Archive for September, 2011

Dr Rajani’s Regimen: What To Do For Your Skin This Fall

The inevitable happens each year: the days get shorter, the mornings get crisper and the cool weather slowly makes its way in. Skin, being the largest organ of the body, also senses this change and summertime has no doubt left some impressions on your skin. The unavoidable sun rays, increased humidity or the sunscreens and oils used in summertime products will leave blemishes and dull skin tones once your tan fades. Here are some fall tips you can use to not only restore your skin but help reverse many of the signs of aging.


Remove your outer layer of dead skin cells and unclog pores

Summer spent in the sun can make your skin appear dull. As your suntan fades pigment will appear that is new to your complexion. Exfoliation can remove the dull outer layer of skin, restore healthy blood flow and unclog pores.  Exfoliate twice each week with an exfoliating cleanser or add a teaspoon of raw sugar in the palm of your hand along with your existing cleanser for a 5 minute scrub. Use a prescription grade retinol or retinoic acid night cream before bedtime. Microdermabrasion or chemical peels performed by your skin care specialist are a great addition. These procedures are more effective and quicker at removing the superficial dead layer of the skin.

Prepare for dry Skin

Your skin was probably oilier than usual in the summer due to heat,  humidity, and sunscreen usage so a deeper-cleansing face wash was appropriate. In fall however, when the heat begins to disappear, you need a gentler cleanser. As heaters are turned on, skin dries out. Consider a non-soap cream cleanser product which removes dirt and impurities but doesn’t strip your skin’s natural oils. Remember your cleanser does NOT have to foam to cleanse skin. Finally, drink plenty of water.

Repair with Antioxidants

Whether you used only your moisturizing sunscreen or skipped moisturizing altogether in the summer, you’ll need to add this product back into your regimen in the fall. Choose a moisturizer which contains potent active anti oxidants and rich emollients to protect, nourish and soothe dry, tender skin.  These ingredients neutralize the damaging toxins from the sun, and can help prevent further damage. They should NOT contain SPF. Keep in mind we want your anti oxidants to reach the deepest layers of skin. SPF incorporated into anti oxidant creams prevents this absorption. Millions of dollars are being spent on research for delivery mechanisms to provide deeper penetration of active products into the skin layers. Facilitate maximal absorption for your skin by applying active creams to freshly cleansed skin and keep your SPF as a separate final step. Even during the fall and winter days, continue to apply sunscreen as harmful UV rays are abundant and can penetrate glass.

Try  an eye cream

The skin around the eye is the most delicate in the facial region and almost no oils are produced to protect this age revealing area. Older skin is prone to showing fine lines and a crepey texture around the eyes. Sun exposure exacerbates these problems. An eye treatment can help smooth the eye area again. Look for a product containing hyaluronic acid, an ingredient that effectively holds moisture onto the skin.

Schedule sun sensitive procedures

It is best to schedule most cosmetic procedures in the winter so the skin can heal away from the sun. Despite following a vigilant prescription grade topical regimen you will find, from time to time, you may need a little more help. Now is the time to zap those red facial blood vessels and brown age spots with a laser or to treat those bothersome leg veins.

So as hard as it can be to pack away the summer toys, fall also brings in a new sense of energy and change. Treat your skin to the pampering and regeneration it deserves for a long-lasting healthy appearance. Enhance your natural beauty.

Anil Rajani MD

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A couple years ago I was riding my bike down 101 into a head wind and a friend drove by.  I did not see him at the time, but later he said to me “you looked so serious”. I have actually have heard this comment a few times in my life and I had to give it some thought. What my friend had seen was in fact just a face void of emotion. To tell you the truth, often when I am running or riding or weight lifting (if I am in the “zone”); I am not really present at the surface and somewhat absent. I am meditating!

As a long time educator of fitness, nutrition and healthy lifestyles,  my goal has always been to help my clients and friends and anyone else that will listen, understand the spirituality of training and fitness. The experience one has, no matter what sport or action you choose is so much more than purely a physical event. There are elements to training that go far beyond that.  And there lies the hook. I will admit of course there are times when I go for a run or workout in the gym when it just does not sync and the pistons are not firing. I call those times utility workouts. These are dues that must be paid because I know there are the payoff days.  This part of the discipline, which in itself is a form of mediation- the ever existing balance in life and in training, the Ying and the Yang.

The beginning is difficult. We tend to mostly experience fitness in the left brain and the body seems uncomfortable. I want to convey to you the need to allow that experience, and move through it. Allow yourself to be a beginner, knowing that with the consistency of the discipline you will begin to reap rewards. And it can happen very quickly. When you begin your training it is important to let go of some of the images  you have in your mind of what your body “should” look like or the mind chatter of how “out of shape you are” and so on. Training is more than vanity and more than looking good. Yes you are there to improve your health by becoming more fit but the real catch is the sense of self and well-being. A transformation occurs through training that leads you to discover who you are and a time to commune with yourself, a time to self-reflect.


I personally love strength/weight training and have been hooked since I was 17 years old. For me, it’s something I enjoy doing for its own sake apart from the results it gives me.

  • Weight training allows you to communicate precisely with every muscle in your body, to send blood and vitality to every space.
  • Weight training lets you lose track of time. You go into a flow where you become absorbed in the moment-by-moment process.
  • Weight training develops physical intuition. You get a gut-level sense, an instinct of what your body needs.
  • Weight training is ever changing and you learn to be flexible and receptive. You learn to let go of preconceptions of how you think you will train on any certain day. You go with plans but they do not always happen.

Another love of mine is running. It allows me to experience myself like nothing else. I do not see running as a social event.  Usually I run alone. I don’t like to talk and breathe at the same time when I run. Personally I like to focus on breathing, and natural awareness that puts the world on hold. Thoughts come and go from my mind and all I can really do is breath and tune into the effort and surroundings. I love running trails and I don’t mind if they are uphill, (that just means I go slower and think of breathing even more). Nature and running go together like peanut butter and jelly, another one of my favorite things.  But that’s for another article about nutrition.

Whether you are a runner or a walker, the solitarily aspect of that event allows each of us a uniqueness. It is what Ralph Waldo Emerson called our “individual genius,” our special way of being in the world. George Sheehan the famous running guru phrased it nicely when he said, “I know of no better way to find my own genius than running with no companion except the rhythm of my breathing.”


I suggest that you mix it up, use different forms of fitness so you get to experience a variety of feelings and environments. Strive to do something that involves you being in nature. Something outdoors that you love to do and that can lead to a need to do other physical things that support that. Let’s call that the “physical domino affect”!  Stay positive, I know that sounds cliché but try and let go of negative thoughts and chose to simply stay aware of your physical experience, with practice and with the physiological changes that will occur it gets easier!

Training is not a destination it is a place that you can find in within yourself and spirit!

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