When I was little, I lived down the street from Elizabeth Arden’s summer home in Charleston, SC. (Yes, she had a red door!) Seeing skincare and beauty through the lens of her relaxed, easy vacation lifestyle helped me realize the important connection between internal and external health--that glow we all chase comes from both body and mind. I grew up to become a dermatologist in New York City, not always known as a place where people can really slow down and really nurture themselves. So I’ve developed some tricks for achieving skin zen that work no matter the pace of your life. Below are my five daily “musts.”
When cleansing, follow your pores
The anatomy of the pores of the face are oriented in a specific way. So I make sure to cleanse skin upward and outward in order to allow for deep cleansing. I also apply makeup starting out near the hairline and moving centrally toward the nose and downward in order to keep from driving product into the pores.
Let your creams chill
I store my eye serum and cream in the refrigerator in order to keep it extra cool allowing for maximum de-puffing.
(Dry) brush it all off. Then hydrate with oil
Before bathing and before bed, I love dry brushing my skin. This helps to stimulate the lymphatics, exfoliate, and eliminate toxins. I adore oils for the skin. My secret to soft, hydrated skin is that I keep my body oils (I love Weleda's Wild Rose Body Oil or Birch Cellulite Oil) in the shower and apply the second I turn off the water. This locks in the moisture from bathing and allows for optimal penetration when the skin is warm. (Vasodilation allows for enhanced absorption.)
Feed your microbiome
I take a daily probiotic in order to optimize skin health. There is a real feedback loop called the gut-brain-skin axis that helps to maintain good bacteria in the GI tract and on the skin. Probiotics help keep our microflora in alignment which allows for optimal systemic, emotional, and cutaneous health.
Soak up some magnesium
Our body uses magnesium in over 300 biochemical reactions and we are often deficient in this vital element. Magnesium chloride is readily absorbed through the skin. It’s actually a salt, but it feels oily to the touch, so it is called an "oil." This helps give you a greater sense of well-being and enhances muscle relaxation (think Epsom salts).
Dr. Dendy Engelman is a board-certified and nationally-acclaimed dermatologic surgeon at Manhattan Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery (MDCS). She has a double major in psychology and French from Wofford College in South Carolina, where she was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude with honors. As a medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina, she earned the Presidential Scholar award and the Humanism in Medicine Scholarship for her efforts in establishing and running free medical care clinics in Charleston and in Haiti. In recognition of her achievements, Dr. Engelman recently served as the Director of Dermatologic Surgery at New York Medical College, where she trained future Mohs surgeons and dermatologists. In addition, she regularly publishes scientific papers detailing her ongoing advancements and has previously presented at national conventions such as the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.