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How This Top Dermatologist Transformed Her Complexion

by Gervaise Gerstner, MD

Fats are critical to organ health (and the skin’s the biggest one we’ve got!) and they’re key to helping us absorb and use all those hair-and-skin-saving nutrients. While they were long-maligned for being, well, fattening, it turns out that they’re a much more efficient and healthy source of fuel than carbs (that’s right, healthy fats can keep you thin).

Though I’ve long been aware of this, new habits can be hard to implement when you’re busy. So six weeks ago, I took a new approach. I set a goal of doubling my fat intake by adding three beauty-boosting fats that could easily be used in salads or toast or blended into a smoothie--the things I eat a lot of anyway. The idea being that instead of building a new habit, I’d just layer this behavior into my existing ones.

Avocados provide monounsaturated fat, long a gold standard in a balanced diet. In addition, they’re rich in vitamin C (for that from-within glow), vitamin K (helps tighten blood flexible for a brighter complexion), and vitamin E (a powerful free-radical killer, translating to plumper, dewier skin).

Coconut oil is full of a fatty acid called lauric acid, which has excellent skin-clearing properties with a lot of redness-reducing ability to boot.

MCT oil is made of medium-chain fatty acids, which performance enthusiasts go wild over. In a nutshell, they’re thought to be used very efficiently in the body, making all our systems run smoother. When that happens, nutrients get where they need to go better and we radiate good health.

Since I started, my skin has glowed, my nails have peeled less, and I’ve seen less breakage on my oft-blown dried locks. It’s a new ritual I’d call flat-out...beautiful.

Adding skin oil "fats" to your topical routine is great too. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, and Eminence Apricot Body Oil are all big favorites of mine.

Gervaise Gerstner, MD

Gervaise Gerstner, MD, graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Princeton University, where she also obtained a certificate in photography and visual art. She then earned her M.D. from Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City. After completing a medical internship, Dr. Gerstner completed a dermatology residency at Mount Sinai Hospital. During her final year, Dr. Gerstner was chosen to serve as Chief Resident of Dermatology for the hospital and affiliates. She currently serves as Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Mount Sinai where she volunteers in clinical and academic settings and interviews for the medical school admission. Dr. Gerstner has conducted research on a wide range of topics from chemical peels to melanoma. Her work has been published in leading dermatologic journals and she has served as book editor for Clinics in Dermatology. Dr. Gerstner is regularly featured in national, regional, and online media including W Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Glamour, Self, New York and Real Simple, and Vogue.

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