Featuring Guest Guru, Dr. Howard Murad
September 2011 - Featuring Guest Guru, Dr. Howard Murad
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  Guest Guru
Dr. Howard Murad

Q: In 1989 you pioneered the way for clinical skin care products. What need did you see then -- and how has the game changed?
A: When I first started my career in the beauty and wellness industry, people believed that they could solely apply a topical cream and their skin concerns, whether those are blemishes, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, or another concern, would disappear. However, I found that this method alone was not garnering the level of results my patients were looking for.

I realized that if I looked at the patient as a whole and their skin concerns as a probable symptom of a larger wellness issue, this "inclusive" approach would yield much better results. I often say that, "I don't have acne patients, I have patients with acne." And that patient-focused approach is still the foundation for how I practice today. Thankfully today, more and more doctors and healthcare professionals are looking at the total person to target not only the skin care issue but the root of the problem caused by internal and external factors.

Q: You take a very holistic approach to skin care with your Inclusive Health Spas. How does that make a difference?
A: I believe that skin care is not one dimensional, so my Inclusive Health Spas use a three-pronged approach that addresses the mind, skin, and body by focusing on topical, internal, and emotional concerns.

By optimizing your internal, external, and emotional environments, "inclusive health" gives your body and spirit the best opportunity to thrive. Studies at the Murad Research Laboratories have demonstrated that when these three environments are optimized, it creates a healthier environment for the entire body to thrive.

Q: We've all heard the story of the apple that allowed Newton to discover the law of gravity. In your career, what was your Newton-apple discovery?
A: I am an avid hiker and have been doing it for years. I would take a water bottle with me on my hikes but was still constantly feeling dehydrated and in need of more hydration to quench my thirst.

I began to experiment with different ways to stay hydrated and I began bringing snacks on hikes with me, including raw fruits and vegetables like apples, cucumbers, and chunks of watermelon. I began to realize that I didn't leave the hike dehydrated when I ate the raw fruits and vegetables as I did when I just drank water.

I began testing my theory on others and in the laboratory and sure enough, "eating water" kept my subject's thirst quenched significantly longer. Eating foods that are rich in structured water, especially raw fruits and vegetables, will not only help your body hold onto water longer, you'll get the added boost of important antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. By sticking to a healthy diet, you'll end up eating most of the water needed each day to stay well hydrated.

The "eat your water" theory was the springboard that brought on my research into the science of cellular water, which looks at the ability of cell membranes to hold water. When cell health is optimized, cells use water more efficiently, and the body's systems function better overall. Since the skin is the largest and most visible system, an inclusive health approach is the key to dramatically reversing the signs of aging. That's why all of Murad's retail and professional skin care products are formulated based on this science of cellular water.

Q: If you have taken away one lesson from you career thus far, what would it be?
A: The one lesson I have learned from my career is the importance of giving back to society. At Murad we are committed to the health of our customers, our community, and our world.

This October, I will be hosting the second annual public charity art show at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts. Over 30 pieces of my art will be up for auction at the show and I invite guests to view and bid on pieces while they enjoy food, beverages, and silent-auction items. One hundred percent of the money raised from each piece sold at the event will be donated to the charity of the buyer's choice. More information about the Art of Giving can be found at www.muradartofgiving.com.

Q: What new ingredients or skin care methods are you excited about right now and why?
A: One of the biggest breakthroughs I've seen in the skin care industry recently is the use of carotenoids in topical skin care products. Carotenoids are naturally occurring pigments in plants that help protect the skin from environmental stressors and offer the anti-aging benefits of a retinol without the UV-sensitivity or irritation. There are more than 600 different carotenoids, with some of the well-known including beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein. Murad started incorporating carotenoids into topical products this year with the launch of Complete Reform, a product fortified with beta carotene (to fight fine lines and wrinkles) and astaxanthin (a natural free radical scavenger).

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