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3 Ways To Minimize Dandruff

If you have an itchy scalp, it could be a sign of dandruff. Address the issue naturally – see what Dr. Weil suggests!

Dandruff - flakes of dry skin on the scalp - can be bothersome and embarrassing. Caused by eczema or seborrhea, it is often linked to climate and genetic factors, not poor grooming habits (as many people think). There are simple measures you can take to treat dandruff:

  1. Use a gentle, non-drying shampoo or a tar shampoo daily or every other day until the dandruff goes away, then only twice a week.
  2. To restore moisture to your skin and hair, supplement your diet with evening primrose oil, which provides an essential fatty acid called GLA (gamma-linolenic acid). This compound is hard to come by in the diet, and promotes the healthy growth of skin and hair. Try doses of 500 mg twice a day; after six to eight weeks, when you start to see improvement, cut the dose in half.
  3. Eat freshly ground flaxseed and find a source of fish oils in the form of sardines, wild Alaskan salmon or supplement capsules. These sources of omega-3 fatty acids should help to reduce flaking.

If your dandruff is persistent, I recommend a visit to your dermatologist to be sure that the problem is not due to an underlying scalp disease other than eczema or seborrhea, or to a skin infection.


The Importance (Really) of Beauty Sleep

Better sleep leads to better skinBetter sleep leads to better skin, especially for women as they get older, according to results of a clinical trial at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland. The opposite is also true, too: poor sleepers in this study had more signs of skin aging, the researchers reported at the May 2013 International Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland. A total of 60 pre-menopausal women ages 30 to 49 participated in the study; half of them reported poor sleep, but all the participants completed a standard questionnaire-based assessment of sleep quality. Using a skin-aging scoring system, the researchers found more signs of skin aging - fine lines, uneven pigmentation, slackening of skin and reduced elasticity - in the “poor sleep” group. But they saw no significant differences between the two groups in normal, age related skin changes including course wrinkles and sunburn freckles due to sun exposure. The researchers also reported that women who slept well recovered more quickly from sunburn while recovery in poor sleepers was “sluggish” with heightened redness lasting more than 72 hours, an indication that “inflammation is less efficiently resolved.” The good sleepers’ skin also proved 30 percent better at retaining moisture than the poor sleepers’. The study was commissioned by Estée Lauder.

Elma Baron, et al, “Effects of Sleep Quality on Skin Aging and Function,” The International Investigative Dermatology Meeting in Edinburgh, Scotland, May 8-11, 2013