Beyond Botox, Fillers, and Lasers: Beauty From the Inside-Out

Over the years, beauty magazines have often referred to me as “dermatologist to the stars.” The truth, however, is that my practice has never catered particularly to the “lifestyles of the rich and famous.” While I’ve had my share of famous and successful patients, including models and super-models, my focus has always been on enhancing my patients’ natural beauty—from the inside-out.

It’s not that I’m opposed to Botox, fillers, collagen injections, or any other beauty treatment. However, I’m a physician and my #1 priority is health. I believe that when you’re healthy, you’re beautiful. That’s why my emphasis is on returning my patients to the state of health and happiness they had as toddlers—when their cells were fully hydrated, their skin glowed, and their outlook was worry-free.

On the physical level, the key to that approach is cell hydration—ingesting enough water, and then keeping it where we want it: inside the cells. I’ve written entire books on this subject and will have more to say about it in future blog posts—including the importance of moisturizing and protecting the skin—your body’s first line of defense.

However, the most important beauty and anti-aging tip I want to offer is this: “Smile often; frown infrequently.”

A smile is not only the best, fastest, and most affordable way to improve your appearance; it’s also proven to improve your mood—and with it, your health!

“Oh, that’s too simplistic!” skeptics often tell me. Or, “How can I be happy, when ___________?” They then go on to list one or many life circumstances that are keeping them from happiness.

It’s true that tragedy happens to all of us; that grief is part of living; and that Cultural Stress—the all-pervasive stress of modern living—threatens our individual and collective well-being. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that “Life is good, bad, and indifferent. Healthy people focus on the good.”

That’s why, even amidst reports of disaster, I look for the people who are rushing in to help. You will always find them. In fact, disasters often have the result of drawing people together. While it’s a shame that it sometimes takes a catastrophe to get us to look out for our neighbors, it’s also tremendously sweet and reassuring to realize that, deep down, people want the best for each other and will even go out of their way to help when necessary. That in itself is cause for optimism!

Beyond those “feel good” examples, several studies have confirmed the health benefits of optimism: optimistic people not only live longer, they enjoy it more! For example, a study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that heart attack survivors who had an optimistic outlook were significantly more likely to live beyond those who did not. The study surveyed some 600 individuals who’d had a myocardial infarction in the year 1992-93. Researchers then followed up with the patients in 2015. They found that participants who had scored in the highest third of optimism levels were 33% more likely to have survived than those who had scored in the middle and lowest third. Optimistic participants had a 55% lower risk of death from all causes and a 23% lower risk of death from heart failure.

Researchers propose the reason is that optimists have learned to deal with hardships in a productive way, while worry and pessimism tend to aggravate life-shortening conditions like hypertension, insomnia, consumption of drugs and alcohol, and overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol elevates blood sugar and triglyceride levels—useful for fueling a fight-or-flight response to physical danger, but debilitating over time when the “danger” is primarily mental.

Yes, we recognize that life is uncertain and can seem out of control at times. So step back; take a deep breath; relax; and realize there’s no way to do life perfectly, so “Be imperfect and live longer!” Rest your mind on something that makes you happy, and let that thought bring a smile to your face.

Your inner well-being will illuminate your skin from the inside. No surgery or injections required. That’s what I call Modern Wellness!


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