In recognition of March as National Nutrition Month, I'm honored to have had the chance to speak with highly acclaimed New York City dermatologist, Dr. Jody Levine about nutrition, supplements and how to achieve glowing, clear skin. Dr. Levine has been published in prestigious journals including Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology and Journal of the American Medical Association and has appeared on Martha Stewart Radio, The Montel Williams Show, Fox News, ABC News and The Rachael Ray Show in addition to becoming a go-to media resource for top national women’s health and beauty publications including W Magazine, Elle, Allure, Self, Shape, Marie Claire, New York Magazine and The New York Times.
Dr. Jody Alpert Levine, MD. - Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of New York City
Candace Rose: How important is eating healthy to great skin?
Dr. Jody Levine: "Eating healthy is so important to keeping your skin healthy and glowing. Eat a diet rich in nutrients and antioxidants – vitamin a, c and e are great vitamins. Foods like berries, pomegranate, green tea, also the omega fatty acids which you can find in salmon or walnuts. They help give your skin a natural moisture and a glow."
CR: What are some daily skin care regimens?
JL: "I recommend a daily skin care regine for everyone. For the face use at least three products that have in them – an antioxidant, a daily moisturizer with a broad spectrum sunblock and a retinoid. For your body use a lotion that moisturizes and nourishes. Dial Nutriskin Lotion is a new lotion that has in it vitamins a, c, e, omega fatty acids and amino acids – all these nutrients that you really need for your skin and this is an affordable product that's found in the drugstore. It comes in different varieties for the different skin types, so easy to keep your skin healthy."
CR: You mentioned using a moisturizer – on my face I tend to be more sensitive, combination and acne prone and anything I do causes me to break out. What would you suggest for someone like me?
JL: "We used to think that to prevent acne you had to keep your skin dry, but studies now show that's not true. You actually need to be moisturized. So, moisture in itself does not cause acne. You have to find a product that doesn't have in it other things, other preservatives that may be making you break out, but you definitely want moisture."
CR: What about wrinkle creams? At what age should women start using them?
JL: "Well, it's funny because my favorite ingredient for wrinkles are retinoids and those I use at every age. They're great for acne, they're great for pigment, they're also great for preventing wrinkles. So, really you start using them probably in your teenage years when you start breaking out."
CR: What should women look for when purchasing an eye cream?
JL: "The skin around the eye is very sensitive and very thin, so eye creams are good to give it a little extra moisture. Hyaluronic acid is a very nice ingredient in eye cream, also antioxidants. Look for antioxidants in all of your skin care products."
CR: Do you have any product favorites for the face?
JL: "Well, I happen to love anything that has green tea (green tea cream or green tea serum.) You can look for it in the ingredients and also anything with sunblock because I cannot overemphasize how important it is to protect your skin from the sun."
CR: How important are supplements and should everyone take them?
JL: "Well, I think if you're eating right, that's great but it's also good to make sure. Have a daily multivitamin just to make sure you're getting all of your vitamins. Other supplements that are good for the skin include biotin. Biotin is very healthy for the hair, skin and nails. It helps brittle nails, it makes them strong. It also makes your hair stronger and the omega fatty acids. If you're not getting it in your diet then take it as a supplement."
CR: How much omega-3 should people take on a daily basis?
JL: "I think one pill of an omega-3 supplement is fine but more important I really think is to try and get it in your diet. Eat fish, salmon, walnuts. Avocado also has a lot of omega-3. It's easy to find in these things and to eat them."
CR: What about for those who are allergic to seafood, how can they get an adequate diet of omega-3 fatty acids?
JL: "Well, avocado. I don't know if you like avocado but it really has a lot of omega-3 in it. It's very good for the skin."
CR: What else should we be doing to maintain a healthy glowing complexion?
JL: "Your general health really reflects on your skin, so eat right, drink eight glasses of water a day, also sleep 8 hours a night and exercise at least three times a week for thirty minutes each time. Get your heart pumping, produce those natural endorphins. They help you feel good and look good."
CR: Where can we go for more information?
JL: "Dialnutriskin.com is a great resource!"