Dr Murad's 7 Skincare Rules For The Digital Age

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The term beauty guru is bandied round an awful lot, but there’s one man who more than deserves the title. Dr Howard Murad is a dermatologist, researcher and the man behind the hugely successful namesake skincare brand he founded 25 years ago.

From the beginning, Dr Murad has believed in a holistic approach to skin, so it’s no surprise when we sit down to chat during a rare London visit (his practice is based in Los Angeles) that he doesn’t just use the opportunity to sing the praises of the many products in the Murad portfolio. Top of the doctor’s mind today are digital devices, the way smartphones are having a detrimental effect on our complexions.

“They’ve had a big impact on people’s skin,” he says. “We see people who don’t sleep any more, because they finish work and then go on Facebook, and then they go to bed and can’t sleep. When we are not sleeping, we get dark circles and fine lines and people are getting more acne breakouts.”

But, Dr Murad believes, there are lots of ways to counteract the ravages of our ever-connected lives. Here, he shares his advice for better skin in seven steps…

1. Eat your water
“Eating water-rich foods is very important, because as we get older and mget more wrinkles, we get dehydrated. Water-rich foods are not just fruit and veg, they can be beans or chicken. It’s not just about what you put on your skin, it’s about what you eat and drink.”

2. Stay active
“Good skin is not only dependent on what you do on the outside but also mwhat you do on the inside. Doing exercise encourages hydration because you are building muscle, and muscle is 70% water. Fat is 10% water.”

3. Find a stress reliever that works for you
“Everyone must do something that is good for them. Meditation may work for you, yoga is wonderful, the more you do things you enjoy the better. I don’t recommend specifics for my patients, because I want them to be themselves.”

4. Have a digital detox
“Some people would rather have their Facebook in bed with them than their significant other! Smartphones lead us to more social isolation and loneliness. The dirtiest thing you can touch is your cell phone because all the bacteria is immediately transferred to your face.”

5. Don’t compare yourself to others
“Snow White featured a scene where the Evil Queen must be called beautiful by the mirror. She always wants to be the most beautiful, but she is never going to be. Then she feels like a failure. This is like society. So never judge yourself – you don’t need to be perfect.

6. Stop striving for perfection
“There is a need for perfectionism now more than there was 10 years ago. People didn’t feel the need to be perfect, but now they wear more make-up and get injectables once or twice a week. As you become more imperfect, your life becomes more perfect.”

7. Be more like a toddler
“As a toddler, you were more gregarious, and were laughing more – giggling, belly laughs all the time. Another one of my insights is to dance even when you don’t hear the music, because you did that [as a child].”

Nadine Reid