WASHINGTON, D.C., JANUARY 5, 2009 - Winter winds and cold temperatures can leave skin screaming for help this season. Moisturizers can help solve the problem, but 71 percent of dermatologists believe a healthy diet, vitamins and other supplements, and regular exercise accompanied by other smart lifestyle choices are just as important for healthy skin, according to new research from the 2008 "Life...supplemented" Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study. The study shows two thirds of dermatologists recommend dietary supplements to their patients and the top reason is for healthy skin, hair and nails.
"Many women tend to think short-term and focus solely on the topical approach to healthy skin," says Jeannette Graf, M.D., a leading skin science expert and advisor to the "Life...supplemented" campaign. "Lotions and creams are important, but it is even more important to take care of your skin from the inside out. If you're healthy, your skin will show it -- and the best way to stay healthy is to engage in smart lifestyle choices. Start with a healthy diet and supplement with vitamins and regular exercise."
For example, vitamins A, C and E are key to combating natural aging, and a deficiency in certain Omega-3 fatty acids can often lead to dry and itchy skin. While moisturizers can help, a healthy diet supplemented by appropriate vitamins, minerals and other supplements is part of a long-term effective solution. In fact, 62 percent of dermatologists believe there are gaps in their patients' diets that could be effectively addressed with dietary supplements. If all this information sounds confusing, don't be afraid to ask a doctor for guidance. Sixty-one percent of dermatologists agree one of their roles as a healthcare professional is to provide information to patients on dietary supplements, and the ones they're most often asked about include vitamin E (45 percent), vitamin D (42 percent), Omega-3 / Fish Oil (41 percent), multivitamins (36 percent) and vitamin C (30 percent). A good way to start the conversation is to visit www.lifesupplemented.org and take My Wellness Scorecard, a free wellness assessment tool that helps consumers identify realistic steps toward better health. Bring the results to the doctor in order to develop a personalized wellness regimen that includes dietary supplements as needed.
And while a well-balanced wellness regimen that includes a healthy diet, vitamins and regular exercise is the foundation for long-term skin health, there are other steps you can take to winterize your skin this season: 1) Shield yourself with an SPF 15 lotion or higher. Just because you aren't spending as much time outdoors doesn't mean you're safe from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays. 2) Wash skin gently. Use warm water and avoid long, hot showers; strong soaps and irritating additives in skin creams. 3) Moisturize regularly to replace moisture lost through the winter elements and to add valuable nutrients to your skin. 4) If you smoke, quit. It accelerates the aging of skin.
Methodology: Results from the 2008 "Life...supplemented" HCP Impact Study went public in November 2008 and comprise three separate surveys - 300 cardiologists, 300 dermatologists and 300 orthopaedic specialists. Margins of sampling error at a 95 percent confidence level are +5.7 percentage points for each of the specialty groups of healthcare professionals surveyed (dermatologists, cardiologists and orthopaedic specialists). A nominal honorarium was given to each healthcare professional completing the survey. Ipsos Public-Affairs conducted the survey online. The first "Life...supplemented" HCP Impact Study of primary care physicians, OB/GYNs and nurses was conducted online in November 2007.
About the "Life...supplemented" HCP Impact Study: The study is part of the "Life... supplemented" consumer wellness campaign, which is dedicated to driving awareness about the mainstream use of dietary supplements as an integral part of a proactive personal wellness regimen that combines healthy diet, supplements and exercise. The study evaluates the personal attitudes and use of dietary supplements by healthcare professionals and whether their attitudes toward supplements affect their clinical behavior and recommendations to patients. The "Life...supplemented" campaign is managed by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the leading trade association for the dietary supplement industry. For more information: www.lifesupplemented.org.