When I entered medical school, however, my interest in nutrition made me an eccentric. My classmates thought I was nuts because I popped vitamins after meals and bundled up to go running in the dark, cold mornings of Michigan winters. In those days, medicine meant intervention, not prevention, and our professors brooked no equivocation. I'll never forget the afternoon I arrived for a lecture to find my classmates passing around a sheaf of papers and trading furtive whispers in one corner of the classroom. At first I thought they had a contraband copy of an exam. It turned out to be a research paper on homocysteine, vitamin B, and heart disease prevention--- research that would be widely accepted in the medical community 15 years later and go on to help save lives. But at the time, we students understood that such a thing had to be hidden from our professors. Any show of interest meant that we weren't serious medical students.
Fortunately, I wasn't deterred by medical school, and my own experiences only fueled my interest. As a firm believer in the powers of vitamin C, I kept my energy high during my grueling class schedules by taking powdered doses mixed with juice throughout the day. One day, after a particularly long run, I came home with a badly sunburned face. On a whim, I mixed a bit of the vitamin C powder with water and put it on my face. It soothed the irritation immediately. Although it hardly qualified as a scientific experiment, this was my very first evidence that vitamin C could help stop inflammation.
The Cosmeceutical Alternative
When I entered my first residency, at Yale University, I began to investigate the role of nutrients in health and disease seriously. I continued my research at the Henry Ford Medical Center in Detroit. By then, doctors and scientists in many areas of medicine had recognized the importance of nutrients in both healing and maintaining good health.
I have been conducting scientific research into the use of nutrient cosmeceuticals in skin care for nearly 15 years. My firm belief in nutrients is at the foundation of my work. I am very concerned about the disappointing results of some of the invasive treatments that are widely used to correct the problems associated with aging skin. Before coming to me, many of my patients have chosen to undergo surgical procedures, such as face-lifts and dermabrasions, to correct skin problems. They were unprepared for the inherent limitations of such surgical techniques, and they were disappointed by the outcomes. For people with dark or even pale brown skin, for example, scarring and uneven pigment problems are common after surgery or laser treatments. Face-lifts can produce a tight, artificial effect, no matter how skilled the surgeon. And I confess I'm often astounded by the amount of money my patients have spent on products that offer little more than gorgeous packaging and expert marketing.
During the course of my research, I uncovered a wider range of skin care options. I've developed a groundbreaking approach based on nutrient antioxidants, a concept we'll explore later in this book. Antioxidants can impede and even repair the damage to skin cells that comes with aging. Soft, radiant, younger-looking skin is the gratifying result.
The term cosmeceutical refers to a skin treatment that provides added benefit beyond a simple cosmetic or moisturizer. Cosmeceuticals are not considered a medication and therefore are not regulated by the FDA.
My cosmeceutical program includes these components:
These components are gentle, all-natural, noninvasive? and best of all, they work. By combining my cosmeceutical program with healthy living habits, you can achieve beautiful skin for the rest of your life.
Copyright 2000 by Nicholas Perricone, All rights reserved.
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