People in the beauty industry get tons of goods to test out, so when someone spends their own money on something that they’ve run out of, you know it’s good. In this series, we give beauty buffs $100, and ask them how they’d spend it on the best-of-the-best cosmetics from around the internet.
As soon as New York City dermatologist, Whitney Bowe, MD walks into a room, she can tell if someone is under stress and what their eating habits are like. “The skin is a window to your overall health,” she explains. It may come as a surprise to some of her patients when she asks about their eating and lifestyle habits, but this skin pro knows that the complexion truly reflects what’s going on inside.
In her new book, The Beauty of Dirty Skin, Dr. Bowe discusses the gut, brain, skin connection—but don’t let the name mislead you to skipping out on your cleanser. By “dirty” she's referring to the plethora of wonderful bacteria that live on your skin, which are actually critical for keeping you beautiful, healthy, and glowing.
So, if your skin isn’t at it’s best, try taking a page (literally) out of her book. Keep reading on for some of her faves.
“This is one of my favorite drugstore products. It has a prebiotic technology, which acts like food for probiotics (the healthy bacteria on your skin). I love that it doesn’t cause my patients to breakout, plus, it’s hydrating without feeling greasy," says Dr. Bowe. "Their UV option is great for the morning, but I don’t like to expose the skin to sunscreen at night if you don’t need to at night.”
“This serum is amazingly effective with great science behind it. I specifically recommend it for people in their 20s and 30s who are looking for prevention (it’s not going to be a heavy hitter when it comes to reversing damage) and feel like their skin is dull," Dr. Bowe tells me. "It contains vitamin C and ginseng, which act as powerful antioxidants that fight off free radical damage. It also has a very gentle salicylic acid in it, which dives into pores and dissolves the glue that makes pores look wider, while also gently exfoliating away dead skin cells.”
“Take this supplement every morning,” advises Dr. Bowe. “It protects against free radicals that are not just from the sun, but things you are exposed to all year like pollution, cigarette smoke, infrared rays. Yes, I love topical serums, but you also have to protect your skin from the inside out. Sunscreen alone does not protect against blue light that comes from your computer and fluorescent light bulbs or infrared heat that comes from your blow dryer and hot yoga.”
“This is amazing for inflamed, irritated skin. I started using it because I have psoriasis and I did not want to use steroids—I wanted something that was more natural," she says. "It's made with a blend of 25 active, therapeutic botanicals that are 100 percent safe. Once it cleared up my psoriasis, I started using it on my eczema patients. Then, I started on using it on my patients who struggled with any kind of inflammation from razorburn to sunburn. It’s really calming and soothing.”
“I don’t think that natural is always better,” admits Dr. Bowe. “For some people, it can be irritating. But when it comes to lip balms, I like to err on the natural side because you constantly lick your lips and they are so permeable.”
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