Dr. Howard Murad answers some of your most common skincare
It's not every day that one of the world's most
renowned dermatologists offers advice regarding your pressing
skincare concerns. But Howard Murad, M.D., founder of Murad Inc.,
does just that below, answering some of the most common questions
his patients ask him. These skin concerns are likely the same ones
you face, so read on for helpful skincare recommendations, which
could solve your complexion woes and bring on that glow you've
Q: How does stress affect my skin?
"Patients often don't realize how much stress affects their skin,"
says Dr. Murad. In fact, when you're stressed, your brain reacts by
sending messages called neuropeptides throughout your body. These
stress messages result in dehydration, which causes your skin to
become dry and sensitive. On the other hand, you might notice
increased breakouts under stress. That's because acne is an
inflammatory process that is exacerbated by your heightened stress
You can minimize the effect stress has on your skin. One way is
to manage expectations in your life. "Don't judge yourself against
unrealistic expectations. I still want you to function well and do
a great job, but you can still do the best you can and not be
perfect," says Dr. Murad.
Also, schedule time for yourself each week to relax and unwind.
Schedule a massage or yoga class or simply read a book at your
favorite coffee shop.
Q: How can I keep my skin looking young?
"A healthy lifestyle is the best way to stay looking young, and it
includes eating right, sleeping well and reducing your stress
levels as much as possible."
Now, we all know that answer sounds easier than it actually is,
but Dr. Murad has some helpful tips. For one, "eat more plant foods
than animal foods," he says. Make small changes, such as swapping
out your morning toast for oatmeal or your instant mashed potatoes
for baked sweet potatoes.
And you can help prevent your skin from developing signs of
aging by ensuring you wear products with SPF daily and year-round.
"Many people don't realize that a lot of damage that causes
wrinkles is from the environment," says Dr. Murad. Eating fish rich
in amino acids as well as beans and seeds can help diminish your
Q: What is the best way to wash my face?
First of all, ensure your cleanser is the best for your skin type.
"Don't use an acne cleanser if that's not what your skin needs. If
you have sun damage, get one with antioxidants," says Dr.
"Next, make sure you thoroughly cleanse your skin at night," he
says. It may be the last thing you want to do when you're finally
ready to hit the hay, but it is essential to remove the grime and
pollutants your skin has accumulated throughout the day. And you
can use a washcloth to wash away your cleanser, but be gentle since
the exfoliation may be too harsh for those with sensitive skin.
Q: What is the best way to fight adult
While pimples, acid-washed jeans and braces are memories we would
rather leave in our teenage years, unfortunately some adults have
to fight the acne battle. But the breakouts that adults experience
differ. "Adult acne is not as severe," says Dr. Murad. "Typically
when adults have acne, it's from your nose down and is associated
And adults need to combat acne differently than when they were
younger. "Treatment products need to be more gentle and include
soothing ingredients that help diminish signs of aging," says Dr.
Murad. He recommends you choose products that contain
phytoestrogens such as soy or mushrooms, which improve elasticity
and add moisture. These topical hormones also may be helpful in
fighting hormonal acne, which some women experience around their
- By Julie Wlodychak Borm