Dermatologist Nicholas Perricone on Summer Super Foods,
How to Get Dewy Skin in Three Days,
and The Hamptons Beauty Salad
An award-winning, board certified dermatologist and the author of three best-selling books on skin care, Nicholas Perricone is an advocate of “beauty from the inside out”. I recently caught up with the innovator about the future of skincare, how to stock the anti-aging kitchen, and where to watch a sunset that will make you fall in love. Highlights from our chat:
When it comes to skincare and anti-aging, what should we take advantage of during the summer months?
We have access to a lot of fresh produce and my philosophy is beauty from the inside out. When you have a diet that is rich in a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables those are called phytonutrients. They give you photo-protection from the sun and give you natural radiance and reduce the inflammation that causes the skin to age.
Any tips for stocking the anti-aging kitchen while shopping at local farm stands?
To make it very simple, I call it, “What’s your color IQ?” The more diverse colors in the foods you are getting then the more diverse the anti-oxidants and phytonutrients. So the mixed berries — the blues the reds, and the purples. The vegetables — the dark greens, the yellows and the purples like eggplants. All those mixtures are phenomenal.
You are famous for your concept of Superfoods. What are some of the Summer Superfoods?
Fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Locally grown vegetables are amazing. I’m very high on Kale. It has such a high content of phytonutrients. Watermelon and cantaloupe are also great sources of phytonutrients and vitamins and minerals.
Do you have any secrets to obtaining knockout skin for a special event? How can we get that dewy skin we see on the red carpet?
We have what we call the Three-Day Facelift. You can get this off my web site. It’s a simple one pager. You have basically two meals a day of fresh salmon and green salad. The morning you can have a choice of eggs and fresh berries. Try and do tea instead of coffee. Eight glasses of mineral water a day. Stay away from the starches. We did it on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and Oprah, and they’re always blown away by the difference.
Which of your products are most popular with celebrities?
A very popular one used by celebrities is the Vitamin C 15. Used at bedtime, it really pulls and firms the skin. The next morning, we use something called Serum Prep. Then we used Cold Plasma over the Serum Prep. And then the next step is using our Vitamin C. That gives incredible radiance. And their really big thing is the Blue Plasma. It’s an overnight exfoliator you don’t have to take off and it gives your skin a feeling and look of absolute beautiful texture.
What are your tips for taking care of the skin during the summer months?
Before we go into the sun, we use sunscreen and I also recommend taking certain supplements. I recommend a Vitamin B supplement before and after we go in the sun. Then also a supplement called Astaxanthin. That is really photo-protective and very good for the skin. And I also suggest Alpha Lipoic Acid. Then what I strongly recommend after sun exposure I call the “Post Sun Rescue.” It’s our Vitamin C 15. It cuts down free radicals, inflammation, and at the same time provides plenty of Vitamin C for production of collagen and elastin to repair the damage that was caused from sun exposure.
What role should exercise play in one’s anti-aging and beauty regime?
Twenty to thirty minutes of exercise is adequate to stay very beautiful while eating a moderate diet, and also getting a moderate amount of sleep.
In the Hamptons, we have some amazing vineyards. Any wines that you think are good for our health?
I go for red wine with a really dark purple color because you know you are getting a lot of phytonutrients in there and then it’s also supposed to contain resveratrol, which is a substance that seems to slow the anti-aging process down. For white wines, I don’t think there are as much nutrients in them, but they do have a lot of good qualities so one or two glasses with dinner is fine.
How do you think good skincare affects your mood and spirit?
When you have beautiful radiant skin, your mood is also elevated and then that’s reinforced because you love the way you look. It’s all synergistic.
There’s a lot of attention on looking and feeling young in our society, but what do you think are some of the good parts about getting older?
Your brainwaves are more stable and you’re not that much affected by stimuli. You can actually follow your path a lot more efficiently as you get older. And of course you gain more experience and more knowledge. Also, as you get older, the immune system matures and you have more resistance to colds. And finally, we are making some major breakthroughs right now in prolonging the youthful aspects so we have a body and a mind that works for us.
Any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
You really have to find out what your real passion and love is in life and then if you pursue that in terms of an entrepreneur you’re doing something that you love. Don’t be discouraged because the naysayers are about ten to one on the people that are going to encourage you. I call the naysayers the noise. You have to ignore the noise and keep your eye on the goal.
Is there anything about the way your parents raised you that encouraged your innovative mind?
When I was four or five I remember being in the basement of our home working with my dad who’d be doing science experiments of his own even though he had a simple construction job. But he was very inquisitive and had a lot of books around on chemistry and physics. That gave me my love of science and my curiosity. And my mom was a huge reader devouring a novel a week even though she had to take care of five children and so I had a love of reading. Also, feeling independent because my parents never overshadowed me. They always let me do my thing.
Do you keep anything around your house to inspire you?
What really inspired me is this scientist who worked in New York City at the turn of the century. His name was Nichola Tesla. I think about Tesla everyday because when I sit up in my office and see a Tesla book sitting there, it’s inspiring. I always had this thought. What if one person didn’t do something? It would’ve been discovered by the rest of mankind — but that’s just not true. They still don’t understand a lot of Tesla’s technology. It gives me the inspiration that one man can really make a difference. And that if I didn’t do it, it would never get done, and that really pushes me.
What do we have to look forward to from your line?
We know now that we can take common things that are just like nutrients rather than chemicals and apply it to the skin and really make a difference in terms of its structure and function. I just finished up a study on a new product coming out in August. We had a tremendous performance that would easily equal prescription medications that doctor for wrinkles.
Is there a summer recipe you would want to create for for us in the Hamptons?
The Hamptons Beauty Salad
– Pick the freshest greens we can find grown right here in the Hamptons.
– Take a fresh watermelon and cube it and put it right in the salad.
– Add some lemon and olive oil and just a little bit of vinegar.
– Toss that and if you like, throw a piece of fresh grilled fish on top of the salad.
When you are not working, where is one place on your bucket list to watch a sunset?
They say the sunsets on Santorini, the Greek island, are incredible. I have a friend who works at Milos and we go there all the time. He’s from Santorini. They say that be careful who you take to Santorini with you because if you have a week of Santorini sunsets you will fall in love and that will be the person you will be with.