Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

Botox and teeth grinding…what’s the deal?

Botox…a polarising word to say the least, and the funny part is most people aren’t actually 100% clear on what Botox is or what it can be used for.  There’s a stigma associated with it, despite it being widely used for therapeutic purposes, and it has taken the blame for all sorts of odd looking famous faces.  One of the uses that has become more popular recently is for teeth grinding and clenching and overall jaw slimming.  So what is going on?

“Botox” is the name of a product produced by Allergan, and is the most well-known version of botulinum toxin, a prescription drug that can be used to reduce muscle contraction or movement when injected into the area to be treated.  Originally called Oculinum (doesn’t sound as scary as Botox, does it?), it was used to treat strabismus (cross-eyes) by reducing the contraction of overly active eye muscles that were unbalanced and pulling the eye off to one side.  Patients used to joke that they were back for the “forehead smoother” as this tended to be a side effect of the treatment.  An enterprising ophthalmologist named Jean Carruthers was the first person to treat a patient for “frown lines”, and along with her dermatologist husband, they have been pioneers on the cosmetic use of Botox and co-author thousands of medical papers on the topic.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

Botox is used for many cosmetic and therapeutic concerns, including frown lines, “gummy” smiles, crow’s feet and migraines.  Some uses are FDA approved, and other are classed as “off-label” (not specifically FDA approved for that particular use, but may be used by relatively widely by clinicians).  Licensed use varies from country to country, and gets updated as evidence grows.

Botox works to relax muscles by reducing contraction (and YES, you can paralyse them if you give too much, dosage is very important), and this is why is can help teeth grinding and clenching, and the pain associated with this when injected in the masseter muscle (largest and strongest of the jaw closing muscles).  It can also reduce the width of the lower face if this muscle has grown bigger from so much use (just like any muscles do with exercise!), by stopping the patient from essentially taking that muscle to the gym every night (and day, if they clench during the day too).  Similar to how you don’t maintain a six pack if you’re not doing the sit ups, you won’t maintain a large masseter muscle if you’re not over-exercising it.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

Teeth grinding or clenching (clinically known as bruxism) can present with a number of signs, such as an excessively large or swollen muscle (not very common), worn, fractured or chipped teeth, ridging along the sides of the tongue or inside the cheeks and jaw, facial, neck and tooth pain.  Stress, injury, pregnancy, lack of sleep, excessive use of stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, and nutritional deficiencies can all be contributing factors, but unfortunately the cause is not always clear – which means the treatment can be tricky.  Often a stressful period can spark an episode of grinding, or worsen an existing habit to the point the person starts experiencing pain or other problems.  A night guard is still the standard fix – which is great if that works, as it’s simple, straightforward and cost effective.  The trouble is when this doesn’t work: the patient can’t wear it, takes it out while asleep, or still experiences pain.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

My patients typically present with either pain or worn (or fractured) teeth due to excessive activation of the masseter muscle and heavy forces on their teeth.  I have even seen a patient fracture a titanium dental implant due to excessive biting forces.  Some people don’t have any symptoms, and are totally unaware of clenching; while others have been taking prescription painkillers for months or even years due to pain.   A night guard can be great as preventing damage to your teeth, but rarely will it stop you clenching, and I have found some patients complain of the pain related to it increasing.

Botox injections for teeth grinding and jaw slimming are still classed as “off-label” by the FDA, but have been used since the early 1990’s with relative success.  Personally, I was wearing a night guard for 17 years, and still suffered from jaw pain, especially when stressed.  After a particularly stressful few months, botox injections were a game changer for me – I felt like my sleep improved and the pain vanished completely.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

Botox or botulinum toxin A is a prescription drug for a reason, it should be administered by a trained healthcare professional and may not be suitable or predictable in certain cases – however, I have had wonderful results personally, and with many, many patients to date.  If you think you may be clenching or grinding, you should discuss it with your dentist, and consider the solutions available to you.   If you’re suffering from jaw pain, or have trouble wearing a night guard feel free to email me at jennifer@thedailyglow.com to arrange an assessment.

Botox and Teeth Grinding | The Daily Glow

My favourite masks for glowing skin | The Daily Glow

The 5 best face masks for glowing skin

My obsession with skin care runs to the extreme end of the spectrum when it comes to face masks, but not every mask is made equal – and some can do more harm than good. There are enough masks available to confuse the most seasoned skin care addict, and some target skin function in longer term, while others are ideal prep hours before a big event. I’ve put together a list of my top 5, to deal with the most common skin complaints.

 

  1. Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque: just like Ronseal, this one does exactly what it says on the tin.  Post-exams, post-festival or during wedding season, this one will bring a bit of life back to your poor, ashen face (but please make yourself a cocktail of dioralyte, berroca and vitamin C too).  Those of you with easily clogged pores should be careful with over doing it (although I find I can apply it once a week, after exfoliation, without any issues) and if you have dry skin a hydrating booster or spritz of a hydrating mist can really maximise its power.  A pricey enough one at fifty yo-yos, this has been a staple of mine for about 8 years now and generally lasts a good 10 months each time.
  2. Cien clay mask:  yes, from Lidl, and for a total cost of 69 cent  for two sachets – which I find gives a good six treatments if I use it only on my T-zone (and you’d have to be seriously oily to need it all over, unless god love you, you’re a teenager).  This mask contains zinc and white clay – perfect for minimising the effect of an acute breakout or keeping blackheads at bay for those prone to them. (Note for non-oily skins – I am currently testing out the other ones Lidl has available)My favourite masks for glowing skin | The Daily Glow
  3. Patchology posh peel pedicure:  Okay, so this one is actually for your feet, but it makes the cut because it can fully be used in place of a pedicure!  I discovered this recently while in Italy, and I think it may have blown me away more than any face mask to date.  Genuinely.  As an almost daily runner, getting my feet summer ready is not usually something I attempt myself – I leave it to the experts as it involves a lot of heavy lifting.  However, this year I was up to my eyes in studying and thesis-ing, and my exam was in Italy so I never made it to the nail salon (is it even called a “nail salon” in Ireland? I feel not everyone would get the Red lotus reference though) before my flight.  Post-exam shopping involved getting lost in Sephora for a couple of hours, and this was the best reward.  I haven’t ordered from niche-beauty.com before, but it was the first site I found that had this mask and sold to Ireland…and have already clocked up a fair bit of time browsing as I write this.  I would highly recommend using this mask at least a week before you’re planning on parading your feet in public, as there is a bit of a gross, flaky period (apologies again to Aideen, and all of Positano and Sorrento).  But it is worth the manky few days (maybe don’t wear your favourite socks) – you will be left with baby soft feet, I promise.My favourite masks for glowing skin | The Daily Glow
  4. Garnier moisture bomb sheet mask:  just like the Cien one, this sheet mask is a heavy weight champion for under a fiver.  It’s ideal the night before a big event, especially a photo shoot or a wedding, when you need make up to sit onto skin easily, and stay in place all day.  This mask deeply hydrates your skin, and can help prevent any dry, uneven patches of foundation – especially if your coverage is a little heavier than usual.  One worked of warning for oily/easily clogged skins though: once a week max!
  5. Radial snake oxygenating & cleansing mask:  This mask is for immediate use before an event/night out etc and really seems suitable for all skin types.  Charcoal helps unclog and minimise the appearance of pores, without any need to steam/squeeze/pull off a pore strip.  The bubbles (which can be quite alarming, please note that when they say bubbles…they mean bubbles!) have what seems to be a similar effect as an oxygen facial – everything looks plumped and glowy for about 24 hours.  I didn’t find this had any long term effect on the skin,  but the instantaneous result was like an extreme version of Beauty Flash Balm, and lasted all day – so definitely great for a short term boost.My favourite masks for glowing skin | The Daily Glow

As a self-confessed mask addict, I would love to hear what your go-to mask is – or if you’ve tried any of the above? Always on the lookout for a new one to try!

Bulletproof Coffee | The Daily Glow

Butter and coffee – and mental clarity

Bulletproof coffee has been a fad for a few years now – with its main presence of social media consisting of videos of butter being blended with coffee and coconut oil.  It has been claimed to promote weight loss, improve physical performance and seriously boost energy…but do any of these claims actually stack up?

The original bulletproof recipe came from Dave Asprey, the bulletproof executive.  I started following Dave’s blog years ago, when he was experimenting with anything and everything that could make him more productive, and before his coffee recipe became a thing.  He has spent a serious amount of time and money trying out different sleep patterns, diets and exercise (among other things), in an attempt to discover the most efficient and easiest way to feel as healthy and energetic as possible – so he’s not advocating spending every hour in the gym and eating only green plants, but instead trying to “biohack” his body for maximum results, with the least investment of time and energy necessary.

I started drinking bulletproof coffee after reading Dave’s book, Head Strong: The Bulletproof Plan to Activate Untapped Brain Energy to Work Smarter and Think Faster-in Just Two Weeks, last May.  I had started a new job, and was studying part time, so I was looking for a way to focus more clearly and for longer – and one that wasn’t going to take up a tonne of my time, as I didn’t really have any to spare.

Bulletproof Coffee | The Daily Glow

I now have bulletproof coffee (and usually only bulletproof coffee) for breakfast, and have converted some of my nearest and dearest to it too.  There are a number of variations on the recipe, but I have the following:

  • one large cafetiere of coffee
  • a tablespoon of butter
  • a tablespoon of XCT oil (a fraction of coconut oil, consisting of medium chain triglycerides and completely flavourless)
  • a spoon of collagelatin protein powder

I blend all of this together in a nutribullet and drink it on the way to work.  With this I take omega 3 fish oils and Coenzyme Q 10 – because they are apparently best absorbed if consumed with fat.  I’ve noticed a big difference in mental clarity, as promised, and both my mood and blood sugar appear to be more stable.

Bulletproof Coffee | The Daily Glow

 

Blood sugar

Previously, I was the type of person that had to eat regularly, or I simply couldn’t function.  Having patients that ran through my lunch could be a big problem sometimes, and I would feel pretty awful if I didn’t eat when I was supposed to.   I have seen the difference that bulletproof coffee has made most clearly in this area – missing my lunch is unfortunately a regular enough occurrence, but once I’ve had my coffee, I no longer become foggy-headed or as tired as I did before.  I’ve had days when I haven’t had the chance to eat until after 5pm (not something I’d recommend), but have almost forgotten I missed lunch because the impact has been minimal.

 

Mid morning slump

This has all but disappeared – that crash that I used to experience after regular coffee (particularly on an empty stomach) no longer sends me looking  for toast/chocolate/anything that looks vaguely appealing around 11am – although if there’s a delivery of donuts from Aungier Danger in the staff room, I am not responsible for my actions.

 

Mental clarity

Avoiding both the mid morning slump and light headed moments have obviously improved how well I’m able to function, but on top of that, my head just feels clearer anyway – and I find it so much easier to focus, and for longer periods of time   The way I’ve really noticed this is that when I have porridge or toast as well as my coffee, I don’t have that same clarity.  This is, I think, down to the carbohydrates in the said toast or porridge.  Reducing carbohydrates or calories can promote a fat burning state called ketosis, in which your body gets energy from fat (ketone bodies) instead of glucose.  The XCT oil in the coffee contains exogenous ketones, and, along with reducing carbs, can help your body to burn fuel from fat instead of glucose – something that is gaining popularity in both fitness and health circles, as it can supposedly increase mental clarity and promote fat loss.

Bulletproof Coffee | The Daily Glow

Weight

I haven’t noticed much of a difference weight wise, although I would imagine if you have a big problem with cravings throughout the day (and have a job that allows you to eat while working), this could have a big impact on unwanted weight gain.  Some of my friends have found it fills them up though, and they tend to snack less as a result – and they can eat at their desk etc.

 

Have you tried bulletproof coffee, or any version of it yet?  Or do you have a go-to breakfast that is as quick to make?  I’d love to hear what keeps you focused throughout the day, and especially if you’ve your own variation of the recipe above!

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Supplements for glowing skin | The Daily Glow

The best supplements for glowing skin

While I do try and follow a healthy diet for the most part (weekly Wow burger habit not withstanding), and I don’t believe you should be too reliant on supplements, there are a few things I find hard to get enough of solely from food – and really recommend for that added glow.  And, with Black Friday approaching, it’s not a bad time to stock up on them.

 

Fish oils and omega 3

So what’s the deal with the omegas?  Do you need 3, 6 and 9?  No. Omega 9 is not classed as an essential fatty acid (which means your body can make it from other things), but you do need to make sure you’re getting enough 3 and 6 as your body can’t create these .  The Western diet tends to be heavy on omega 6, but not so much 3.  Omegas 6 and 3 work best when consumed in a ratio of somewhere between 1:1 and 5:1, however, many of us tend eat 15-16 times as much omega 6 as omega 3 – which throws this way out of balance.  Corn oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil and nuts and seeds all contain plenty of omega 6, but you really need to look to oily fish, along with flaxseeds and walnuts to get your omega 3.  (How many times can you say omega in one paragraph?)  I’m not great for cooking fish (or meat for that matter), so I take a fish oil supplement daily with my bulletproof coffee.  Omega 3 helps boost brain function, decrease inflammation (essential for glowing skin, regardless of your initial complaint) and improve skin moisture – sorely needed with the central heating I’ve been blasting over the past 24 hours (how am I so surprised every winter when it gets this cold?).

Supplements for glowing skin | The Daily Glow

Zinc

Low zinc levels have been linked to acne, as I’ve mentioned before, and whenever I run out of it for long enough I get white flecks on my nails – another sign of zinc intake being less than optimal.  Zinc picinolate and zinc sulphate are the more easily absorbed forms – I’ve stuck to zinc picinolate (out of habit, I know where it is on the shelf)and find it works well.  Certain medications or a copper deficiency can be negatively affected by zinc supplementation, so do check with your doctor first if either might affect you.

 

Gelatin and Collagen protein powder

Vegetarians and vegans look away now – collagen protein powder appears only to come in animal based form (however, if you do come across something similar that is plant-based, please let me know).  It is dairy free though, which I like, as the more common whey based protein powder can cause a skin flare up.  I’m currently taking the Bulletproof brand of Collagelatin, which is sourced from grass-fed cows, and has a similar nutrient profile to the oh-so-fashionable “bone broth” – basically loaded with amino acids and collagen that can benefit your skin, joints and bones, and help with weight management (it fills you up).  But it is a hell of a lot easier to prepare than broth – I blend mine in coffee, and have also made raspberry jellies with it (not quite as time intensive as bone broth – have you seen the advised cooking times for that stuff? 12 hours appears standard.  Ain’t nobody got time for that – incidentally though, Dunnes Stores do a decent one in their fresh foods/fridge section).  Gelatin can also facilitate healing of the lining of your stomach and reduce inflammation – and can reduce wrinkles and cellulite – so once again leading the way toward clear, glowing skin.

Supplements for glowing skin | The Daily Glow

 

Currently I take the above supplements every day (or I will be again as soon as my order from discountsupplements.ie arrives – I am running low) along with magnesium and a B vitamin.  This is the combination that I have found works well for me, after a lot of trial and error – I wouldn’t recommend that recipe as an across-the-board combination for everyone, but I’d love to hear what you would recommend, and please mail me if you’ve any questions about brands or formulations.

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Improve your skin for free | The Daily Glow

Free ways to improve your skin

November is a funny month.  In between the “back-to-school-and-normal-life” feeling of September, and just before the festive season kicks of properly, it tends to be one of the quieter months of the year and one for saving or getting started on Christmas shopping (those of you who are so organised, I wish I could say I was one of you, I salute you).  Whichever way you look at it, it’s never really a “treat yo’self” or yolo month – so I’ve put together a list of ways you can get your glow back in time for the festive season, without spending a penny.

 

1.  Take your make up off, properly
Yes, I know,  it’s a broken record at this this stage – but for a reason, the amount of skin complaints that will clear up when you start cleansing your face properly is crazy.  Double cleansing, in all it’s glory, is described here and it won’t take long to see the difference.  You can use those make up wipes to clean the kitchen floor.

2.  Stop using hot water on your face
Breaking down the pH barrier and sensitising your skin are just some of the downsides to using hot water (to the horror of every dermatologist, everywhere), and lukewarm water will do the job just as well.

3.  Use a smaller towel or an old t-shirt to dry your hair
An old t-shirt supposedly reduces hair breakage and frizz as it is more gentle on your hair than a towel, but something else that it is useful for is reducing the pull on your skin while your hair is wrapped up in it – just think about the weight that is pulling on your forehead etc if you use a large towel, especially if you leave your hair in it while putting on your make up and getting dressed etc.  You can also use one of those “turbie twist” towels, I stole one from my mum so this was actually free (thanks mum!).

4.  Change your pillowcase regularly
All that face washing isn’t going to help prevent breakouts if you’re then going to sleep on a 3 week old pillowcase (and it’s manky).  Changing it every other day is essential if you are suffering from acne, and twice a week if your lucky enough to be clear skinned.

5.  Clean your make up brushes
The bacteria build up in make up palettes and on brushes can be shudder-inducing if you think about it long enough.  Eye shadow goes on much smoother on clean brushes, but at a minimum you need to be washing your foundation brushes daily.

6.  Ditto your phone
My phone gets dropped on the floor, covered in coffee and generally neglected…and then held next to my face for however long…so I have started using alcohol wipes to clean it.  If you tend to break out on your cheeks, this could be one of the culprits.

7.  And your hands
The ageing effects of shellac manicures can be found here, but sometimes those long talons can also contribute to skin infections and spots, as properly cleaning under them can be a bit tricky. If you would rather give up coffee than your long nails, at least try to be conscious of touching your face and try and keep your hands off.

8.  Stop eating sh*te
Yes I know, another familiar refrain, but what you put in your body is what will show up on your skin – in the form of dry patches, breakouts, puffiness and dark under eye circles.  I’ve even noticed medication can impact my skin – I’m still in recovery mode after a general anaesthetic and heaps of anti-inflammatories and painkillers, and aside form my bruised leg, my skin is dull as dishwater.

9.  Sweat
Also a post-surgery downside, I’m banned form exercise for two weeks – and missing my daily sweating dearly.  I don’t know if there’s any single thing that contributes more to glowing skin than sweating, and it doesn’t solely have to be achieved by exercising, but the endorphin release is a nice bonus if you do.  Currently all I’m allowed do is walk, but it does come with the bonus of making it easier to catch up with friends.

Improve your skin for free | The Daily Glow

10.  Drink more water
Replacing all the water you have sweated out above, hydrating your skin from within is essential. Dehydrated skin = dry, tired skin, with more noticeable fine lines and wrinkles.

11.  Give you skin water on the outside
Air conditioning and central heating wreak havoc with your skin, and opening the window instead of turning down the air con dial is definitely a better option. And placing a bowl of water next to the radiator in winter can help reduce the drying effect on your skin.

12.  Meditate
Possibly not the first thing you think of when it comes to glowing skin, but stress and all of the hormones etc released in your body can negatively impact digestion, have been linked to acne, and even uneven skin tone and hyper-pigmentation (the molecules involved in causing these dark patches can increase when your body is in stress mode – yup, I couldn’t believe that one either, I thought it was just the sun I had to worry about). Meditation is something I’ve been trying to make part of my daily routine, and these are ways I’ve found to make it easier.

Improve your skin for free | The Daily Glow

13.  Sleep, and on your back
Sleep is a wonder cure for inflammation, dark under eye circles and general healing.  There are almost endless benefits to it, but try not to face plant at the same time – it’s like ironing wrinkles onto your face, hours at a time. Almost every patient I see for anti-ageing treatments clearly has a side they sleep on – more lines and wrinkles, skin that is more dehydrated and more obvious volume loss (the loss of volume from your face is one of the reasons skin begins to “hang” downwards). It can be challenging(!), but you can train yourself to sleep on your back, and the younger you start, the better.

 

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Are your hands giving you away? | The Daily Glow

Are your hands giving you away?

Anti-ageing treatments and complaints about skin, and fine lines and wrinkles tend to be primarily focused on the face, and while this can certainly give your age away (while draining your confidence), another tell tale area can be just as obvious…but tends to get forgotten very easily – your hands.

The skin on your hands may be thicker than that on your face (the delicate skin under your eye can be as thin as 0.3mm), but it tends to be subjected to far worse treatment, and can end up looking quite mismatched, especially if you’re taking good care of your face.  Just like your face, your hands are usually exposed to the elements, but I certainly don’t take as much care of them as I do my face.

I know a girl that works in the skincare industry that has the most beautiful skin on her face – and I mean air-brushed, has-she-used-a-filter-in-real-life, completely envy inspiring skin – who has hands that appear to belong to a chain-smoking washer woman in her seventies…the contrast is almost freaky.

So how does this incredible discrepancy occur?

  1. Forgetting about your hands

Obviously enough, if you take immaculate care of the skin on your face and completely disregard that of your hands, you’re likely to end up with two different results (it’s like two different people essentially, with totally different skincare routines).  Sunscreen of course should be extended to your neck and hands, and I now tend to wipe any excess of serums, moisturisers etc on the backs of hands during my skincare routine.

Are your hands giving you away? | The Daily Glow

2. Mistreating your hands

Washing dishes in hot, hot, ouchy hot water, constant hand washing and glove wearing (the glamorous side of my job), shampooing your hair in hot water, lifting weights, exposing your hands to sunshine, cold temperatures and wind.  The onslaught our hands are exposed to on a daily basis is quite surprising when you actually think about it.  It’s easy to even just plain wash your hands in much hotter water than you would wash your face with (lukewarm, yes?!) and almost impossible to remember to moisturise as regularly as you really need to.  I have recently started carrying around a tube of Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour cream as it works as both a lip balm and is fantastic for dry cuticles, but actually applying it is proving to be a slow habit to form.

Are your hands giving you away? | The Daily Glow

3. Manicures (sorry!)

Yes, I know manicures involve taking care of your hands…but if you are a serial shellac or gel manicure addict, you are exposing your hands to regular doses of UVA rays – and it is specifically these UVA rays (as opposed to UVB) that are responsible for skin damage and the signs of ageing like pigmentation and wrinkles, along with skin cancer.  I have cursed not being able to wear nail varnish in work (or the fact that I’m not supposed to anyway) for years, but it has saved me some unnecessary rays as I simply couldn’t justify getting a gel manicure for a weekend, only if I was going on holidays.  Just 12 visits to the nail salon is all that is required for detectable DNA damage to take place – which let’s face it, is pretty easy to achieve.  I’m not suggesting quitting long lasting manicures forever, they can be amazing for holidays (especially active ones like skiing), but at least be aware of the damage you are causing, and decide for yourself when it’s worth it.

Are your hands giving you away? | The Daily Glow

Have you noticed any ageing of your hands?  Because of my job, I have struggled with dry, neglected hands for years , and would love to hear any ideas or products you have for keeping yours in good condition – and specifically looking below the age of seventy.

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Dairy Free Recipes | The Daily Glow

5 Dairy Free Recipes

Cutting back on dairy, despite the benefits my skin has experienced, has not been easy.  I have always been a big chocolate fan, and custard, crème brûlee and ice cream are up there with my favourite desserts.  So although I definitely still indulge in the odd milkshake or dessert, for the most part I avoid it – which has been helped by experimenting with dairy-free recipes.

Oat milk is the best replacement for milk in tea and coffee that I’ve found, especially this one (thank you Russell, you did say it was a game changer) from Oatley.  I like almond milk in porridge, with cinnamon and berries, and coconut yoghurt practically tastes like dessert.  I’ve found a few recipes online that do actually taste as good as dairy based ones, and can be a bit less expensive than health food shops.

Dairy Free Recipes | The Daily Glow

  • Homemade coconut yoghurt from The Little Green Spoon – one of the best websites to check out if you’re looking for baking options without dairy, gluten or processed sugar.
  • This panna cotta recipe from Food Renegade, which I particularly like because it’s not sweetened with dates (is it just me or are all “healthy” desserts these days just a variation of date flavoured something? Date-flavoured banoffi, date-flavoured brownies, date energy balls…personally, I can’t take anymore dates).
  • Food renegade once again comes up trumps with this ice-cream, that doesn’t require an ice cream maker (what people expect you to have in your kitchen these days sometimes astounds me).
  • These raspberry jellies from the I Quit Sugar website are so easy, and full of gelatin – which is great for your gut health and skin, and could not be easier to make.  I use the same Collagelatin that I put in my bulletproof coffee every morning.

Dairy Free Recipes | The Daily Glow

  • And finally, the original Bulletproof coffee itself – not a dairy-free recipe but you could leave out the butter (as I mentioned before, butter doesn’t seem to count as dairy, as far as my skin is concerned) and this coffee has now become my regular breakfast.  A scoop of collagen protein (which I tried initially), or collagelatin, as above, really fills me up for the morning – and I don’t get any post-caffeine crash afterwards.  I definitely find my mental clarity is improved, and it can also be useful for anyone trying to shed some excess weight (so basically a magic drink).

Dairy Free Recipes | The Daily Glow

Have you tried a variation of any of the above?  I am always on the lookout for more recipes, so I’d love to hear from you if you have any you’d recommend.

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Does dairy cause acne? | The Daily Glow

Does dairy cause acne?

Acne has many supposed causes, ranging from a genetic predisposition to gut health and skin hygiene – so it can be difficult to decide what to believe, and figure out what will work for you.  Although there are many dermatologists that refute any relationship between diet and acne vulgaris, dairy comes up time again among patients and magazine articles as a possible trigger.  I have found myself that there is no comparison between the clarity of my skin on a dairy-free* diet and how prone to breakouts it is when I’m having milk etc on a daily basis.  My own recipe for clear skin includes a proper skincare routine, regular exercise, zinc and chlorophyll supplementation and avoiding dairy – and most of the time it works pretty well.

*When I say dairy-free, I do still eat butter, as this doesn’t seem to have any effect either way.  This is supported by research to date that links low-fat milk consumption to acne more strongly than regular full-fat milk – which would suggest that the fat itself is not the issue.  (Fat is a friend, not a foe, remember?)

Does dairy cause acne? | The Daily Glow

One of the most common (and confidence-knocking) complaints my patients have is acne – honestly, I don’t know that I ever see people get so down about something that is not remotely life threatening, and doesn’t physically stop them from functioning.  The emotional and social impact is huge, and I have seen personalities do a complete 180 after their skin cleared up, changing from a shy, socially awkward wallflower that won’t make eye-contact, to a bubbly, friendly individual that walks into the clinic with a smile on their face.

Does dairy cause acne? | The Daily Glow

Acne is physically caused by sebum and dead skin cells clogging a pore (blackheads or comeodomes), which then become inflamed, and finally, infected.  Here, and here are some ways you can treat this topically.  The consistency and amount of sebum produced is very important – although excess sebum is blamed as one of the root causes of acne, you want some sebum that flows easily through the pore without getting clogged, as this is also what keeps your skin moisturised and supple.  Your hormones and diet can impact this very important consistency – so this is how, I would imagine, dairy can have an impact.  I generally prescribe different skincare products for acne patients (Obagi is my current go-to), as there can most definitely be local causes, but in my opinion, diet most definitely plays a part.

A study in published in 2005 showed intake of dairy in adolescence was associated with a history of teenage acne.  This may be caused by the presence of hormones and bioactive agents in milk (cows are technically breast-feeding, so hormones will be present, no matter how “organic” your milk is).  Many of these substances are precursors to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), the main stimulator of acne.  IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor one), which is also implicated in the malfunction of sebum and hair follicles and pores, and the IGF-1 in cows is similar to that in humans, and therefore may promote acne by its effect on the hormones involved in sebum production etc.

Does dairy cause acne? | The Daily Glow

The quality of the studies linking dairy and acne currently is not of the highest standard, and further research is definitely needed in this area – but coupled with my own experience, and other anecdotal stories, I think dairy is a likely cause of acne in many cases.  And if you’re having trouble with breakouts and suffering from acne, it’s undoubtedly worth a try (banging your head off a wall, not so much).  Have you ever tried cutting out dairy or any other food for the sake of your skin?  I’d love to hear what has worked for you.

 

 

 

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The Daily Glow | The benefits of Turmeric

The Benefits of Turmeric

Following on from my last post, about how to ease aching muscles, I’m making myself feel even better about being sore post-exercise (and feeling old), by reading up about the inflammatory effects of too much exercise.  Yes…you read that correctly, exercise can cause inflammation, if you over do it – even though moderate exercise is widely touted for it’s healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits (especially the effect sweating can have on your skin).

The Daily Glow | Too much exercise can be inflammatory

Turmeric has come up again, and again as an anti-inflammatory.  Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric, and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-microbial actions, along with hypoglycaemic (decreasing blood sugar) and wound-healing properties.  Anti-cancer properties have also been found, with curcumin being shown to affect the same targets as chemotherapy in some studies.

Inflammation is a causative factor in countless diseases and conditions, and this study even recommends curcumin as a safe and cheap way to reduce symptoms of Crohn’s disease, along with conventional treatment.  Lack of sleep, too much sugar and just generally not taking care of yourself can lead to increased inflammation – so including turmeric in your diet can be an easy way to reduce it.

Turmeric is also a common ingredient in DIY face masks – its anti-inflammatory effects are great for calming down acne, while it also targets hyperpigmentation. You might want stick to buying face masks with turmeric in them though, as home made ones can leave you with a deep Essex glow (and from personal experience, it takes a while to fade – not the best beauty prep for an event or night out!).

The Daily Glow | The benefits of Turmeric

You can add it to curries and stir fries, but I drink it in a tea/hot water as I don’t get the chance to cook as often as I would like to.  I aim to take in 2 teaspoons a day, one in the morning and one at night, in warm water with honey and lemon, as turmeric by itself is not so palatable. I definitely recommend using a straw, unless you’re a fan of orange-tinged teeth.  Have you ever tried turmeric?  If you have any other ideas about how to add it to your diet, I’d love to hear them.

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The Daily Glow | 5 things a dermatologist would never do

5 things a dermatologist would never do

I am most certainly not a dermatologist…but you may have realised I am obsessed with skin and skin care, and have been lucky enough attend postgraduate training run by some excellent derma, with decades of experience (and never require caffeine of any nature to stay wide awake and attentive for the entire course – dentistry would have been a hell of a lot easier if I’d had the same passion in university!).

I recently had some training in Obagi Medical skincare, and having started using the products myself, it’s safe to say I am obsessed.  If you haven’t heard of it, Obagi Medical is a line of medical grade skincare (prescription only) created by world renowned dermatologist, Zein Obagi.  So along with the skincare line itself, I learnt many other pearls of wisdom form trainers and fellow trainees alike.  Below I’ve outlined the basics that seem to permeate every course or lecture I’ve attended on skin health:

5 big no-nos for healthy skin

1.Washing your face with hot water – tepid or lukewarm only please.  Hot water can break down your skin’s pH barrier, which not only leaves your skin more prone to infection, breakouts, dry patches etc , but also can interfere with the absorption of active ingredients – so that super expensive serum you bought may not even penetrate your skin to let you reap its benefits.

2. Over exfoliating – this also breaks down your skin’s natural protective barrier, leading to overly sensitive, reactive skin, that like the in above point is far more prone to all the horrible skin problems that I see on a daily basis.  Before complaints like pigmentation and uneven skin tone can be treated with active ingredients (prescription products), over exfoliated skin always needs to be brought back into balance, and the skin’s barrier repaired – which can be frustrating for clients with confidence-knocking concerns like melasma and pigmentation as it delays treatment.

The Daily Glow | 5 things a dermatologist would never do

3.  Going without SPF – I’m aware I don’t shut up about sunscreen, but did you know even the light from your phone and laptop can damage your skin and contribute to premature ageing?  Yep, so even if you work in a windowless dungeon (and very sorry if you do), SPF is still a good idea – but only some of the newer ones will provide IR (infrared) protection.  The newest TINT Sunshield from Obagi is one I’m aware of, but I’m on the lookout for more.  Also something to note, when flying, the atmosphere is much thinner, and the UV radiation consequently much stronger – so eye and skin damage can happen more easily (this one really was news to me – it was actually an eye surgeon that told me he wears sunglasses when flying for that specific reason, so here goes trying to make looking like Bono cool).

4. DIY blackhead removal – this is possibly one of the worst things you can do.  Picking and squeezing spots and blocked pores can result in scarring, pushing bacteria deep into the skin with consequent breakouts, and larger pores – which means more blocked pores, blackheads and pimples (is it just me, or is the word pimple way more shudder-inducing that spot?).  Salicylic acid based washes and toners  can be useful, but get yourself to a decent facialist if you absolutely cannot resist the urge to squeeze.

The Daily Glow | 5 things a dermatologist would never do

5.  Loading up on sugar – I’ve mentioned before that Beyoncé’s dermatologist , Dr Lancerconsiders an apple a treat, due to the sugar content of it (yes, you read that correctly, and it’s a bit of a hardcore stance, even for me) but the message it sends is pretty clear…cut back on the white stuff.  Fructose and glucose link with amino acids in the collagen in your skin, forming appropriately named AGEs (advanced glycation end products), which UV light also contributes to.  These AGEs impact your skin negatively (just like UV light), and basically mean skin ageing due to sugar consumption.  So life is short, and I won’t be quitting sugar completely anytime soon – but cutting back on the sugar you don’t need (like cereal bars) and reserving it for the stuff you really want (like burgers and brownies!) is a good idea if you don’t want to end up with leathery skin – despite wearing sunscreen!

 

 

Have you anything to add to the above? I’ve learned so much about skin health from the most random of sources, eye surgeons not withstanding, and I’d love to hear any tips you have to share.

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