Dr. Murad’s Water Secret Smoothie Recipe

blueberry_banana_smoothieOne of Dr. Murad’s favourite sayings is “before there was medicine there was food.” This reflects the simple reality that before modern medical treatments people had to rely on eating healthily to be healthy!

In light of this we thought we’d share with you the recipe to his Cellular Water Secret Smoothie which contains all the nutrients you need to build stronger cells for a healthy body, healthy skin and healthy mind:

1/2 pomegranate juice (unsweetened)

½ cup soy, low-fat, or non-fat milk

½ cup blueberries (fresh or unsweetened frozen)

1 tablespoon lecithin granules

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2 tablespoons dried goji berries

3 to 4 ice cubes or crushed ice (optional)

Sweetener (optional) to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Enjoy!

This is one smoothie which is incredibly good for you and tastes incredibly good too!

Find more recipes for healthy living in Dr. Murad’s book ‘The Water Secret – how to look and feel 10 years younger’.

Dr. Murad is a world-renowned dermatologist, trained pharmacist, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA and founder of Murad skincare. Not only is he a world famous skincare expert, he’s also an expert on sleep, nutrition, stress, promoting health and happiness to achieve beautiful skin.

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Chocolate = Happy Heart

164615-chocolate-chocolate-waterfallOne of Dr. Murad’s favourite sayings is “before there was medicine there was food.” This reflects the simple reality that before modern medical treatments people had to rely on eating healthily to be healthy!

However, you have to allow yourself to indulge in your favourite treats every now and then to preserve your love of food and of life! Dr. Murad recommends you stick by his 80/20 rule – eat healthily 80% of the time and indulge for the remaining 20%.

As Easter approaches chocolate is everywhere and you’d have to have an iron will not to indulge at least a little bit. The trick is not to feel bad about it! After all, what’s the point in treating yourself to something truly delicious if you feel racked with guilt afterwards?

To help you eat your 20% guilt-free, here are some health benefits of eating chocolate you may not know:

  • Chocolate is good for the heart. The cocoa bean is rich in a class of plant nutrients called flavonoids. Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and help repair damage. They can be found in a variety of foods, such as colourful, fresh fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavonoids, our bodies can benefit from this antioxidant power, much as plants do.
  • Chocolate is full of antioxidants. The antioxidants found in chocolate (dark chocolate in particular) are believed to help the body’s cells resist damage caused by free radicals that are formed by normal bodily processes, such as breathing, and from environmental nasties like cigarette smoke and everyday stress. If your body does not have enough antioxidants to combat the amount of oxidation that occurs, it can become damaged by free radicals.
  • Chocolate is good for the blood. Flavonols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. The darker the chocolate is, the higher levels of flavonols it has. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavonols have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.

So enjoy moderate portions of chocolate (30 grams or so) a few times per week, and don’t forget to eat other flavonoid-rich foods like apples, red wine, tea, onions and cranberries.

Energy Boosters – Natural and Healthy Alternatives to Coffee

Coffee-Cup-Steaming1-300x234

Have you ever thought that coffee could be the number one addiction in the world?! People wake up and before they can even string a sentence together they must consume their favourite caffeine fix. Caffeine is great for memory, boosting energy, detoxifying the body and building stamina; however, just like anything else, moderation is key. Consuming too much caffeine – usually from coffee and energy drinks – can lead to restlessness, irritability, insomnia, anxiety and an increase in blood pressure.

Founder of Murad skincare, Dr. Howard Murad, wants you to be the healthiest version of you possible, so he has come up with five alternatives to coffee so you can still get that morning pep-in-your-step.

Ginko biloba tea1.      Ginkgo Biloba

A herbal extract that comes from the nut of the ginkgo biloba tree. Ginkgo biloba can be taken as a capsule or in tea form. It’s been used for centuries in Chinese medicine. The ginkgo biloba increases blood flow to the brain, so you to feel more awake and energised!

2.      Ginseng

Extracted from the ginseng root. Like ginkgo biloba, ginseng increases blood flow to the brain and gives the body a stimulating effect, similar to coffee. Ginseng can be taken in capsule form or tea form.

Green Tea3.      Green Tea

Provides a calmer form of energy boost compared to coffee because the caffeine in tea is buffered with the amino acid theanine, which stimulates relaxation. Green tea is extremely good for your overall health. Also, it has been shown to boost levels of elastin in the skin and provides you with plenty of antioxidants.

4.      Yerba Mate

Another herbal extract; this one provides long-lasting natural energy without the crash that you may experience with coffee.

5.      Ice Cold Water and B12

An excellent pick-me-up for when you first wake up in the morning. Drink a glass of ice-cold water with the recommended amount of B12 drops in it (check the bottle for appropriate dosage). The cold water will shock the body and wake it up, making you feel more alert. And the vitamin B12 will naturally enhance your energy and mental clarity.

apple 1If you’re one of the many people who reach for another cup of coffee when having an afternoon slump, try some iced green tea and an apple for a boost. Apples contain natural sugars which will help lift you out of it.

Preventing “Sleeping Lines”: Wrinkles Caused by Sleeping Patterns

sleepDon’t we all want to hibernate in winter? Snuggling up in a cosy duvet and settling down to sleep always seems more appealing in the colder months. However, while you’re snoozing away, “sleep wrinkles” could be sneaking up on you! It may be one of the most often-overlooked causes of wrinkles but, if altered, the position in which you sleep can help to prevent wrinkles from forming.

Sleep Lines and Sleep Wrinkles are Not a Myth

The idea of “sleep wrinkles” is often considered to be a beauty myth, but sleep wrinkles are recognised as a dermatologic reality. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology supports the idea that sleeping in certain positions will increase and cause wrinkles.

Which Sleeping Positions Cause or Prevent Wrinkles and Why

Sleeping on your side or with your face down on your pillow can cause wrinkles to form, while sleeping on your back can prevent the formation of wrinkles. The reason for this has to do with two other causes of wrinkles: repetitive motion and gravity. Repetitive motions can ultimately lead to wrinkles over time; e.g. expression lines around your mouth and crow’s feet around your eyes. When you sleep on your side or with your face down into the pillow, you “push” your skin into positions in a way that is similar to repetitive facial motions.

Gravity also plays a role in the development of wrinkles. As skin loses its firming collagen and becomes looser, the life-long push of gravity downward leads to the appearance of wrinkles or sagging skin. When you sleep on your side, you allow gravity to push your face to one side or the other, causing the wrinkles on that side of your face to appear deeper.

When you sleep on your back, you don’t push your face into wrinkled positions and gravity pulls your skin back away from your face rather than towards the centre of it.

The Role of Collagen and Elastin in Sleep Wrinkles

While the repetitive motions of sleeping positions and the impact of gravity are the lifestyle causes of sleep wrinkles, it’s the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin as you age that really makes the lines appear. While you most likely have slept in the same position for most of your life, you’re unlikely to see the first appearance of sleep wrinkles until you are beginning to see the signs of ageing skin throughout your body. Why is that? It’s because while you sleep, wrinkles are forming throughout your life, they become defined and apparent as your collagen and elastin breakdown.

Elastin is the skin protein that makes skin smooth and allows it to “snap back” from positions. Collagen is the protein that’s responsible for supporting skin in order to make it appear firm and full. As you age, genetics, UV damage, environmental factors and the hormonal shift for women associated with menopause all work to deplete your collagen and elastin. When this happens, your skin becomes looser and wrinkles that have been forming over time become more visible.

SONY DSCRelated Product: Rapid Collagen Infusion

This is the first-ever product to penetrate the skin’s surface with pure collagen! After the age of 20, a person produces about one percent less collagen in the skin each year. This product combats the break down of collagen and keeps skin plump.

This product is available exclusively from QVC in January 2014. Tune into the show on Friday 17th January.

It will be available at www.murad.co.uk from February 2014.

Treating and Preventing Sleep Lines and Sleep Wrinkles

To treat and prevent sleep lines from forming, you should make both skincare and lifestyle changes. Of course, the best change is to learn to sleep on your back, but it’s actually quite uncommon that an individual is able to change their natural and habitual sleeping position! Adopting the practices of Inclusive Health®, Dr. Murad’s revolutionary youth-building lifestyle, can assist in preventing and minimising wrinkles and ageing skin. Here are the three prongs of his Inclusive Health® philosophy:

SONY DSCLook Better: Anti-ageing products are a vital part of any anti-wrinkle regime. Develop a personalised anti-ageing skincare regime that combines products that hydrate with those that support the production of collagen.

summer fruit

Live Better: Healthy skin begins on the inside, and the most effective form of youth-building is via diet and nutrition. Staying hydrated by eating your water daily in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as embracing a diet that’s rich in Essential Fatty Acids and antioxidants will improve not only the youthfulness of your skin, but also of your body.

laughing11Feel Better: Your stress levels and your sense of self have an overwhelming impact on the health of your body and your skin. Learning to control Cultural Stress® and taking time for you can improve the health of your body and its largest organ, the skin!

DETOX WITH DR. MURAD: Jumpstart the New Year with Dr. Murad’s Detox Diary

To help you keep that 2014 New Year’s resolution to be healthier and happier, Dr. Murad shares his Detox Diary; a seven-day plan to help you look and feel your best in just seven days:

summer fruitDay One: Eat Your Water

Dr. Murad says: “Healthy, hydrated cells are the key to ageless skin and a healthy body.”

Try in 2014: Replacing at least one glass of water a day with one serving of raw fruits or vegetables. This way you’ll be able to stay hydrated significantly longer. Eating foods that are rich in structured water, especially raw fruits and vegetables, will not only help your body hold onto water longer, you’ll get the added boost of important antioxidants, fibre and other nutrients.

681_1345471883(1)Day Two: Take Supplements

Dr. Murad says: “Make additions, rather than deletions to your lifestyle.”

Try in 2014: Even if you eat a nutritional diet, you probably won’t be getting the optimal amount of nutrition to properly strengthen your cells and improve your health. That’s where supplements come in. Invest in Murad Firm & Tone Dietary Supplements for everything you need for younger-looking skin, increased energy, better sleep patterns and faster-growing hair and nails.

Picture1Day Three: Move More

Dr. Murad says: “Success comes when you try.”

Try in 2014: The secret to sticking to an exercise routine is to exercise for pleasure. You should be driven less by exercise’s health and body-sculpting rewards than by how working out makes you feel. Choose one physical activity you enjoy and do it!

Day Four: Daydream

Dr. Murad says: “Turn the rest of your life into the best of your life.”

Try in 2014: Take some time to focus on your dreams and goals. Answer these questions to help you get started:

1)      What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

2)      What’s the one thing you hope to accomplish in your lifetime that you haven’t yet?

3)      If you had nothing to do at all today, what would you do?

4)      What in life is causing you anxiety and stress?

5)      What are you most proud of?

Picture4Day Five: Savour Sleep

Dr. Murad says: “Reduce internet isolation – sleep better.”

Try in 2014: Sleep is when all of the systems of our body repair and regenerate themselves. Our skin detoxifies itself overnight. Using an appropriate moisturiser at night before bed is really important. When we are sleeping our body is much more able to absorb and utilise the nutrients that we provide for it – try Murad Perfecting Night Cream which combines Vitamins A and E with Green Tea Extract and Borage Seed Oil to repair and rehydrate your skin. Also, why not try starting a sleep schedule. Think back in the past month, what days did you feel the most energetic? How many hours of sleep did you get the night before? Use that average to determine how many hours of sleep your body ideally needs then aim for that amount at least five days a week.

Day Six: Be a Big Kid!

Dr. Murad says: “Allow spontaneity in your life.”

Try in 2014: Remember how exciting the first day of a new school was? Break out of your normal routine today and try something you’ve been wanting to do for a while. Don’t know where to start? Think back to your childhood. What did you enjoy doing then? Maybe it was art, acting, playing an instrument or doing puzzles. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to act like a kid again!

relax meditationDay Seven: Rest

Dr. Murad says: “When you become the most important person to yourself, your accomplishments will amaze you.”

Try in 2014: Stress is an inevitable part of life. The key is how you handle it. Identify your stressors and do what you can to keep them at bay. Today, take a recess for some deep breathing and meditation to help you gain perspective and reclaim sanity.

Why Essential Fatty Acids are Important for Healthy Skin

Regardless of your age, gender or skin type, there’s no getting away from it, a diet rich in Essential Fatty Acids is essential for healthy, beautiful skin. You may not have considered diet as a path to great skin but the truth is, what you eat is as important as the products you use! The best results come from Dr. Murad’s Inclusive Health® system of skincare. This combines cell-saving topical formulas to help you Look Better with targeted cell-building nutrient to help you to Live Better, plus strategies for coping with cell-killing Cultural Stress® to help you Feel Better.

So what Is an Essential Fatty Acid?

Essential Fatty Acids are the “good fats” your body needs to keep cells healthy. They help maintain healthy cellular walls and promote the transference of waste and water on a cellular level. All of those cellular functions are important parts of having healthy skin as well as general health.

Essential Fatty Acids are called “essential” because they are not produced by the human body, yet are essential for our survival. As we don’t produce them, the only way to ensure you have enough of them is through diet and supplements.

Essential Fatty Acids & Younger-looking Skin
There are many factors that contribute to the ageing process of your skin, including a loss of collagen and elastin. However, one of the most important differences between youthful skin and older skin is youthful skin is much better at holding on to water.  That’s why anti-ageing skincare products contain more moisturising ingredients; they’re trying to get that youthful level of hydration back.

Murad Youth Builder SupplementsNow here’s the technical bit! At a cellular level, the ability to stay hydrated and plump depends on a healthy cell membrane that can hold water, take in nutrients and allow waste products to pass out of the cell. Essential Fatty Acids are great for improving the strength and the function of the cell membrane.

Cellular membranes weaken with age so we need a steady stream of Essential Fatty Acids to enable the body to replace old, damaged leaky cells with new, younger, stronger cells with thick, fully functional membranes.  Having strong, youthful cells is the key factor that distinguishes young, healthy, firm skin from saggy, loose skin.

We recommend: Murad Youth Builder Supplements for youthful skin from the inside out.

Essential Fatty Acids & Cellulite

People often think of cellulite as a “fat problem”, but the truth is that cellulite is actually a skin problem. Cellulite is caused by a weakening of skin’s structure which makes it unable to hold back the underlying layer of fat. When that happens, the underlying layer of fat becomes visible as bumps, which is what we know as cellulite.

As we now know from combating ageing skin, a rich supply of dietary Essential Fatty Acids helps the body build stronger cells and it’s these stronger cells which can better hold fat in place. The result? Smoother skin!

We recommend: Murad Firm and SONY DSCTone Dietary Supplement Pack
In addition to helping to build strong cells that can stay hydrated, the Essential Fatty Acids in this formula hydrate the skin by helping it to attract and bind water to its surface.  Connective Support Complex in this formula encourages the appearance of smoother skin and helps improve skin’s elasticity.

What our customers say:
“Hello short shorts!!Finally something that works! I have struggled with fairly severe cellulite since i was a young teenager. I have maintained the accurate weight for my height and even exercised but I still had cellulite!! I have tried lots of topical treatments for cellulite and nothing works. After taking these vitamins for only 4 weeks I have seen a dramatic change in my skin all over my body! My cellulite is barely visible. I want to show off my thighs! My skin is smooth and firm and I have more energy too. All the little tiny bumps that I never really noticed before are gone. Firm and tone is fantastic!”

Essential Fatty Acids & Blemishes
A healthy diet is essential for reducing blemishes and acne too. While a diet that promotes healthy, blemish-free skin is more complex than simply making sure that you get Essential Fatty Acids, a diet rich in Essential Fatty Acids helps build healthy, strong skin that is more naturally resistant to breakouts.

Essential Fatty Acids also support the skin’s natural healing processes to speed the repair of any post-blemish marks or scars from breakouts or pimples.

SalmonWhere Do You Find Essential Fatty Acids?
There are plenty of foods that contain lots of lovely Essential Fatty Acids. A great place to start is by adding a touch of flax seed, walnuts, salmon and canola oil into your diet. Also, be sure to look for products that contain Omega 3s – these are the Essential Fatty Acids that you need the most!

Look out for the next post which will detail which foods are rich in Essential Fatty Acids!

Beautiful skin is about more than what you put on it. It’s also about what you put into your body. Eat a balanced diet and be sure to hydrate internally by “eating your water” as described in Dr. Murad’s best-selling Inclusive Health® book, The Water Secret. Combined with an effective topical skincare regimen to help you Look Better, and a Cultural Stress® management program to help you Feel Better, the results of eating well to Live Better will show on your face and help you face the world!

Summer Skin Essentials: SPF Protection, Antioxidants and Body Care

ImageWe say summer skin care means paying more attention to these:

SPF protection products

Antioxidant products and

Body care.

Here are our top tips and picks:

SPF Protection Products
What They Are: Excuse us if we’re stating the obvious but sun protection products are any products that have an SPF or PA protection factor associated with them. These types of products have been specifically designed to be worn on days when you will be exposed to the sun for extended periods of time (such as a hiking trip or a day at the beach).

Why You Need Them: Nothing damages the skin more than exposure to UV rays. UV rays damage all skin cells, including collagen, elastin and melanocytes. This can lead to skin damage as well as skin diseases. You may spend more time in the sun during the summer months, but you need to stay protected from the damage of UV rays all year round.

What You Need to Know: SPF and PA protection factors for products are both different ways of indicating how much UV protection is offered from a product. SPF (Sun Protection Factor) relates to protection against UVB rays which burn the skin, ouch! PA indicators tell how much protection a product gives against UVA rays, which age the skin, argh!

ImageRecommended Product: Water Resistant Broad Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 30 | PA+++
Murad’s most popular sunscreen product delivers both UVA and UVB protection while also improving skin’s overall health to make you age-proof.

Customer Review
“I have very fair skin, and burn easily. This product was the best investment I ever made to protect my skin against the sun! I recently travelled to the Dominican Republic and Mexico; I used this sun block and my skin did not burn. I am convinced this is the best sun protection for my fair skin type.”

 

Antioxidant Skin Care Products for Summer
What They Are: Antioxidant skin care products are any topical skin care products that have been formulated with an emphasis on including antioxidants, the natural healthy skin agents found in many fruits and vegetables.

Why You Need Them: Much of the damage that UV rays do to your skin can be prevented or undone with antioxidants. UV rays create free radicals in your body. Free radicals are damaged cells that attack other cells (primarily skin cells) in an effort to repair themselves. When a free radical attacks a skin cell, it damages it and results in sun damage, age and sun spots or even skin diseases. Antioxidants are nature’s warriors against free radicals and can work to minimise UV damage and sun damage.

What You Need to Know: It’s not only important to include antioxidants in your topical skin care. It’s equally important to leverage the Inclusive Health™® aspect of Living Better and eat a diet rich in antioxidants. Though antioxidants can be found in almost all fruits and vegetables, they are found in higher quantities in fruits that have a dark color (such as blueberries and pomegranates) and dark green, leafy vegetables.

ImageRecommended Product: Pomphenol Sunguard Dietary Supplement

These supplements contain 100% pure pomegranate extract! Pomegranate is one of the most important foods to combat sun damage as it’s full of polyphenols like ellagic acid. Dr. Murad has conducted clinical trials that show roughly a 25% improvement in SPF when pomegranate is added to a diet. If your sunscreen also contains pomegranate extract there is an additional improvement in SPF by 20%. Customers have found they can help prevent prickly heat too!

Customer Review

“I know my skin is being protected when I take this supplement. This truly is sunscreen from the inside/out. Pomegranate is a very powerful antioxidant, and makes me feel more safe than just wearing sunscreen alone.”

Body Care Products for Summer
What They Are: Just so we’re perfectly clear, Body Care products are any type of product that’s designed for skin that isn’t on your face! That may mean a firming and smoothing cream or it may mean a back acne treatment.

Why You Need Them: Couple of reasons. First, the warm weather means we expose more skin – and we dust off the dreaded bikini! Secondly, body care products are formulated differently than skin care products for your face. The skin on the rest of your body tends to be thicker and rougher than on your face and skin care products need to address this difference in texture.

What You Need to Know: Body care shouldn’t be something that you do only for summer. Just because you don’t see your skin as often in the winter, it doesn’t mean that it’s not important to keep it healthy! 

ImageRecommended Product: Murad Firm and Tone Serum
This topical cream helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite and loose skin. It’s a patented, breakthrough product which contains encapsulated liposomes (bear with us) that deliver active ingredients to the skin and reduce the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks – hoorah!

Customer Review
“This was my first experiment with a cellulite regimen and I was amazed! I kept it in my refrigerator and applied nearly every day after showering. Even my friends are amazed by the results. Not only did the cellulite disappear, but my legs became firmer.”

Final thought on summer skincare: remember regardless of your summer skin needs, be sure to combine your topical skin care products with a healthy diet, exercise and stress management techniques so you can start Looking Better, Living Better and Feeling Better!