Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Don't believe the hype.

Every day, I receive an email from various health and beauty web sites I have signed up for that talk about health, diet, fitness and general grooming, such as skin care. And every day I read about the newest, the latest, the greatest. And you know what? It is all just hype.

There really is not too much that is so new as to be earth shattering. They have simply taken the old ways of doing things and repackaged them to make them look new.

Like skin care for example. There are hundreds of skin care lines. Walk through any Sephora and you will find a special cream or lotion for just about any body part. They have special creams for kids and men as well.

And guess what? You don't need any of it. Not really. All you really need to do is to cleanse your face at night, moisturize to prevent it from looking like old, dried out leather and occasionally you need to exfoliate.

And that is it.

The trick, and there is a trick, is to do it routinely, every single day and night. And that is where so many fail.

It is not necessarily the product that is helping you. It simply that you are taking better care of your skin.

And you don't need to spend a fortune to do it. Personally, I use a cleanser from Walgreens that dermatologists love. It is called CeraVe and it is an inexpensive, awesome cleaner. You don't need a fancy, expensive cleanser. You just need to clean your face.

I have an elderly patient who has great skin who uses Dove soap. And Vaseline. For about the past 60 years. And very few wrinkles at all. (she recently signed off of hospice---she got better and she's 88)

Now, that said, I must confess I use an expensive face cream. It is called SK-II. It is remarkable, in my opinion. But I use it as a day and a night cream. And I use it under my eyes as well. Along with using a vitamin E stick that I purchase for about three dollars. And I exfoliate with a scrub from Target 3 or 4 times a week, from Boots. That is it. And my skin looks pretty good for being 50. Not perfect, but okay. But I never go to bed without washing and moisturizing. I do it religiously.

And that is the trick. Doing it consistently.

Consistency is the name of the game.

Now, if I could only apply that same logic to exercise....but I digress.

The next big hype is diet. I read every single day about a new food that will cure whatever, a new supplement that we all should be taking or a new diet book that promises you can eat all you want and still have a flat stomach.

But they are selling nothing new. Blueberries have always been good for us. As a matter of fact, eating fruit has always been a great idea. And veggies, too. Do I really need to spend time reading about this? No. I know what to do. And so do you. There are no secrets out there to learn.

Eat real food in smaller portions. Don't eat food your grandmother would not recognize. Don't eat food that has a list of ingredients you cannot pronounce. Eat whole foods.

And if you want to drop weight, eat less and walk more.

(That will be $29.99. Thank you.)

But they are still selling these books and exercise videos and special eye creams and neck creams and, well, I could go on and on.

And we are all still buying them.

Go figure.

Anyway, I am not buying into the hype anymore. If you want to lose weight, you have to eat less. If you want to stay healthy, you should walk more and not smoke or drink to excess. You shouldn't drink 7 Diet Coke's every day, drink water. You should get out in the sun to get vitamin D. But just not too long unless you put on sunscreen. You should learn to relax more, have fun friends to hang with, get a good night's sleep and worry less. A baby aspirin a day is a proven winner. So is a regular multivitamin. And a glass, one, of red wine cannot hurt. Cutting back on sugary foods is also important. Excess sugar and sodium causes our body to have an inflammatory response. And inflammation causes problems like cardiac disease and cancers. That is a proven, scientific fact.

Anyway, I am not saying that any of this is easy. I struggle with it too. But we all know the things we need to do.

The hard part is doing them.

And not buying into all the hype.

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. ~Doug Larson

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

To avoid sickness eat less; to prolong life worry less. ~Chu Hui Weng

Those obsessed with health are not healthy; the first requisite of good health is a certain calculated carelessness about oneself. ~Sydney J. Harris

1 comment:

  1. So true! but the hard part is actually living like this. I drink lots of water, but eat lots too, and can't seem to get the excercise a regular part of my day. It is a chore especially this week.
    Thanks for the reminder.