How to Improve Skin Health & Appearance

How to Improve Skin Health & Appearance

Skin Health (00:00:00)

  • Skin is an important organ that reflects overall health.
  • There's a direct relationship between the immune system and skin health.
  • Skin tone and color can indicate overall health.
  • Skin is composed of different cell types.
  • Sunlight and sun exposure can lead to skin cancers.
  • Sunscreens can help protect skin from sun damage.
  • Common skin conditions include acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.
  • Anti-aging treatments aim to reduce protein degradation and improve collagen and elastin turnover.
  • Various products are available to treat wrinkles, sagging skin, and acne, but safety and efficacy vary.
  • The podcast has no financial relationships with any skin products mentioned.
  • Examples and links to certain products are provided for informational purposes only.
  • Information is based on research and discussions with board-certified dermatologists, including an expert in skin oncology.

Sponsors: Joovv, BetterHelp & ROKA (00:02:59)

  • Joovv:
    • Makes medical grade red light therapy devices.
    • Uses clinically proven wavelengths of red light and near infrared light.
    • Offers a handheld light and a whole body panel.
    • Exclusive discount of up to $400 for Huberman Lab listeners.
  • BetterHelp:
    • Offers professional therapy with licensed therapists carried out entirely online.
    • Provides support in the form of emotional support or directed guidance.
    • Makes it easy to find an expert therapist with whom you can have strong rapport.
    • 10% off your first month for Huberman Lab listeners.
  • ROKA:
    • Makes eyeglasses and sunglasses of the absolute highest quality.
    • Designed with the biology of the visual system in mind.
    • Extremely lightweight and designed not to slip off.
    • Many different frames and styles for various settings.
    • Exclusive discount of 20% for Huberman Lab listeners.
  • Red light and near infrared light have positive effects on improving numerous aspects of cellular and organ health, including:
    • Faster muscle recovery.
    • Improved skin health and wound healing.
    • Reduced acne.
    • Reduced pain and inflammation.
    • Improved mitochondrial function.
    • Improved vision.
  • Joovv lights use clinically proven wavelengths of red light and near infrared light in combination to trigger optimal cellular adaptations.
  • Therapy is critical to overall health and should be considered as important as regular physical exercise.
  • Excellent therapy includes three critical ingredients:
    • Strong rapport between you and the therapist.
    • Emotional support or directed guidance towards the issues you're facing.
    • Insights either directly from the therapist or that you arrive at that you would have otherwise not been able to arrive at had you not have that emotional support and strong rapport.
  • BetterHelp makes it easy to find an expert therapist with whom you can have those three critical components.
  • ROKA eyeglasses and sunglasses are designed with the biology of the visual system in mind.
    • Extremely lightweight and designed not to slip off.
    • Many different frames and styles for various settings.

Skin Biology, Skin Layers (00:07:18)

  • The skin is a layered organ that protects the body physically and chemically. Its thickness and composition vary depending on the body area.
  • The outermost layer of the skin is called the epidermis, followed by the dermis, and then subcutaneous fat.
  • The dermis contains blood vessels, capillaries, hair follicles, and nerve endings.
  • The skin has glands that produce oil, and there are microorganisms living on the skin called microbiota. The skin microbiome acts as a barrier to infections and provides nourishment for healthy-looking skin.

Sun Exposure, UV Light & Skin Cancers; Sunscreen (00:12:40)

  • UV light from the sun can cause skin cancer by damaging DNA and disrupting cell function. Sunscreens are used to block UV light and prevent skin cancer.
  • Red light therapy may be beneficial for skin health, while short-wavelength light may be harmful.
  • The effects of sunlight on skin health depend on factors such as dose, timing, and genetic background.
  • People have varying levels of natural melanin production, affecting their skin tone, and geographic location plays a role in sun exposure availability.
  • Sunscreen usage is often based on recommendations from dermatologists or convenience rather than a thorough understanding of individual needs.

Aging, Sun Exposure, Skin Cancers, Physical Barriers (00:19:51)

  • Sun exposure can disrupt collagen and elastin in the skin, leading to premature aging, but some exposure is beneficial for hormone production and vitamin D synthesis.
  • Excessive sun exposure increases the risk of skin cancer, but not all deadly skin cancers are related to sun exposure.
  • Physical barriers like clothing provide good protection from the sun's harmful effects.
  • Sunlight is important for setting circadian rhythms, but excessive midday sun exposure should be avoided, and the UV index can be used to determine when extra protection is needed.

Sunburn & Skin Cancers (00:27:24)

  • Sunburn is an inflammatory reaction in the skin caused by excessive sun exposure.
  • Sunburn does not directly cause skin cancer, but it reflects excessive sunlight exposure which can cause skin cell mutations and lead to certain skin cancers.
  • Avoiding sunburn is important for preventing accelerated skin aging and reducing the risk of skin cancers.
  • Physical barriers like clothing, hats, or bandanas can provide significant protection from the sun.
  • Sunscreens are important for protecting the skin from sun damage, including sunburn, skin cancer, and premature aging.
  • Sunscreens work by absorbing or reflecting UV radiation from the sun.
  • There are two main types of sunscreens: chemical and physical.
  • Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that absorb UV radiation, while physical sunscreens contain ingredients that reflect UV radiation.
  • Some chemical sunscreens have been linked to potential health risks, including hormone disruption and skin irritation.
  • Physical sunscreens are generally considered safer than chemical sunscreens, but they can be more expensive and may leave a white cast on the skin.
  • It is important to choose a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum, meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, and has an SPF of at least 30.
  • Sunscreens should be applied liberally and reapplied every two hours, or more often if swimming or sweating.

Sponsor: AG1 (00:30:09)

  • The speaker has been taking AG1 for over 10 years and finds it beneficial.
  • AG1 is a nutritional supplement that provides vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and adaptogens.
  • It is meant to augment, not replace, a healthy diet.
  • Many people report feeling better in terms of energy levels, digestion, sleep, and more after taking AG1.
  • AG1 is designed to support all aspects of well-being related to mental and physical health.
  • A special offer is available at, including five free travel packs and a year's supply of vitamin D3 K2.

Vitamin D, Sun Exposure & Sunscreen (00:31:58)

  • Vitamin D is crucial for bodily and brain functions and is primarily obtained through fortified foods or supplements.
  • Measuring vitamin D levels helps determine the appropriate dosage for supplementation.
  • Sunscreen and physical barriers do not entirely prevent vitamin D synthesis.
  • Sunlight exposure can enhance hormone production, including testosterone and estrogen, leading to improved mood and well-being.
  • The skin acts as an endocrine organ, influencing hormone production by communicating with other organs.
  • Sunlight affects the vitamin D pathway, impacting the production of testosterone, estrogen, and luteinizing hormone.
  • Moderate sunlight exposure positively influences hormone production, promoting overall well-being.
  • Insufficient sunlight exposure can result in lower hormone levels, negatively affecting well-being.
  • A study provided in the show notes supports the connection between sunlight exposure and hormone production.

Organic (Chemical) Sunscreen & Inorganic (Mineral-Based) Sunscreen (00:36:50)

  • Sunscreens protect the skin from sun-induced mutations and aging effects.
  • Mineral-based sunscreens (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) are generally considered safer than chemical-based sunscreens, especially for young children.
  • Chemical-based sunscreens may contain endocrine disruptors and some studies suggest they can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Physical barriers, such as clothing, are the safest option for sun protection.
  • Sunscreens with up to 25% zinc oxide concentration are considered safe.
  • Zinc oxide sunscreens can be thick and pasty, so titanium dioxide is added to make them silkier and easier to spread.
  • Chemical-based organic sunscreens can be problematic at high concentrations due to concerns about endocrine disruption and potential mutagenic effects.

Skin Cancers, Moles, Laser Resurfacing (00:49:20)

  • Skin cancer, including melanoma and basal cell carcinoma, is a prevalent concern.
  • Monitoring moles for changes is crucial, but not sufficient for early detection.
  • Persistent pimple-like lesions, seeping spots, or mole changes warrant a dermatologist's evaluation.
  • Annual full-body skin checks by a dermatologist are recommended for comprehensive screening.
  • Laser resurfacing of the skin, particularly in sun-exposed areas, can reduce the incidence of skin cancers by up to 30%.

Sponsor: LMNT (00:53:59)

  • LMNT is an electrolyte drink with the correct amounts and ratios of sodium, magnesium, and potassium, and no sugar.
  • Hydration and adequate electrolytes are critical for proper brain and body functioning.
  • Drinking LMNT dissolved in water ensures adequate hydration and electrolytes.
  • LMNT comes in various flavors, including watermelon, raspberry, and citrus.
  • LMNT has also released a new line of canned sparkling element.
  • To try LMNT, go to drink element El spelled l huberman to claim a free element sample pack with the purchase of any element drink mix.

Sun Exposure, Melanoma & Life Expectancy (00:55:34)

  • Sun exposure in moderation, particularly early morning and late afternoon, can positively impact circadian rhythm, mood, focus, alertness, sleep, mental health, immune system function, and feelings of well-being.
  • Sunlight exposure to the eyes is particularly effective in setting the circadian rhythm.
  • Appropriate sunlight exposure can positively modulate hormone and neuromodulator pathways, leading to improved mental and physical health.
  • Avoiding sunlight completely can shorten lifespan, similar to the negative effects of cigarette smoking.
  • Excessive sunlight exposure can cause skin cancers, so physical barriers or chemical-based sunscreens should be used for protection.

Tool: Youthful Skin, Collagen & Vitamin C (01:03:13)

  • Collagen, hydration, and genetics influence skin health and appearance.
  • Collagen is a vital protein that provides elasticity and strength to the skin.
  • Consuming collagen supplements, particularly hydrolyzed collagen, can selectively improve skin health and appearance by increasing collagen production.
  • Collagen supplements can be derived from various sources like fish, animal hooves, and tendons.
  • The recommended dosage for collagen peptides is between 15 to 30 grams per day, and it can be further enhanced by taking 500 to 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin C.
  • Collagen protein supplementation may also have anti-inflammatory effects and improve the elasticity of the skin barrier.
  • Collagen ingestion can increase the chemotaxis and mobility of fibroblasts, contributing to a more youthful skin appearance.

Peptides, BPC-157, Copper (01:12:55)

  • BPC 157 is a synthetic peptide that aids in tissue and wound repair by increasing angiogenesis and fibroblast motility.
  • It is used for post-injury recovery, muscle building, endurance sports, and cosmetic purposes to increase blood flow and tissue repair.
  • BPC 157's vascularization effects may occur globally throughout the body, including tumors, so caution is advised when using it for skin health.
  • Copper is a trace mineral that plays a role in collagen synthesis and skin rejuvenation, but excessive intake can cause inflammation.
  • Many skin rejuvenation products contain copper peptides, BPC-157, or ingredients that promote collagen synthesis.
  • BPC-157 has potential risks, including accelerating tumor growth, and its effectiveness lacks support from randomized controlled trials.
  • Understanding the risks and mechanisms of these products is crucial before use.
  • Ensure adequate dietary copper for DNA repair, collagen turnover, and antioxidant properties, but avoid excessive intake.

Tool: Niacinamide (Nicotinamide), Youthful Skin, Dark Spots, Hyaluronic Acid (01:20:58)

  • Niacinamide (vitamin B3) improves skin health and appearance by increasing ceramide production, reducing inflammation, balancing oil production, and diminishing hyperpigmentation.
  • Niacinamide can be taken orally (500 mg twice daily) or applied topically through ointments or serums.
  • Dermatologists recommend consistent use of niacinamide for 3 to 6 months or more for effective results.
  • Hyaluronic acid, a natural component of the skin, helps retain moisture and provides a plumping effect.
  • Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons recommend supplementation with collagen, vitamin C, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for improving skin health.

Tool: Retinol (Retin-A, Tretinoin, Retinyl Esters), Youthful Skin (01:26:25)

  • Retinoids, including retinol and prescription drugs derived from vitamin A, are recommended by dermatologists to enhance skin health and maintain a youthful appearance.
  • Retinoids work by converting into retinoic acid, which activates transcription factors that stimulate the production of collagen and other essential proteins for new skin formation.
  • Starting retinoid use in one's 20s is beneficial, but caution is necessary as they can increase skin sensitivity to light, causing redness or dryness.
  • Retinoids improve angiogenesis, vascularization, and skin elasticity by removing degenerated elastin and promoting new skin synthesis.
  • Retinoid Esters, available over-the-counter, can be applied to the skin to enhance skin health and appearance, as supported by positive user feedback and the endorsement of cosmetic surgeons and dermatologists.

Tool: Phototherapy, Youthful Skin, Treating Skin Conditions (01:33:07)

  • Phototherapy using red and near-infrared light can improve skin health and appearance by reducing inflammation, improving mitochondrial function, and increasing blood flow.
  • Phototherapy has been shown to be beneficial for various skin conditions such as acne, wound healing, and improving the youthful appearance of the skin.
  • The effects of phototherapy tend to be mild to moderate, but they can be significant when combined with other treatments such as injections of BPC-157, hyaluronic acid, or niacinamide.
  • Sunlight is a natural source of red and near-infrared light, and it can also provide benefits for skin health.

Tool: Nutrition for Skin Health, Anti-Inflammatory Diets (01:41:10)

  • Healthy skin is a reflection of a robust immune system.
  • The gut microbiome and nutrition are crucial factors in maintaining skin health.
  • Consume a diet rich in unprocessed or minimally processed whole foods.
  • Prioritize anti-inflammatory diets like the Mediterranean or Paleo diet.
  • Include foods rich in vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and collagen.
  • Supplement with omega fatty acids, especially if lacking in your diet.
  • Consume fatty fish or fish oil supplements, preferably in liquid form for affordability.
  • Eat plenty of dark leafy greens and colored fruits and vegetables, such as oranges and strawberries.
  • Obtain vitamin A from dietary sources like oranges, carrots, and sweet potatoes to avoid the risk of overdose.
  • Include garlic in your diet for its sulfur content, which is essential for collagen synthesis and repair.
  • Refer to Dr. Ronda Patrick's video and other content for more detailed information on nutrition for skin health and appearance.
  • Ensure adequate intake of vitamins and minerals regardless of dietary preferences (vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, or carnivore) for optimal skin health.

Highly Processed Foods, Advanced Glycation End Products & Skin Health (01:47:54)

  • Avoid highly processed foods as they contain advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which are inflammatory and can worsen skin conditions like psoriasis and acne.
  • AGEs are formed when sugars and proteins/fats interact at high heat during food processing, making them shelf-stable.
  • Consuming processed foods high in sugar and fat can trigger an inflammatory response and aggravate acne.
  • The glycemic load of a diet, not just the glycemic index of individual foods, is important in managing acne.
  • High glycemic load diets cause high insulin levels and disrupt hormone and cell growth pathways, exacerbating acne.
  • Processed foods can accelerate skin aging.
  • Many healthy and anti-inflammatory foods are also delicious.
  • The myth that fried foods cause breakouts is true due to the pro-inflammatory effects of high-heat cooking.

Tools: Reduce Inflammation: Gut Microbiome, Sleep, Alcohol, Smoking, Stress (01:52:08)

  • To improve skin health, maintain a healthy gut microbiome by consuming fiber from fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut. Avoid high-sugar fermented foods and those that are shelf-stable at room temperature.
  • Prioritize sleep, aiming for 6-9 hours of consistent sleep per night.
  • Limit alcohol consumption, as excessive drinking can negatively impact skin appearance and overall health.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and electrolytes.
  • Avoid smoking and nicotine from all sources, as they can damage the skin and accelerate aging.
  • Manage stress through techniques like the physiological sigh, proper sleep, meditation, and non-sleep deep rest (Yoga Nidra) to improve skin health.
  • To maintain healthy skin, avoid nicotine use or use it sparingly, and prioritize activities that improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.

Acne, Hormones & Insulin; Tool: Low Glycemic Diet, Dairy (01:58:58)

  • Acne is a common skin condition affecting up to 90% of young people, caused by a buildup of sebum in hair follicles.
  • Hormonal influences, such as increased androgen levels during puberty, and a diet with a high glycemic load or that evokes a large insulin response can worsen acne.
  • To improve skin health, reduce stress, get enough sleep, and eat a healthy diet consisting mostly of non-processed, minimally processed foods.
  • Avoid excessive sugar and highly processed foods to prevent spikes in insulin and blood glucose levels and reduce the formation of glycation end products.
  • Intermittent fasting can be beneficial but should be approached with caution for young people who need adequate nutrients for growth.
  • Overconsumption of whey protein and dairy products may contribute to acne, while full-fat dairy might be a better choice than non-fat or low-fat dairy due to the insulin spike associated with emulsifiers in the latter.
  • High-fat meals, fried foods, and sugary milkshakes can trigger acne through increased inflammation.
  • Reducing or eliminating certain foods can significantly improve acne by lowering inflammation and regulating sebum production.

Tools: Face Cleansing & Acne; Scarring & Popping Pimples (02:07:26)

  • Adequate sleep, stress reduction, gut microbiome care, and proper nutrition are essential for improving skin health and managing acne.
  • Avoid over-cleansing the skin, as it can disrupt the skin microbiome and worsen acne.
  • Use a gentle, unscented cleanser twice or three times a day.
  • Salicylic acid can help reduce the stickiness of skin cells and prevent pore clogging.
  • Avoid popping pimples, as it can worsen inflammation and lead to scarring.
  • For severe acne, consult a dermatologist for potential treatments such as corticosteroid injections to reduce redness.
  • Dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments, prescription medications, and gentle cleansing can effectively manage acne.
  • Some dermatologists have observed positive results in acne patients who exclude highly processed foods and increase their intake of anti-inflammatory foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and eggs from healthy sources.

Tool: Treating Rosacea, Alcohol, Skin Care, Nutrition (02:13:29)

  • Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by facial redness caused by genetics, inflammation, and triggers like alcohol consumption.
  • To improve skin health and appearance in individuals with rosacea, it is recommended to:
    • Adopt a low-inflammation, low-glycemic diet.
    • Prioritize adequate sleep.
    • Minimize or eliminate alcohol intake.
    • Establish a skincare routine that includes lukewarm water, a gentle unfragranced cleanser, and regular sunscreen use.
    • Use a quality mineral-based sunscreen for sun protection.
    • Apply a moisturizer to maintain skin hydration.
    • Consider topical or oral use of nicotinamide (niacinamide) or licorice root for additional treatment.
  • Rosacea treatment focuses on reducing inflammation and promoting collagen production.
  • It is important to avoid strong astringents and heat-increasing factors like spicy foods, as they can irritate the skin and worsen rosacea symptoms.

Stubborn Rosacea, Over Cleansing, Pulsed Dye Laser (02:18:31)

  • Stubborn rosacea may be due to excessive use of cleansers.
  • Over-cleansing can cause skin issues.
  • It is recommended to shower and cleanse with a gentle cleanser as soon as possible after working out to avoid bacteria and skin issues.
  • Some rosacea is very stubborn and may not go away even with lifestyle adjustments and medical treatments.
  • Angioma, the accumulation of blood vessels near the surface of the skin, can occur in people with rosacea.
  • Pulsed dye laser treatment can be used to treat stubborn rosacea and angioma.

Psoriasis Treatment, Immune System & Prescriptions (02:21:04)

  • Psoriasis is now known to be related to the immune system, not just overproduction of skin cells.
  • Prescription drugs that target specific interleukins have proven effective in treating psoriasis.
  • Psoriasis is considered an overactivation of the immune system, leading to excessive skin cell production.
  • Future episodes will cover various skin health topics not discussed in this episode, such as eczema and Botox.
  • Expert guests, including dermatologists and a cosmetic surgeon, will be invited to provide specialized knowledge.
  • Cosmetic surgery can also address serious skin conditions, not just improve appearance.

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Skin Health & Skin Care (00:00:00)

  • Skin health reflects overall health and well-being.
  • Skin is the largest organ of the body.
  • Skin is a complex organ with multiple layers and functions.
  • Skin is constantly exposed to environmental stressors and damage.
  • Skin health is influenced by genetics, lifestyle, and environment.
  • Skin health can impact physical and mental well-being.

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