Beauty

A GP-Favorite Skin Expert on Epigenetics and Aging

Epigenetics—how our lifestyle affects the ways our genes express themselves—is still an emerging science. Episode 4 of The goop Lab explores the effect of lifestyle on the way we age specifically, looking at the benefits of different diets (GP tries ProLon with pretty mind-blowing results) and even different skin treatments: GP gets PRP microneedling in the office of Nigma Talib, ND—also with incredible results.

“We can’t change the genetic code we were born with, but we can change some of the ways our genes are expressed, whether for good or bad,” says Talib, whose treatments combine gut-health knowledge (read more on that in her book Younger Skin Starts in the Gut), traditional Chinese face-mapping, and custom protocols for healthy, vibrant skin. Here, her favorite ways to stack the odds in our favor.

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1

Sun Protection

“The sun can cause premature aging of the skin and can turn on inflammatory genes that can create a risk for skin cancer,” says Talib. “Wearing clean, mineral-only sunscreen every day is essential.”

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2

Clean Skin Care

“Potentially harmful skin-care ingredients may be endocrine disruptors (like parabens) and formaldehyde releasers (formaldehyde is a known carcinogen),” says Talib. “You rarely see formaldehyde listed on a label, but what you will see is 2-bromo 2 nitropropane 1 or 3 diol (bronopol), diazolidinyl urea, or DMDM hydantoin. This is why using clean skin care is so important.”

“The all-clean ingredients in GOOPGENES are synergistic,” says Talib. “Ceramides help with the integrity of the skin and help protect it from losing hydration. Squalene works to calm and hold moisture in the skin. Adaptogenic Schisandra fruit has traditionally been used as a skin tonic, and illipe butter helps keep the skin moisturized and protected from the environment.”

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3

The Right Cleanser

A hardworking, skin-softening cleanser is essential in ensuring your creams and serums can work effectively. Talib formulated her makeup-banishing, deep-pore-cleansing face wash with zeolites found in volcanic ash. “They help draw out impurities from the skin without being abrasive or stripping,” she says. Additionally, glycolic and salicylic acids gently exfoliate, fermented mangosteen and hyssop extract fight free radicals, hyaluronic acid moisturizes, and chamomile soothes. “I personally leave the foaming cleanser on my skin for about five to ten minutes if I need a good exfoliation,” she continues. “It’s like a detoxifying mask.”

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4

A Balanced Diet

“A diet with a lot of processed foods and alcohol consumption can trigger inflammatory markers,” says Talib. “A diet high in fruits, vegetables, fish, and healthier fats such as olive oil and nuts discourages disease development and can increase your life span. Green leafy vegetables in particular can help with DNA repair as they are rich in folate.”

5

A Healthy Gut Microbiome

“Our gut is made up of trillions of bacteria—the good and the bad,” says Talib. “The foods you eat can transform the gut microbiome. Fiber in particular helps feed the bacteria in your gut to promote healthy gut function, as well as gut protection (keeping the lining of your gut sealed to prevent leaky gut). Fiber-rich foods—such as vegetables, nuts, oatmeal, and fruits like berries and apples (with the peel)—encourage fermentation in the intestine, which feeds gut bacteria, which in turn produces short-chain fatty acids to supply energy to the colon-lining cells. A study published in Nature Communications also suggests that high-fiber, good-gut-bacteria-promoting diets may help fight infections and prevent cancer.”

6

Exercise—and Don’t Smoke

“Physical activity has been shown to improve the telomeres, which are essentially the caps at the ends of your chromosomes, while smoking can damage them,” says Talib. “Not getting enough physical activity can be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and other chronic health conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise, on the other hand, particularly aerobic exercise like jogging or even walking for as little as fifteen to twenty minutes a day, can make a huge difference over time.”

7

Socialize

“Social interaction can play a role in multiple mental disorders and in modifying the expression of your genes,” says Talib. “Being more social and part of a community lowers risk for mental health issues; avoiding isolation figures prominently in maintaining both physical and mental health, especially in the later years.”

8

Try In-Office Treatments

“PRP microneedling is my go-to treatment for encouraging collagen and elastin production,” says Talib. “Do it in conjunction with a great diet, lifestyle, and supplements, and you’ll be laughing all the way to a youthful, glowing appearance. Along with stimulating collagen and elastin production, the treatment may help ease the appearance of acne scars and pigmentation, both of which can make the skin look aged.”

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