Not many people are privy to the origins of good skincare products. In fact most people would probably be surprised to learn that some of the best skincare practices come from Korea, but it is true!

Recently Marie Claire did an article featuring skincare methods from Korea, which discusses some of the best products and procedures in skincare. In it, the article consults with many skincare gurus including myself, to discuss what actually works best for our skin. Generally the consensus is to ditch the “peel” route and go for the more nurturing route when it comes to taking years off your skin.

According to the article, popular treatments in Korea include laser treatment, stem cell media skincare, and skin-plumping masks, the latter of which you can get a hold of here in the United States under my brand name Purigenex. It is the only medical-grade collagen sold in the states and comes straight from the labs in Korea.

Skincare expert Mary Schook from New York considers Purigenex “one of the industry’s greatest breakthroughs” because it is the “only topical medical-grade collagen sold in the United States.”  Schook also swears by a few others, including a Blemish Balm Cream that gets rid of zits, protects skin from the sun, and acts as an anti-aging moisturizer all in one. The best part about all of the products mentioned in the article is that they are safer and less scary than getting injections or peels.

If you do not already have a subscription to Marie Claire, be sure to stop by your local grocery or bookstore to pick up the May issue for all of the details!




Wrinkles can sometimes feel like the bane of our existence. In today’s youth driven world, wrinkles are considered the biggest downside of getting older. Since we cannot avoid getting wrinkles, as they are a natural part of aging, there are a couple of things we can do to slow their arrival.

When we are young, our skin cells have the ability to regenerate new cells after the old ones die off. This replenishment process begins to slow with each passing decade starting after your twenties, meaning your skin becomes less plump and loses much of its elasticity as the years pass.

The biggest factors that cause early onset wrinkles are too much exposure to the sun and cigarettes, among many things. Too much time spent in the sun can especially cause dryness, skin growths (liver spots), and sagginess. Other common causes of wrinkles are heredity, wearing clothing that exposes your neck, arms, and hands to the sun, or recreational activities like golfing, sailing, or fishing.

The best things we can do to prevent wrinkles then, seem fairly obvious: do not smoke, and do not stay in the sun for too long. However, if you are past the point of being able to prevent wrinkles, my Purglo line’s Advanced Dermal Repair is a wonderful anti-aging treatment with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants clinically proven to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. Also, if spending time outdoors is hard to give up, which it definitely can be, then make sure to cover up with the Element Protection Stick every time you go out. The more proactive you are, the less likely you are to develop wrinkles earlier, and the less severe they will be!



We all know which products which products work and which don’t when it comes to doing our hair. However, whether you wear your hair straight, curly, or both, most of the hair products we use on a daily basis can be potentially harmful. The truth is, personal care products are not regulated closely by the FDA, so shampoos, gels, mousses, and hair spray may contain toxic ingredients that can be destructive to our body.


What we would normally think are normal additives in the ingredients listed on hair care products may cause some serious side effects over time. Fragrances, color pigments, and oils can contain cancer-causing properties and with continued use may cause symptoms like headaches, allergies, hyperactivity, chronic fatigue, learning disabilities, and depression. Many shampoos for instance contain the chemical Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or Sodium Laureth Sulfate, which is what causes shampoo to lather and foam. This chemical however, can have an adverse effect on your immune system, and even cause the skin to inflame.


A quick Google search will give you a few natural substitutes for hair care, but in the past I have used are Aubrey Organics, a hair care line that has been around for many years and was the first to be certified as an organic processor by Quality Assurance International. All of their ingredients contain healthy oils and extracts that are all-natural.


Another product you can try is Alba Botanica, which has all Hawaiian based products enriched with botanical oils and plant proteins. Their line includes shampoo, conditioner, and styling products like hair spray, which is pretty decent, and styling gel. Try experimenting with a few different products to see which work best for your hair.  Most are not as expensive as regular hair products, and are much less harmful to your body and skin!





Many people see hand sanitizers as the cornerstone of disease prevention. They have been used by some as an adjunct to hand washing, and religiously by others. While hand sanitizer brands like Purell have enjoyed booming sales during the flu season however, a study at Columbia University showed that after giving inner city families free antibacterial soap, detergent, and other cleaning supplies for a period of time, the families showed no reduction in respiratory illness.


Hand sanitizers work by depleting the top layer of oil on the skin. Instead of eradicating all bad bacteria though, it prevents some good bacteria already present in our skin from surfacing. After continued use, whatever bad bacteria the sanitizer does eliminate will start to mutate and eventually become immune to antibacterial agents. This means the bad bacteria on the hand can even increase!


For these reasons, I always suggest cleaning your hands the old fashioned way with soap and water. It is the best way to prevent the transmission of disease. Hand sanitizers are full of alcohol and can cause bacteria to build up a resistance to antibiotics, which is not healthy. Also, because it is riddled with chemicals, it even has the potential to age the skin quicker.  Sure those compact hand sanitizers are easy to carry around, but I would not recommend sacrificing good health for convenience!








Nail polish is the perfect way to accentuate any stylish ensemble. Like perfumes and make up however, the products we use to accessorize can be riddled with chemicals we often overlook. Caution should always be used when selecting the appropriate bodily embellishments, which is why I suggest going the all-natural, non-toxic route when it comes to selecting nail polish.

Chemicals like acetone, formaldehyde, xylene, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene are common elements found in most nail polishes, and can be harmful to your health when worn on a frequent basis. Since nail polish is such a lovely way to stylize however, it would be a shame to stop wearing it altogether. Luckily, there are now many water-based, organic, odorless, and hypoallergenic nail polishes out there to choose from, like Lovin’ Lilac and Fancy Polish, a great natural nail polish designed for kids but can be worn by anyone. Fancy Polish is especially good for women who are pregnant, since it is acetone-free!

I would also recommend looking into all-natural nail polish removers as well. There is a great non-toxic polish remover called Karma Organic, which was featured in the October 2009 issue of Oprah’s magazine. The remover is made from corn and soy, smells like lavender and tea tree, and does not leave the nail looking rough and stripped. You will find a variety of lovely colors of nail polish on their website too!

So if you are still a big fan of getting manicures and pedicures at your favorite salon, I recommend bringing your own nail polish, remover and tools to beautify yourself, naturally!




About 20% of the world lives with nail fungus, a microorganism that starts out beneath the nail and continues to grow with reckless abandon. While it may not be attractive looking, it is certainly treatable with time and effort.

Toenail fungus is very common and lives in places that are wet and warm, like communal showers and locker rooms.  The most troubling thing about the disease is the time it takes for the affected person to notice. Typically toe nail fungus will not cause alarm in the person it affects until it has covered the entire nail. The nail looks dry, flakey or thicker and it can be brown, yellow or even black in color. The fungus will infect the nail bed and can take over the skin around the nail. At this point you will need to be patient and take care of your nail diligently to eradicate it completely.

The best way to avoid contracting toe nail fungus is to steer clear of showering in public places without something to cover your feet, like flip flops. Also, always make sure to keep your feet dry, as moisture will breed the fungus.  One of the more popular places to contract toe nail fungus is nail salons, which can be very unsanitary places. Sharing foot tubs and nail tools is an easy way to catch the fungus, so if you like getting pedicures regularly, I suggest bringing your own tools! I personally picked up a bacterial skin infection from a very reputable salon five years ago and I have been completely au natural since- no more pedicures or manicures!

Treating toenail fungus requires patience and you need to use both a topical and an oral agent. Keep your nail short and wash your feet every day with probiotic soap after exercise or work. In the evening I suggest using a hair dryer to completely dry up the nail.  Also, I recommend a tea tree oil application for topical use after every shower and before bedtime. Olive leaf extract or castor bean oil extract SF722 by Thorne Research can be orally taken for a short duration.

A good home remedy also is to soak your feet in a little tub with ½ cup of baking soda for 20 minutes daily. Depending on how long you had the nail condition, it may take 3 months to a year to eliminate the toenail fungus completely and have a fresh new beautiful nail! It can be done!


Dandruff is commonly associated with dry scalp because it appears on the head in small, white flakes.  Pityriasis capitis, the medical name for dandruff, is caused by dead skin cells on the head that shed in order for new skin cells to renew themselves. When dandruff appears, it is because a greater number of dead skin cells are being shed, usually in large clumps that can be seen by the eye.

Common stipulations about what causes dandruff arise from products that usually dry out the skin like shampoos and soaps. Because some people believe their shampoo is the source of the problem, many dandruff sufferers only wash their hair every other day, rather than every day. This is not the answer!

Many of my patients have dandruff and have difficulty clearing it up even if they shampoo with over the counter dandrff shampoo such as Head and Shoulders. Testing the patient usually indicates that the dandruff is commonly caused by a fungal infection on the scalp called Malassezia. Malassezia is a fungus that can be found on the scalps of many healthy adults, and normally does not pose a problem. However sometimes it can grow out of control and feed on the oils in hair, causing more skin cells to grow, and eventually more skin cells to shed. For example, when you do not shampoo every day the hair becomes oily giving the fungus something to feed on. As more and more skin cells grow and shed, they clump together with the oil, causing tiny flakes that appear on your shoulders and neck.

My remedy for dandruff is to wash your hair with tea tree oil shampoo every day, which is a very effective fungal antiseptic. At night, soak your scalp with coconut oil, sleep on it with a towel over your pillow, and wash it out in the morning with the tea tree oil shampoo. If you do this regularly, within a week your skin on your scalp will be cleaner and less flaky. Also be sure to get in plenty of omega-3’s, which can be found in fish and flax oil. Omega-3 oils are very effective in treating dry scalp and skin!


Our bodies are naturally alert at picking up on what it is sensitive to and not. When we are allergic to something, be it a chemical, microbe, inhalant or food, our skin, sinuses, lungs and gut identifies it as an intruder, and our immune system reacts to help remove the offending agent. Allergies will sometimes sneak up on us in ways we do not expect, and the result can cause severe discomfort. While food allergies are common, it is not rare to develop cosmetic allergies too, also called contact dermatitis.

I bring up cosmetic allergies because every day millions of us apply make up without giving a second thought to its potential risks. I once wore purple eye shadow that ended up significantly irritating my eyes. They became red, watery, and inflamed. At first I thought I had pollen in my eyes but when I used kinesiology sensitivity testing for the eye shadow, it became clear to me that I was allergic to it and it was the root of all my symptoms. More specifically, it was the red dye used in my purple eye shadow but also found in pink, blue, bronze and even green eye shadows. Red dye can also be called Carmine, Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red #40, C.I. 75470, or E120.

Eye shadows can contain many other harmful ingredients including artificial chemicals, preservatives, toxic minerals, and fragrances. When applied to the eyelids, the powder can go into the eye, causing the delicate tissues to swell and tear. With continuous use your eyes will get itchy, inflamed, red and even feel pain.

Whole Foods, Co-Opportunity, Santa Monica Homeopathic Pharmacy and Pharmaca all have many different brands of natural cosmetics. Natural does not mean “clean” though, always read the label for any chemical names I mentioned above. My suggestion is to wear neutral tones that are free of the red pigment. The less toxins and chemicals you apply to your body, the healthier you will be!


Here comes the sun! The Beatles put it beautifully, and Los Angeles will now be bathed in sunshine for a while after what seemed to be a never-ending downpour. Although the sun may feel amazing right now, it is still important to exercise caution when you are exposed to it for any length of time. Not only can the sun cause skin cancer down the line, but long-term exposure may also increase the likelihood of brown age spots on the most exposed parts of your body such as face, neck, shoulders, forearms, and the backs of your hands.

Brown age spots or hyperpigmentations are caused by an increased production of melanin, a dark pigment excreted by cells called melanocytes in the skin to protect its deeper layers. Any type of sun exposure, even sitting near a window or driving in a car can stimulate melanin production. Hormone fluctuations and birth control pills can also increase more melanin production especially on the face, which is a condition called melasma.

Also called “liver spots” or “solar lentigines”, brown age spots usually develop over years of sun exposure, rather than over night. They can crop up anywhere from the size of a freckle to the size of a dime. Fairly harmless for the most part, the spots can sometimes darken, increase in size, or have irregular borders. If the spots change in size and color in a short period of time, please go to your dermatologist to have it looked at, it may indicate melanoma, a form of skin cancer that needs treatment immediately.

To prevent the appearance of hyperpigmentations, you need to start early in life and use sunscreen or sunblock such as non-toxic zinc oxide. Apply it daily on your face, chest, back of hands and anywhere else you are exposed and pretty much use it for the rest of your life. Supplements with super antioxidants such as glutathione, lipoic acid, tocotrienols and sulforaphanes will also help your skin from discoloring and aging rapidly. If you already have developed hyperpigmentation, I recommend using PurGlo Discoloration Corrective Therapy (DCT), which contains clinically proven skin healing antioxidants and the nutrient extract Rumex Occidentalis. This all-natural cosmeceutical formula is a lightening serum that is not harmful to your liver like harsher chemicals such as hydroquinone.

The best way to prevent exposure while you are in the car is to wear a hat or visor tilted to the left while driving, as the sun tends to creep in through the window and burn the left side of your face. As always, don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

BTW: You may ask then how will I get my daily dose of Vitamin D if I am all covered up with sunscreen? Your arms and legs do not discolor the same way as your face and hands, so break out the short sleeve shirts and shorts! Don’t forget to wear your hat, scarf and gloves; it is still pretty cold outside! Better yet, take a healthy dose of Vitamin D with your breakfast.


Tis the season to wear sunglasses! Although it sounds like the last thing you need to worry about this winter, UV (ultraviolet) rays from the sun can attack us from all sides during our winter activities, and it is important to shield not only our eyes but our skin too. When we spend hours in the snow without sunglasses, the glare reflected from the ground can increase your risk of developing eye diseases like cataracts. Additionally, not wearing sunglasses causes you to squint, resulting in premature crow’s feet! 

The best protection you can give your eyes comes in the form of polarized sunglasses. These protective lenses block 100% of all UV (UVA, UVB, UVC) exposure, which are the rays invisible to the eye that can cause sunburn, wrinkling of skin, cataracts and even cancer. Polarized sunglasses reduce the glare reflected off of horizontal surfaces like snow, water, and pavement, allowing you to distinguish lines and textures clearly.

By far the best polarized sunglasses on the market I have used are Maui Jim sunglasses. Maui Jim’s are polarized sunglasses that protect your eyes from glare on all sides. No matter where you look, your eyes will not be affected by direct, reflected, or bounce-back glare. They absorb 99.9% of all reflected glare and are made with three rare earth elements that enhance the color quality the eye naturally perceives. They are stylish too! I only wear Maui Jim sunglasses whenever I participate in any outdoor activity—simply the best!