Beautiful Skin Workout: The Eight-Week Skin Workout to Get the Smoothest, Healthiest Skin of Your Life

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A world-renowned cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgeon shares her clinically proven techniques for achieving your healthiest and youngest-looking skin ever.

Current understanding of skin's cellular structure is so advanced that it's possible to turn back the clock on aging without resorting to costly treatments or surgery. You can erase 90 percent of your skin's flaws in eight weeks by following Dr. Copeland's advice, no matter how your...

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The Beautiful Skin Workout: Eight Weeks to the Smoothest, Healthiest Skin of Your Life

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A world-renowned cosmetic, plastic, and reconstructive surgeon shares her clinically proven techniques for achieving your healthiest and youngest-looking skin ever.

Current understanding of skin's cellular structure is so advanced that it's possible to turn back the clock on aging without resorting to costly treatments or surgery. You can erase 90 percent of your skin's flaws in eight weeks by following Dr. Copeland's advice, no matter how your skin appears right now.

Dr. Copeland's Beautiful Skin Workout will teach you how to:

* Follow the Ten Commandments of Creamy Skin

* Eliminate lifestyle habits that prevent you from looking your best

* Identify everyday products that are either ineffective or outright harmful for skin

* Master the Five Exercises: Cleanse, Exfoliate, Activate, Moisturize, and Protect

* Design a custom program based on your skin type.

With Dr. Copeland's proven plan, illustrated by some of her patients' inspiring and instructional case histories, achieving Creamy skin is easy and inexpensive. Your skin will soon reveal the only truth that matters—how young and vital you feel.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312370770
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

MICHELLE COPELAND, D.M.D., M.D. received her dental and medical doctorates at Harvard, where she graduated first in her class. She is a board-certified dipolmate of the National Board of Plastic Surgery, and is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. She lives and works in New York City.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

The Beautiful Skin Workout

Today, money is no barrier to some people's quest for great skin. They're willing to pay thousands of dollars to ensure that it looks flawless. They want their skin tightened, taut, dewy, and fresh—courtesy either of the latest miracle cream or a quick trip to the doctor's office. In many ways, they're taken advantage of by a beauty industry that preys on these naked desires. Creamy skin doesn't require a hundred different items specifically tailored for each separate inch of the face or an elaborate application ritual timed to the lunar cycle. All it takes is an educated consumer who's faithful to The Beautiful Skin Workout and willing to adopt behaviors that are not just good for skin but contribute to overall health as well. Pretty simple, no?

Guiding Force

With my help, you'll be able to sort through the advice you see on television and in print and discover what's scientifically sound and what's hype. I don't know anyone who doesn't want luminous, healthy skin, the kind that's so soft and unblemished that others compliment it while they seethe with envy. You never hear a person say that she'd prefer to appear wrinkly, with cracked, parched heels and elbows and skin the texture of a gravel path. As much as fashions and tastes change over the years, there is one constant: Clear, smooth, radiant skin is always considered attractive. And this holds true whether you are most comfortable in a pair of Birkenstocks, drinking a mug of steaming herbal tea, or the type of shopper who preorders her seasonal wardrobe immediately after the fall and spring runway shows. I've treated both kinds and everyone in between. An enviable complexion and fantastic body skin, unlike a Chanel haute couture ball gown, are available to everyone and aren't nearly as expensive.

Vanity, Thy Name Is Not Woman

My obsession with Creamy skin isn't just a question of conceit. Incisions in healthy, well-hydrated skin heal faster than those made in alligatorlike tissue. When I see a potential face-lift patient with a leathery complexion, I know that her skin will take longer to recover from surgery. Even if you haven't had surgery, you've likely noticed the difference skin quality can have on another grooming ritual—shaving. When your legs or face are dry and flaky, they usually become red and irritated after you go over them with a razor. Conversely, the only trace a blade leaves behind on skin that's in good shape is a smooth, hairless area. Proper skin care even speeds the healing process for those who've undergone a rhinoplasty or a face-lift. I always put my patients on a postsurgery version of The Beautiful Skin Workout. Oftentimes they come back to me in two or three weeks and say that they've noticed the texture and tone of their skin improving. With this book, I intend to help you achieve the same radiant skin that even my most skeptical patients now see reflected each time they look in the mirror.

Fact Versus Fiction

You have to be able to differentiate the hot air from what has proven science supporting its promises. It may seem like a no-brainer now, but when I started out, I was one of the few in my field talking to my patients about skin care. It was hard for me to get them on a consistent, effective routine. They seemed to think that they could ignore their face and body for months, even years, then come to my office and have me solve all their problems at once with surgery. I would have to beg them to start tending to their skin before they scheduled time in the OR. Simultaneously, I was very frustrated by the number of ineffective products on the market and by the amount of money I saw men and women spending on pseudoscience-based creams that made their skin worse. I figured I'd combine my biochemistry background with my deep knowledge of skin to create my own line. It was the only way I could ensure that the same care and attention I gave patients in my office continued daily at home.

Although the phrase "first do no harm" actually isn't in the Hippocratic Oath that all new doctors swear to uphold, it's still a guiding tenet by which most of us practice and minister to our patients. What that means for you is that I'm not going to suggest any products or treatments that haven't been thoroughly tested and evaluated for safety and efficacy. The Beautiful Skin Workout is not about pushing the latest fads; it's a long-tested program that delivers exactly what I say it will. My chemistry training ensures that I understand the formulation of ingredients and how one will interact with another. It doesn't do any good to load your serum with all the latest and greatest technology has to offer if it turns out that combining two ingredients in one solution negates the effects of both.

Mixed Messages

Every day we're bombarded with news on scientific and technological breakthroughs in the skin-care field. The list of powerful antiagers continually swells, with new ones being developed around-the-clock. It's even hard for a doctor like myself to stay current. The rapid progress of research also ensures that magazines and Web sites have an ever-ready supply of recommendations for their readers. This deluge of information can lead to conflicting reports. For example, how do you know which skin-care serum to apply first—your antioxidant or your lightener—when one expert tells you to smooth them on at different times of the day, another suggests waiting fifteen minutes between each treatment layer you apply, and a third says that it doesn't matter at all?

The answer: One of the key elements of The Beautiful Skin Workout is learning to think about your skin and what it needs—not blindly following prescribed rules. But since you're just beginning, I'll give you the solution to the layering question. In this instance, it's the antioxidant first, then the lightener, because the antioxidant helps the pigment reducer react faster.

Thinking Top to Bottom,

Inside and Out

Achieving skin that could star in a beauty advertisement requires a twofold approach. Think about the way you treat your car. You wash and buff its exterior, but you also look under the hood, checking the oil regularly and making sure that the engine is running at its optimal level. This type of routine maintenance means that your automobile not only looks great as you're passing others on the highway but also that you have the horsepower to muscle around those slow-moving trucks. And the chance of you needing to take your car into the shop for an unexpected, major overhaul is remote.

You need to consider your skin in the same manner you do your automobile. Skin is composed of two layers: the epidermis (the part you see) and the dermis underneath with connective tissue linking the two. Collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid (essentially the three main components of youthful, firm tissue) are generated in the dermis. Everything from sun and pollution to a stressful day at the office can lead to the breakdown of these complexion factors. There are ways to build them back up, of course, but as with anything, it's easier to prevent a problem than react to it after it's happened. By guarding against the depletion of collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, you won't have as far to go to reach your dream skin. I'll get into these safety measures in more depth in Chapters 2 and 3, but for now, remember—these three are the good guys. You want them around, like the party guests who bring you champagne and then stay to help you clean up after everyone else has gone home.

Manufacturing Plant

As the dermis cranks out new cells, it pushes the layers of existing cells higher and higher. These become the epidermis and, eventually, the stratum corneum, the uppermost layer of tissue, which—in healthy skin—sheds evenly and invisibly. Blood flow feeds the dermis, meaning that the foods you eat have a direct effect on the job the dermis is able to do in creating firm, plump, complexion-enhancing skin fibers. To return to the car analogy, you can put any kind of gas in your sedan and it will run, but you won't have to worry about pings and knocks if you fill the tank with superpremium unleaded. By this point in your life, you know the kinds of foods you should be eating and the types you should stay away from. What you might not be aware of is that the foods you consume affect more than your waistline; they can also improve the appearance of your skin.

Bottoms Up

Drinking plenty of water is another skin-care basic. The standard recommendation is six to eight glasses a day. Water not only helps hydrate your skin from the inside, it also flushes out your system, pushing waste and other by-products through your body, sort of like sweeping off your porch. But drinking eight, or even eighteen, glasses of water daily isn't enough to keep your skin moisturized and supple; lotion completes the equation.

Hit the Bricks

Regular exercise should become another of your priorities. Fitness experts recommend a minimum of thirty minutes of cardio three times a week and resistance training twice weekly in order to maintain general good health. Getting your blood going and working off some of your anxiety can't help but improve your skin. By reducing your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, you'll free your body to focus on other tasks, like building your collagen fibers. Some people enjoy sweating profusely on the treadmill because they believe that's how we rid our skin and internal systems of toxic materials. This isn't true. Only your liver processes and excretes toxins; the skin has nothing to do with it. If pushing yourself to your physical limits makes you feel better, though, that will have a positive impact on your face and body.

It's All About You

The epidermis doesn't receive any nutrients from the body since there's no blood flow there. Like a newborn baby who relies on his mother to feed and take care of him, the epidermis needs you to supply it with the ingredients that will allow it to grow and achieve its optimal potential. The better shape the epidermis is in, the easier it is to see the effects of blood flow to the dermis—the luminous, healthy glow so universally coveted that beauty companies have made millions on skin care and cosmetics that promise to deliver it. By brushing off loose layers of the stratum corneum, you ensure that whatever you rub into your skin afterward sinks in deeper. Exfoliation also tells the body to generate new, fresh, plump, and healthy skin cells in the dermis to replace what you've just taken away. You don't need those old surface cells—they're not adding any benefit—but their replacements make your skin more radiant and firm.

Eyewitness Accounts

When a researcher publishes a scientific study, her colleagues will often re-create her testing methodology. By getting the same outcome, they're able to verify her results. I wouldn't dream of suggesting The Beautiful Skin Workout to anyone unless I had data demonstrating the program's success. Throughout the following chapters, you will read actual patient testimonies, in their own words, of their experiences following my prescription. These are an opportunity for an aha, that's me moment. I hope that you'll see yourself in at least one example and that it will help you understand your own situation. My patients' routines included my skin-care products. Having put a lot of time and research into my line's formulation, I believe it's the most effective range available. However, you will be able to achieve improvements by following the tenets of The Beautiful Skin Workout. Once you learn which ingredients are important to a skin-care regimen and those causing harm, you'll have the knowledge necessary to make better choices in the shopping aisles. Remain faithful to my guidelines, and I promise, in eight weeks, you'll be looking at a fresher, more radiant you.

Copyright © 2007 by Michelle Copeland, M.d., d.m.d. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     xiii
Introduction: The Elbow Test     1
The Beautiful Skin Workout     9
The Ten Commandments of Creamy Skin     27
The Five Exercises or CEAMP     71
Design Your Beautiful Skin Workout     113
The Future of Skin     135
Glossary     157
Index     163
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted May 27, 2013

    I was intrigued by the subject and author, and after reading it,

    I was intrigued by the subject and author, and after reading it, I mostly agree with the previous reviewer. I have not read her other book - but I have to say I personally found it a bit too disorganized in HOW the information was presented. I don't mind the additional patient real-life stories & testimonials, her lists... but it was hard to get specific enough information about products. After telling you to throw away most if not all of your skincare, cosmetics, and food - she almost too conveniently does not elaborate on specific brands, only a few ingredients - and makes more than a few plugs for her own skincare line. To me - not very cool.

    So I have to go back and re-read the book in several sections, go to stores and again look at endless shelves of products? She recommends to her patients, in the book, and says she herself slathers on some of the products several times a day - but this may not actually be possible for many. How is this helpful and not time-consuming or radically expensive? Just HOW MANY PRODUCTS do we have to restock and line our bathroom shelves and cabinets with? The book was written in 2007 - and it's 2013 now, ALOT has changed, with THOUSANDS of new products and companies flooding the market, and newer inventions and procedures gaining acceptance. How is this RELEVANT today? I wish she could update....

    In the end, having tested and tried the products I've already been using on my combination/sensitive/acne-prone complexion, I think I'll stick with those. However, I have also just been testing a WONDERFUL skincare line I'd gotten many catalogs (and free samples!) for over the years - DHC from Japan.

    It was when I heeded her recommendations of the skincare routine - using your hands, NOT other potentially abrasive, irritating tools and ingredients - and germ-producing washcloths! - that I really saw a difference! Using mostly DHC products and a few of my own staples, but stringently following the recommended regimen from the company AND the book - I have seen in just 1 week what has been eluding me for 46 years! THIS REALLY WORKS!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    What a jewel. I was surprised at what an easy read this book was. Packed with everything you want to know about getting better skin without a lot of nonsense. I loved the ask the doctor section and dr copeland's patient real life stories. I could relate to the rubber skin! i loved her first book and i thoroughly enjoyed her second book. Thank you

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