There has been a major backlash during the first days of 2013 with detoxes falling hopelessly out of favor. The reasons being are several-fold: first of all, who really can give up flour, dairy, meat, fish, alcohol, and caffeine, and embrace deprivation, hunger, and kale when the previous month’s diet has consisted of a steady stream of eggnog? And on a results-driven level, does giving up everything good really help your health and ultimately, your skin?
A cautionary tale: about 12 years ago, I embarked on a four-week detox, giving up all of the above—and, as it turned out, my sense of humor. Sure, I lost weight, but not the good kind on my muffin-top. Instead I lost fat on my face giving it a dragged down appearance. Worse, my skin tone was dull, my hair limp, and I was too weak to exercise, so bye-bye muscle tone. I am surprised I didn’t loose my job because I was fearlessly unproductive. I achieved a shock to the body and not much else. It was more a point of pride that I was disciplined and sticking to it, but the results were not only minimal but fleeting.
A few years later, I discovered the Dr. Perricone Nutritional Facelift, which was a diet and skincare breakthrough that you could follow for a month or for a quick fix, three days. The main aim was to lift and regenerate the skin with a diet featuring salmon—even for breakfast—porridge, berries and nuts. And I loved it because in three days my skin was lifted, firmer, brighter, and any puffiness was eliminated. Julia Roberts, Cate Blanchett, and Kim Cattrall are all said to do just like me, although most probably for a grander occasion than mine.
Like the upcoming Oscars.
The legacy lives on and Dr. Perricone has a range of fabulous skincare; but in my mind, it is the three-day diet that is the brightly burning highlight of the range. Even the side effect was good—weight loss. Come awards season, Hollywood housekeepers will be buying wild salmon in bulk as their bosses do the best they can to get their face, fit.
But if salmon doesn’t appeal, another food-plan that improves the skin is the Ayurvedic diet. With an Indian history going back 5,000 years, the first step is to discover your own dosha, which means personality and body type.
This will give you diet recommendations that are skin specific as well as for your all around health. If you can stick to an Ayurvedic diet for your type within a week you will notice smoother, softer skin all over your body and a tightening in the face.
Dr. Jessica Wu’s book, Feed Your Face, mixes chatty and funny anecdotes of her life as one of Los Angeles most in demand cosmetic dermatologists with hard science that backs up the findings from this Harvard Medial School alumnus. After asking all her LA patients what they ate: “It didn’t take long to notice some definite patterns and to realize I was on to something,” explains Dr. Wu. “Maybe food did affect the skin, despite what I had been taught in medical school?”
Oddly enough, this diet—from an LA dermatologist no less—is the least restrictive. “You can have pizza, you can go out for Italian, indulge in Chinese takeout, and dine at The Cheesecake Factory but with the help of the Feed Your Face Restaurant Guide,” Dr. Wu claims. “You do have the power to change your skin. All you have to do is eat.” An app is coming up to make the choices easier. So maybe this realistic approach is the reason Katherine Heigl and Lisa Ling not only endorse her but stick to her diet for in the long-term, too. That’s more than can be said for a fad detox.