Skin Care Excerpt: 'You: Being Beautiful'

Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen double team the problem of aging skin.

ByABC News via logo
December 2, 2008, 9:32 AM

Dec. 2, 2008 — -- "It's not the shape of your eyes or the width of your nose that defines beauty," Dr. Mehmet Oz told "Good Morning America" today. "It's the texture of the skin."

After Oz shared the secrets to beautiful hair last month, he returned to "Good Morning America" today, along with colleague Dr. Michael Roizen, to share some tips on how to determine the age of your skin and reverse the aging process.

One way to check the age of your skin, Oz said, is to take the simple Scotch tape test.

To do this, put 1½-inch piece of tape above the eyes and above the lip.

"You look at it. If it's got no flakiness or no lines, it's skin of a 30-year-old," Oz explained. "Lines and flakiness, the skin of a 50-year-old."

The good news, Oz said, is that aging can be reversed. Check out an excerpt of Oz and Roizen's book, "You: Being Beautiful" below.

Your skin can do more than get you arrested. -It's able to do many things—some good and some -we'd rather live without.It Sweats: In a way, our skin acts as our third kidney, detoxifying our bodies. When we exert ourselves, not only do we sweat to cool our bodies, we also increase blood flow, which releases toxins. Though it may not be so great on silk blouses and stair climbers, sweating is something you need to do regularly—not just because of the cardiovascular and fat--frying benefits of exercise, but also because of its body--cleansing function.

It Tans and Burns: Exposure to sun causes an immediate release of stored melanin and stimulates the cells designed to protect you from too much sun, the melanocytes, to produce a protective pigment, melanin. But that process takes several days, by which time you have left the beach with Santa--suit--colored flesh. The sun, unbuffered by melanin, is your -skin's cancer--causing deep fryer.

It Wrinkles: We all know that wrinkles generally -don't look all that good—not in dress shirts and not on your skin. In fact, one main indicator of body aging is wrinkles, especially vertical lines above the lips and between the eyes (each of these stereotypically means different things; cigarette smoking and inflammation in your blood vessels cause lip wrinkles, while vertical lines between eyes reflect stress). How do we get wrinkles? In a couple of ways, actually. Since skin is attached to the muscle beneath it, your skin creases when your muscles move. Over time, that creates a well--worn groove. -It's actually like a stress fracture—the repeated bending of skin over the underlying muscle creates inflammation and the collagen gets squeezed together. Young skin stretches and recoils over the muscle, but thinned, old skin loses this ability. And, like an overbent piece of cardboard, it eventually cracks. As we get older, the connections between the skin and underlying connective tissue stretch out, which can cause sagging of the skin. When that happens, gravity pulls down, and the sagging contributes to the formation of wrinkles (see Figure 1.2).

How Skin Ages

When it comes to skin, most of us can spot the good kind a mile away. -That's because we can instantly identify all the characteristics of healthy and beautiful skin—it's well hydrated, tight and elastic, not overly oily, has clean pores, and all that. But -here's the big myth about skin—that you can stop your skin from aging. No matter what products you use or procedures you undergo, you -can't stop time from pulling, tugging, and tearing at your skin. What you can do, however, is slow it down considerably and encourage all of those things that make your skin appear and be healthier.