloration, dehydration, dull or lackluster complexion, congestion. “It’s the sun, sand, beach, warm/humid climate,” explains Dr. Goldfaden. “Added with the fact that consumers are putting on loads of sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays, which can lead to skin congestion and breakouts.”

With Fall upon us and Winter not too far behind we asked Dr. G the must-dos for a healthy transition into the seasons.

AUTUMN

Why do we start to see the sins of summer fun in the Autumn?

Post summer damage starts to show in the form of photo-damaged skin, discoloration, dehydration, dull/ lackluster complexion and congestion. This is from the sun, sand, beach, warm/humid climate. Added with the fact that we are putting on loads of sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays, which can lead to skin congestion and breakouts.

 How do we restore the damage? 

Subtle changes to your regimen can do wonders for your skin and give it what it really needs. One subtle change? Swapping out just your cleanser. Goldfaden MD has developed a new cleanser that foams, the Detox Clarifying Facial Wash. Currently the original cleanser in the line, Pure Start, is a gentle wash that helps realign the skin’s natural pH balance. Detox Wash—thanks to a hardworking combo of AHA acids—takes it a step further by fighting bacteria, clarifying pores clogged up by sunscreen, and really addressing congested skin. If your current cleanser works great—check by swiping a pad with micellar water after a wash to see there’s no grime or residue left behind—keep using it!

Polish and plump: this is the key. Exfoliation (either in the form of a physical exfoliator or enzyme/chemical)–ridding your complexion of dead, dry, dull cells and revealing brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin underneath is the beginning of revealing a more healthy-looking complexion followed by a corrective moisturizer/hydrating treatment, like oils and moisturizers.

We holistically believe that healthy-looking skin is a 360-degree approach to wellness.  “I recommend a diet rich in leafy greens, bright colored berries and  fatty acids (a “hydration punch”); think avocados, nuts and salmon, which will keep congestion and inflammation at bay while infusing nutrient rich vitamins and nutrients back into your system. I also encourage staying clear of alcohol, white carbs and refined sugar—all of which can trigger the inflammation (glycation) we’re trying to avoid.” Dermatologist, Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD

How can we protect ourselves as the seasons change and become colder?

When out in the elements (wind, freezing rain, snow, sun) always cover your face with a scarf as this will protect your skin. Eliminating dry sinuses, bloody nose, chapped lips, wind burn, sun burn and dry dehydrated skin.

Invest in a humidifier. Humidity levels drop during the winter months, thus drying out skin, eyes and hair.  Add in artificial heat and you’re doomed. By adding humidity back into the air, you can reverse some of the damage. Cool vapor is the best bet to not only feeling better but looking better too. We recommend leaving it on all the time so that your home maintains an even level of humidity. Sleeping with a small humidifier next to the bed will ensure hydrated skin and sinuses.

Take warm showers instead of steamy hot ones. If you’re thinking a hot shower will feel good after a brutally cold day, a good trick is to turn the shower on very hot and let the bathroom steam up, try adding a eucalyptus leaf to add a serene fragrance. Then step inside the bathroom and get warm. Then turn the shower back down to a warm temperature. Hot water will dry skin out. Post bath or shower; try moisturizing your skin while still damp. Try using a bod oil and a lotion. This allows the skin to capture and seal in moisture.

Staying hydrated from the inside out is also crucial. Make sure to increase your liquid ingestion during the winter. Think teas, juices, water and healthy soups.

Take a look at your cleansing regimen. If you’re an exfoliation junkie particularly with physical scrubs, decrease the frequency during the winter. Instead try a chemical exfoliator once a week, like Fresh-A-Peel. A Ph balanced cleanser is a good choice too.

Switch up your serum. Trade your Retinol products for a serum that is a little less aggressive. Our Brightening Elixir (loaded with Vitamin C, B, E and Ferulic acid) is perfect for seasonal transition. Look for cold pressed, pure oils, such as Baobob, Kalahari, Mongogo and Marula, which all contain Vitamin A, C, E and essential fatty acids and omegas. Our Fleuressence Native Botanical Oil offers all these and more. Winter is the optimal time to switch into more hydrating luxurious night cream treatment. Hydration is not the only benefit to look for. Anti-oxidants and ingredients that nourish and rejuvenate the skin are really what you want. Nourishing seaweed promotes collagen production and increased tightening and plumpness to the skin. Red Tea Extract or Rooibos is 50 times more potent that green tea (as an antioxidant) and contains vitamins A, C and E to resurface, protect and brighten skin.

Back acne (also known as, bacne) is a particular kind of hell. Unlike regular acne, it’s tough to tell if you even have it, and once you glimpse those spots and bumps in the mirror, it’s hard to treat it because it’s a total pain to reach all the way back there. The back area also is typically clothed so the skin can’t breathe as easily and sweating, exercise and not showering after, clogged hair follicles, over oil production, applying lotion that is too heavy and then sweating all add to the breakouts. We sat down with Dermatologist, Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD to learn more about what causes backne and what we can do to treat it.

What is the cause of back acne? Does it differ from facial acne?

You’re more prone to getting zits on your back vs. the face in general because those areas have high concentrations of hair follicles and sebaceous glands (glands that secrete an oily matter called sebum) which when clogged, causes breakouts. The skin located on the back is also very think and endures a different environment all together: back are area is also typically clothed so the skin can’t breath as easily and experiences conditions such as; sweat build up, wearing tight and restrictive clothing when exercising and not showering after which leads to clogged hair follicles, over oil production, and applying lotion that is too heavy and then sweating. 

What remedies do you suggest (both in diet and what you put on your body) to get rid of back acne?

Regularly exfoliating in the form of your products or external brush/loofa can prevent blemishes and keep dead skin build up at bay, using a benzol peroxide treatment to kill off acne-causing bacteria, wear loose-fitting clothing, shower immediately after working out (or use a wipe to clean skin if an immediate shower is not an option), and maintaining a healthy diet (stay away from sugars, alcohol, complex carbs and incorporate leafy greens, fruits, grains and lean protein) is key to a clear back. 

Are there any acids we should use to help clear back acne or any specific ingredients we should look into?

Similar to the skin on your face, the rest of your body also needs regular cleansing and exfoliation to renew its surface and draw out pore-clogging impurities and because the skin on the back is tougher and thicker than the face, more aggressive products can be applied.  This is a good opportunity to use any facial products that contain lactic, salicylic or glycolic acid as these exfoliating acids cleanse deep into your pores and allow the bonds between dead skin cells to break down and let go. 

Are there any body care ingredients we should steer away from? (For example, any extra bath oils or having a bubble bath). 

Stay away from using heavy lotions and oils in products that can lay flat on the skin and promote build up. It’s important to also use fragrance-free detergents too as the skin can get irritated from the detergents on the clothing. 

Anyways to prevent back acne?

Dry brushing or using a loofa regularly is a great way to treat back acne and keep breakouts at bay. By brushing/exfoliating skin, it works to remove dead skin cells and increases circulation overall. Wash and change your sheets often and try working in a probiotic into your diet to regulate your pH levels.