Skinterrogation: Dr. Howard Murad

The Skinterrogation column features Q&A seshes with dermatologists and other major movers and shakers in the skin care industry. 

I’m excited to feature an interview I did with the epic Dr. Howard Murad, founder of the first medically supervised day spa in the 1980s. From there, he pioneered many innovations such as AHAs, Vitamin C and Pomegranate Technology as well as Internal Skincare. Dr. Murad created his own clinical skin care product line of which I’m a major fan and have been for years. Specifically, the Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel is blowing my hair back most of late. Here, I caught up with Dr. Murad and asked him all my burning Qs about acne, how to ingest water in unorthodox ways and more. Check it.

Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel, $50 at

Beauty Blogging Junkie: What are your top recommendations for dealing with acne? 
Dr. Howard Murad: There are three ways, which I’ll outline below.

Take an Inclusive Health Approach
Address your acne treatment needs from the inside out using an Inclusive Health approach. What you eat and how you take care of yourself is just as important as what you use topically. Be sure to eat a diet full of antioxidants and not only drink but also “eat” your water. While it’s a myth that eating certain foods can cause acne, choosing a healthy, balanced diet will help nourish your skin and your whole body from within and help you look your best. Of course, making sure you minimize stress and exposure to pollution as well as get enough sleep is important to an overall acne treatment plan as well.

Select Acne Treatment Products that are Best for You
Using the right acne treatment products is especially important if you want to get clear skin. You should select your acne products based on your individual skin care needs. I recommend going to your esthetician or doctor to figure out which skin care treatments would be right for your skin. Many times people think they have acne, but it actually turns out to be another skin condition. Also, you may need a combination of acne treatments that can range from anti-aging acne to an acne treatment that also addresses redness and irritation. Don’t just select your acne products based on what’s the most popular. Truly consider your skin’s needs and determine which products will offer you the best acne solution while addressing your overall skin care concerns.

Believe That You’re Beautiful
Don’t underestimate the power of a positive attitude! If you wake up believing that you’re beautiful, then beauty will follow. And when you treat your acne breakouts from the inside (nutrition), the outside (topical products) and the mind (stress reduction), clear skin won’t be too far behind.

BBJ: What are your top three anti-aging skin care tips?
HM: 1. Stay Hydrated

2. Be sure to “eat” your water daily to ensure that your skin stays smooth and supple. Eating your water provides your body with rich antioxidants and vitamins that give your skin not only the hydration it needs, but the nutrients your skin and body deserve to function at their optimum level.

3. Don’t Stress! Make sure to make time for yourself. Stress has been clinically proven to worsen the signs of aging. So tone down the stress and enjoy the moment! I have a saying I often use in the office, “Why have a bad day, when you can have a good day?” It’s a choice so make it a good day and see how you feel.

4. Begin a Regular Anti-Aging Skin Care Regimen. It’s important to have an anti-aging skin care treatment program for day and evening. Remember, consistency is key! For youthful looking skin, use an exfoliating cleanser, an anti-wrinkle treatment and a rich moisturizer for a daily regimen.

5. I have found beautiful skin does not just come through applying topical products – it comes from internal care and emotional self-care as well. Feed your body nutritious meals and take a daily supplement to provide your skin and body the extra vitamins it needs to feel and look its best.

BBJ: What can you recommend doing at home (besides a cortisone shot) to shrink a zit fast? Any over-the-counter products?
MH: For the fastest possible results, introducing a new over-the-counter product is rarely the answer. Most effective acne products can cause you to break out before you get clear (also known as purging), and you don’t want to take a chance with an unknown reaction.

Try using products formulated with salicylic acid, like Murad’s Acne Spot Treatment, or Acne Treatment Concealer, designed to treat and help conceal zits and blemishes on the skin.

It’s important to remember that with most people, stress causes acne breakouts. Try to minimize your stress level by taking enough time for yourself, eating well, hydrating with raw fruits and vegetables, and getting enough sleep. Nothing causes a breakout faster than a stress attack.

BBJ: How often should we cleanse our skin every day? Does this vary for normal, dry or oily skin types?

MH: I recommend a 3-step daily regimen for both morning and night to cleanse, treat, and hydrate for all skin types. People can use different regimens based on what type of skin they have and what their skin conerns are.

BBJ: I know you’re a proponent of getting your daily water intake via what you eat. What foods specifically would you recommend making part of your daily diet for best skin care results?

MH: Yes, my research has shown that eating water is far more beneficial than drinking water. What happens when you drink eight glasses of water a day? You are in the bathroom eight times – or more – flushing your system of vital nutrients.

The best source of hydration is the water built into the structure of the foods we eat, and the best foods to eat are raw fruits and vegetables. Water rich foods include cucumbers carrots, broccoli, apples, and lettuce, along with other forms of raw fruits and vegetables that carry powerful vitamins and nutrients, such as the antioxidant packed pomegranate. This form of hydration maintains since the water is released slowly as you digest and doesn’t merely flush through you. That’s why I encourage my patients to replace at least one glass of water a day with raw fruits or vegetables. Not only will they feel more hydrated, they will be getting more of the vital nutrients they need to build healthy, water tight cells which are essential to keeping your body fully hydrated and operating at its peak.

Thanks, Dr. Murad for taking the time to talk to me. And P.S., I’m still hoping you’ll set me up with your son Jeff, ‘k?

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