Nuts and seeds vs nip and tuck

The real secrets of beautiful skin

Dr Howard Murad is not your run-of-the-mill dermatologist. Despite the fact he’s amassed quite the skincare empire, he’s a firm believer that time spent away from your email, eating healthily and exercising is far more important than splashing out on the latest must-have cream. It should come as no surprise, then, that he recently announced a partnership with Reebok’s new sports club, Re: Spa, where a selection of his products are now available.

Do you think exercise helps keep skin in good condition?
Yes, exercise builds muscle and muscle contains 70 per cent water compared to the 10-15 per cent water content of fat tissue. So from a re-hydration point of view, it’s easy to see why exercise, which helps to build muscle tissue, helps give you glowing skin.

Do you think any particular exercise helps?
As far as building muscle tissue is concerned, resistance exercise (where you are lifting weights, using bands or tubes or even your own body weight) is key, but aerobic exercise is equally as important. It helps boost circulation and the delivery of nutrients to skin cells, plus it helps with the production of collagen, which helps to keep lines and wrinkles away.

Do you think facial exercise is a good idea?
Not really. More often than not, it’s not done properly.

How much of a role does good nutrition play in skin?
“Eat your water” is what I always say to my patients. By that I mean you can do wonders for the skin’s appearance by eating water-rich foods. This internal re-hydration is actually more important than the stuff you’re putting on your skin. Watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, and courgettes– these foods contain around 95 per cent water.

Is there such thing as a superfood as far as the skin’s concerned?
Actually, yes. Eating pomegranate can increase your SPF’s effectiveness and the goji berry is definitely worth the hype. I’ve been saying for decades that it is probably the most nutritionally dense food on the planet, with its high antioxidant content and anti-ageing vitamin A.

What are the most damaging things a person can do for their skin?
Well, you’ve got the obvious things like UV, but I actually think cultural stress poses the greatest threat to our skin. It’s a silent killer. Being permanently on the go, constant pervasive stress and lack of sleep all play a part in everything from water loss to our skin’s cells to obesity and depression. We need to learn how to nurture ourselves more. It’s so important to take an inclusive approach to skincare by looking at your emotional wellbeing too.

Why Reebok Re:SPA for Murad?
The Reebok Club is a perfect fit for the brand as it has all of the elements from our “inclusive health” philosophy. The concept includes internal care, which Reebok addresses with information on nutrition. We also believe it’s important to look after your emotional wellbeing and Re:SPA provide a relaxing environment to help relieve stress. Finally, there’s obviously topical care, the third prong in our inclusive health concept, which is addressed at the spa with Murad products and facials.

So what is the secret to beautiful skin?
I tell my patients three things:

• Eat your water: Stick to those high-water foods mentioned above, and don’t dehydrate yourself with excessive amounts of salt.

• Eat your sunscreen: Eat plenty of bright, colourful, antioxidant-rich fruit and veg.

• Become the most important person to yourself: Embrace yourself, believe in yourself, be thrilled to be yourself, treat yourself like royalty... Or at least be comfortable with yourself.

Murad products and treatments (www.murad.co.uk) are available at Reebok’s Re:SPA in Canary Wharf www.reebokclub.co.uk/spa. Call 020 7970 0912 for more information.

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