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Before you make all kinds of assumptions about what Dr. Whitney Bowe means by the title of her new book -- The Beauty of Dirty Skin -- allow the leading NYC dermatologist to explain!
"It doesn't give you permission to [go to sleep with your makeup on]," she stresses. "And it doesn't mean that I'm telling you to stop showering."
No and no! What Dr. Whitney is actually talking about are probiotics.
(They're quite trendy right now, so we're *sure* you've heard of them!)
"Probiotics are live bacteria," the doctor explains. "They're what I call your 'good bugs.'"
And probiotic skin care is all about nurturing those "good bugs" from the inside out!
"Scientists are discovering that our good bugs -- our bacteria -- that live in our gut and that live on our skin," she continues, "play a profound role in the health and beauty of our skin."
In fact, every single one of us is covered in *trillions* of bacteria (or good bugs!), Dr. Whitney says!
Do you want to see what they look like?
(Prepare yourself, because our studio audience gasped at the sight of them!)
"They may not be pretty, they may not be cute," the doc admits. "But they play a critical role in keeping your skin healthy."
Now, because the doc stresses that prescriptions and procedures are often just band-aids for skin issues, she gave us the lowdown on probiotic skin care.
(Spoiler alert: A lot of it has to do with what you eat!)
And that's exactly what she did with viewers Michelle and Melissa -- identical twin sisters who struggled with melasma and cystic acne, respectively.
Dr. Whitney put the sisters on her "Beauty of Dirty Skin" three-week plan to attack both issues -- and the results revealed right in our studio are AMAZING.
(Watch the video above to see for yourself!)
"The power of this plan is that it's sort of a one-size-fits-all," the expert explains. "It's effective not only for a severe skin condition, but it also helps with signs of aging -- like fine lines and wrinkles, and loss of elasticity -- because the common underlying thread is inflammation."
Let's break down the plan, shall we?
"Week 1 focuses on the gut," Dr. Whitney explains, "because if you have an unhealthy balance of bacteria in the gut, that causes inflammation in your gut, which shows up as inflammation in your skin."
(a.k.a. Unhappy gut = unhappy skin!)
If your diet consists of mainly refined carbs and sugars, the skin pro explains, you're actually feeding the BAD bugs in your gut, which could translate into skin issues.
So, swap out crackers, white bagels, chips and cereals with foods that are lower in sugar and higher in fiber -- like oatmeal, quinoa, sweet potato and other veggies.
And because Dr. Whit knows us all too well, she assured us that we don't have to give up pasta -- we just have to find a pasta that's low in sugar.
Oh, and you also want to load up on antioxidants!
"Antioxidants protect your skin from free radicals, [which are] like little missiles," the expert notes. "They target your skin [and] trigger inflammation."
Fight them with deeply colored fruits and vegetables, green tea and dark chocolate (YES, CHOCOLATE!).
Lastly, you can either get your fill of probiotics from yogurts that contain "live active cultures" (just be mindful of the sugar content!) OR from probiotic supplements, the derm suggests.
Week 2 is all about your BRAIN.
"Chronic stress can really contribute to inflammation in the skin," Dr. Whit stresses.
So, in the second week of the plan, focus on sleep, exercise and meditation!
"If you just focus on breathing a few minutes every day," the doc suggests, "it triggers something called the relaxation response, which stops psychological and emotional stress from being translated into physical inflammation."
Last but not least? Skin care!
"The number one mistake that Americans make when it comes to [their] skin," Dr. Whitney explains, "is that they're over-cleansing."
So, she tells her patients and readers to gather up those products and instruments that are literally scrubbing away good bugs (like loofahs!) -- and toss 'em!
Again, this doesn't mean you shouldn't be washing your face!
"You don't have to rub and scrub your skin raw," she stresses, "but you do want to take off your makeup at night."