Q&A with Dr. Harold Lancer
First off, do you have any dietary recommendations for healthy skin?
A healthy diet affects your skin just as much as what you use to take care of it. I’m a huge advocate of using diet as part of a solid skincare strategy. We all know that for general health, salt, caffeine, dairy, sugar, and simple carbohydrates should be kept at a minimum. Minimizing these items will have a positive effect on the overall look and feel of your skin.
Then, I recommend a high-protein diet to support essential skin repairs. Wild salmon in particular is a protein that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce inflammation and even improve brain function. When possible, avoid conventionally raised meats that often contain hormones, steroids, and antibiotics.
Next, eat more vegetables—preferably organic produce to avoid pesticides. Also, it’s important to limit your sugar intake. Sugar can contribute to acne breakouts and can even inhibit your products from working at their full potential.
Finally, keep alcohol to a minimum and drink plenty of water every day.
What about supplements – any recommendations there?
Supplements should be used to boost your skin health where you may be experiencing a nutrient deficiency or are looking to build extra strength. I take extra vitamin C for the many health benefits attributed to it, including protection from wrinkles.
As an anti-aging expert, what are the basics for maintaining radiant skin?
Anti-aging is one of those terms that’s really being redefined. I focus on ensuring that your skin is aging well. I work with my patients on strategies that will help them maintain beautiful, healthy-looking skin. Good diet and a consistent daily skincare regimen using the Lancer Method in conjunction with a high-quality sunscreen are vital to achieving vibrant, youthful-looking skin. This is laying the foundation for what I call believable beauty.
What are some things that can cause premature wrinkles to appear?
Everything from environmental pollutants and emotional stress to inconsistency in your skincare routine can play a role. One of the biggest offenders, though, is the sun. I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a high-quality sunscreen with at minimum, a broad spectrum SPF 30. It’s essential to ensure that you keep skin protected and reapply every two hours during daylight hours, even when you remain inside. My philosophy is that unless you need a flashlight, you should be wearing a sunscreen.
Are there any innovative skincare ingredients you’re excited about right now?
I’ve always been more interested in the combination of ingredients rather than focusing on just one particular ingredient. I’m excited to see a lot of protein ingredient combinations that are emerging.
Your method includes an emphasis on polishing. Why is exfoliation so important?
I consider exfoliation, or what we call polishing, to be the key to the Lancer Method. I prefer the term polish because it gives a better visual image of how removing dead skin cells is like removing the tarnish from silver. Polishing removes surface debris allowing fresh, glowing skin to shine through.
The benefit is youthful looking skin that feels smoother and immediately appears more radiant. The secret is gentle application to ensure you receive all of the benefits without rubbing your skin raw.
My unique approach is to polish as the first step in your daily regimen. Then, cleanse to wash away any excess debris ensuring you rid the skin of everything you have loosened. Finally, when the skin is completely clean, the last step is to nourish it with a products that are rich in antioxidants.
We love that your book provides product recommendations for all budgets. If people want to splurge on just one skincare product, what should it be?
I would recommend our Younger Pure Youth Serum. It’s a luxurious, high-performance serum formulated with Mimixyl™, my proprietary retinoid blend that helps resurface the skin and improve the appearance of tone and elasticity. It helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles so that the skin is radiant with a youthful vitality.
Although I recognize that some might see the higher priced products as a splurge, I have found that people who are serious about maintaining youthful looking skin understand that good skincare is an investment with great returns. By being consistent and taking care of your skin with high-quality products, you can potentially avoid a bigger investment in more costly treatments.
Some might not expect to find a whole chapter about stress in a book about skincare. Can you explain why the two are so closely related?
Stress causes a multitude of issues in the skin: eczema, hives, rosacea, psoriasis, and also has a strong connection to acne. It disturbs your body’s homeostasis and throws your hormones out of whack, making your skin more sensitive and reactive.
In general, the body’s ability to resist infection and rejuvenate is lowered by stress. This affects the skin in several ways. First, it interrupts the healing process for existing breakouts and exacerbates inflammation, creating the ideal environment for blemishes to form. Also, when you’re stressed, your body produces more cortisol, which creates free radicals. It can trigger the production of more oil in your skin, which can ultimately lead to other skin concerns.