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dr. chen provided commentary to totalbeauty.com
Health & Beauty
by NICOLA BRIDGES, August 9, 2017
After Losing My Son, These Products Helped Me Get Back to My Former Self
From injuries, surgery and health conditions to emotional stress and tragedy, trauma can seriously age us. Here's how to get your glow going again.
After my son died suddenly two years ago, I've been on a healing journey. I don't remember much from that time. But when I look at photos, I literally look 25 years older. Trauma of any kind takes a drastic toll on how we look as well as how we feel, and can immediately age us overnight. You eventually start to look at the older woman in your reflection and want to get you back.
"After any trauma, the quality of your skin, hair, nails, and eyes suffer," says Dr. Constance Chen, Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. "They thin and become dry and brittle, and your eyes become sunken because your body diverts fluid and the energy used regenerating cells to your trauma site," including your brain, emotions and mental wellbeing. "Your body is essentially in triage mode."
Jamie Palmer, BSN, RN, heads up research and development for Osmosis -- a medical and science-based skincare and wellness line founded by Dr. Ben Johnson, who opened one of the first medi-spa chains in the U.S. "Traumatic stress, both physical and emotional, affects your DNA," Palmer explains. "The amount of collagen you produce decreases, you lose some of the adipose tissue in the skin that helps with fullness, and you generally look lackluster."
Both Palmer and Chen underscore the importance of internal wellness to help your body recover. Zinc, vitamins A and C, and eating plenty of iron (found in liver and green leafy vegetables) are essential to replenish blood cells. Chens says "staying hydrated is also critical, because trauma causes capillaries to become leaky, causing swelling and puffiness. So you need to drink plenty of fluids to make up for the loss."
Palmer agrees. "You can use all the products in the world, but they won't help if you don't nourish yourself on the inside."
With that in mind, while my eyes will always be the window to my heartache and sadness, these seven products and a special massage therapy have had Benjamin Button like results, helping me get back to beautiful and closer to my pre-trauma self again.