Jodi Franklin of Flory and Franklin talks about non-surgical facelift options that reverse the aging process and make your skin look younger without having to resort to surgical solutions.
John Maher: Hi, I'm John Maher. I'm here today with Jodi Franklin, a certified practitioner of applied functional medicine and co-founder of Flory and Franklin, a functional medicine practice in Massachusetts, helping clients from around the world reverse their chronic health issues without medication. Welcome, Jodi.
Jodi Franklin: Thank you so much, John. Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it.
John: Sure. Jodi, today we're talking about nonsurgical facelift options for age defying beauty. What are the problems with traditional facelifts?
Jodi: Oh, where do I start, John? There's a lot of problems with traditional facelifts, and we've all seen people that don't look very normal after a facelift. That can certainly happen. Sometimes the success story is there, but for everybody out there who does a facelift, surgery is trauma. You're exposing yourself to anesthesia, which can have complications. There has been incidences where people have had strokes and heart attacks under anesthesia. If you're at any kind of risk, you definitely don't want to consider this.
A lot of people get hematomas. It's probably one of the more common issues. This is like a collection of blood under the skin and it causes some swelling and pressure. It usually occurs within maybe 24 hours of surgery. But the problem is, if you have a hematoma, you're going to have to go in for a secondary surgery to prevent damage to the skin. That's an issue. Infections are common, just like with any surgery.
Cellulitis can occur, which is bacterial skin infection, and that can lead to big problems. You would need a course of antibiotics, which can lend to problems with your gut later on, and even increased risk of autoimmune diseases.
I could go on and on. I mean, there can be nerve damage, facial nerve injury, skin discoloration, tissue death. Some people get their ears pulled a little too tight or the skin too tight where it looks like your skin is just pulled back too much. And even your ears can look like they're fused to your jawline. There's often a need for revision surgery. It's actually more common than you think.
John: Right, to fix any kind of issues that you had with the first surgery.
Jodi: Exactly, and that leads to more trauma and more issues and more risks, right?
Jodi: It's problematic and it's not necessary, in my view, for cosmetic reasons, to have this kind of surgery. Of course, surgery can be a necessary and lifesaving procedure, but this is cosmetic. There are things that you can do to reverse the aging process and make your skin look so much younger without having to resort to surgical solutions.
John: Right. So, then, the other option that a lot of people turn to is skincare or types of products that they put on their face. Anybody who's watched a lot of TV has seen all kinds of late night infomercials promising all kinds of things with skincare products to treat their wrinkles and aging skin. What are some of the problems with those types of products?
Jodi: Oh, great question. First of all, most skincare products, even the ones that you buy in the dermatologist's office, the cleansers, etc., can strip your skin of its natural microbiome. A lot of people don't realize that your skin has bacteria, much like your gut lining, your microbiome, and you actually need these bacteria for anti-aging purposes and not to strip your skin and leave it vulnerable. Just about everything you buy on the shelf in a store is going to strip your skin's microbiome. That's a problem.
And usually because of the preservatives, some of the products do add prebiotics and probiotics, but then they have ingredients like preservatives that actually kill off the prebiotics and probiotics. It makes it be ineffective. You have to watch out for that and you really want to do things that are going to not harm your skin's microbiome, but add moisture and help nurture that microbiome. One of the big issues that people don't realize is that whatever you put on your skin actually gets...most everything gets into your bloodstream.
Your skin is like a giant mouth and so many people don't realize this. They'll just put makeup on, and they'll put all kinds of toxic ingredients from soaps to shampoos and everything else on their skin. It doesn't have the benefit of...let's say, if you ate something toxic and it went into your digestive system and your liver, your liver's job, if it's working properly, is to filter out many of these contaminants. With your skin, it goes right into your bloodstream, sometimes in as little as 26 seconds, when you put something on your skin.
If you're putting an anti-aging lotion on your skin and it has an ingredient, I'll go through some of those ingredients to look out for, but if it has one of those toxic ingredients, you're putting yourself at risk. And some of these risks include cancer. There are immunotoxins in these products, which are confusing to your immune system and can lead to autoimmune diseases, which are more and more prevalent these days. It even can contribute to ADHD and autism.
Many of these ingredients have estrogen mimickers; they're called or xenoestrogens, which actually fit into estrogen receptors in your cells. It mimics estrogen and it makes your body estrogen dominant. You have all these women who have hot flashes from fluctuating estrogen levels, and people who have estrogen mediated cancers.
And even a lot of men will have issues like gynecomastia. They'll wind up with man breasts because of these xenoestrogens. And when we go to test estrogen, it actually doesn't even show up on an estrogen test. People will say, "Well, you don't have too much estrogen," but you're having all these symptoms like PCOS and infertility and all these issues when all it is, is that you have an excess of xenoestrogen. This is really problematic, and the rate of breast cancer and ovarian cancer and uterine cancer, all these things are on the rise. Uterine isn't as much; it's more ovarian that is mediated by hormones. You're seeing an increase in these cancers, and part of it is because of these products.
We have to look out for ingredients like something says fragrance or “parfum” on it. People think, oh, it's fragrance. There's nothing wrong with putting fragrance in a product. But fragrance is a trade secret. And in the old days, fragrance would be like somebody doing their proprietary lavender oil and things like that. But nowadays, it's a loophole in the industry so that companies can put all kinds of toxic ingredients in and call it fragrance, and they can just say it's proprietary.
The biggest offender under the headline of fragrance is phthalates, and phthalates are just one of the many chemicals legally hidden in the ingredient “fragrance”. They're linked with birth defects, breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, autism, and ADHD. All those things are because of what's in fragrance. And even if the product says "natural fragrance," there's no regulation on “natural”, so they can write natural fragrance and you can think, “oh, this product’s safe”. Even if you buy it at Whole Foods, it's not safe.
If it's on the shelf in there, it has to have some kind of preservative system to keep it having a lot of shelf life. This is a problem. Another problem with ingredients is parabens. Parabens are actually endocrine disruptors and studies have linked these to, like I said before, breast cancer, allergic reactions, skin rashes. It's in a lot of different products that we're using. It even blocks the effectiveness of cancer drugs like Tamoxifen. We have to be super careful about using products that have parabens.
The other thing is petrolatum. That's in a lot of products and it can be contaminated with carcinogens. Retinyl palmitate is a big... a lot of companies use this in their skincare products saying it's great for wrinkles. Well, guess what? In the presence of sunlight, retinyl palmitate enhances the skin cancer lesions, not by a little bit, but by over 20%.
Jodi: You have to be careful with using these ingredients. Anything also with the ending ETH can carry carcinogenic contamination. It's 1,4-dioxane, which is a known carcinogen. Things like ceteareth, and triceteareth, those ingredients are common in some of these products. You also want to watch out for PEGs, which are polyethylene glycols, and these are petroleum products and they contain carcinogens and that can affect the liver and kidneys.
Glycol, which is a synthetic petrochemical mix which can cause allergic reactions and toxin reactions, and it's linked to cancer and developmental and reproductive issues, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, liver and kidney damage. Now, glycols and all these other products, if you think about a pregnant woman using these products, there are actually 260 harmful chemicals found in umbilical cord blood. Pregnant women using these age-defying lotions and things like that and skincare products can actually be harming their babies.
This is one of the reasons why we're seeing so many birth defects and increase in autism. There's actually been over 750% increase in autism since the early '90s. I'm not saying this is everything that's causing it, but it's definitely a contributing factor. There's other things causing this, but we have to look at all this.
Finally, I just want to mention mineral oil, which is a common ingredient that coats your skin almost like a plastic wrap. It's derived from petroleum. That can be contaminated with cancer causing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs.
This aggravates acne and negatively impact skin function and that can cause premature aging. You're using a product that's supposed to help your aging and it can actually cause more premature aging than ever.
Jodi: It just disrupts your skin's natural immune barrier, and it's a big toxicity issue. All these things are really important to look at. You don't have to be an expert in this, but you should look at these ingredients and understand that if you go to the ewg.org site, the Skin Deep site, you could actually look up some of the products that you have and see some of the problems. Don't just look at the overall score, but scroll down and see what ingredients are in there.
There are some companies that are paying to become EWG certified, so you have to look at the fine print down below, because it may rank only a one or two in terms of toxicity out of 10. And then you scroll down, you see that there are some seven and eights in there in terms of ingredients. Just be careful with what you look for there, but yeah, those are the problems.
John: Right. Absolutely. If I don't want to go under the knife and have a traditional facelift, and I really am trying to be careful about using these types of skincare products that might have carcinogens in them and things like that, what options are left for people who don't want to have surgery or use these products, but still want to have a dramatic result and look as young as they can?
Jodi: Well, first of all, John, food choices really matter in a huge way and people don't realize that... I remember back in the maybe '90s, or even before that, there became this craze to take the fat out of food and fat was the enemy and fat was causing heart disease. Food became more a matter of eating things like SnackWell's which had no fat, but lots and lots of sugar. Actually sugar is so damaging, not only for the skin, but for the cardiovascular system and it leads to all kinds of problems. It leads to oxidative damage, and it can lead to wrinkling.
So that's one of the first things that we do is to work with people on reducing the amount of sugar that they're taking into their diet and hidden sources of sugar as well. We do it in a way that's manageable and makes it easy and fun. We come up with some really good substitutes that are natural and delicious so that people find it easy to stick with our program.
What the program I'm mentioning is we actually have a program called the 30 Day Nonsurgical Facelift, and this is a 30 day program that we are introducing that will give you everything you need to have dramatic results within a month.
We're going to be going through these food choices, but something else that I recommend for people who do not want to have surgery and want to have young, supple looking skin, is there are very targeted supplements that we use that are kind of medical grade supplements that really, really enhance the elasticity and firmness of their skin so it will look much more supple and youthful. Just either one of those alone could help a lot, but the combination of the two together really, really helps people look different.
I've seen this in my own clients time and time again, that we start working together and their skin just looks better and better as we're going. The third piece of this that I recommend is the right skincare, and I actually recommend a skincare line that has prebiotics and probiotics and nothing artificial or toxic to kill off those prebiotics and probiotics. It just nurtures the natural microbiome of your skin. It's a five-piece system, plus I like to add some hyaluronic acid, which that's a great ingredient.
Most hyaluronic acids are only 1% and they have harmful carriers in them and preservatives. This line has a 3% hyaluronic acid, and it has no artificial or harmful toxic ingredients in it. What hyaluronic acid does is it plumps up your skin and we call it spanks for the face. It's really very effective at making your skin look supple and young. We add that in and also a beauty booster. This system works amazingly well. As a matter of fact, most of my clients find changes in their skin within three days, let alone 30 days.
They've taken before and after pictures, and I'll try to put some in the notes that you can see the changes in just three days in your skin. We do this program where we incorporate all three, the food choices, the supplements, and the right skincare. I didn't even mention in the food choices, we also incorporate foods that are really good for nurturing your skin and the best food choices to take out the wrinkles and make your skin look young and supple. It's just amazing the differences that we see within 30 days without any surgery.
John: And with the food choices, you're reducing some things like your sugar intake and things like that, like you said, but then you're also adding in some other good healthy choices that are meant to help your skin.
Jodi: Absolutely. Vitamins, nutrients, minerals that your skin thrives on that we're just not getting enough from our diet necessarily nowadays. Things to look out for are things that age your skin versus things that make your skin more youthful. Food is really medicine and it's medicine for your skin. I actually have the blessing of having had an autoimmune disease that I struggled with for 20 years. And having figured out how to reverse that dynamic, I learned to really help my skin. I feel like my skin looks much, much younger than it has in years.
The combination of the supplements and the right skincare and the food choices I had to clean things up to feel better, but the side effect was my skin looked so much younger and so much better than it has in years. I feel like in my mid to late fifties, I look better than I did in my early forties.
John: Now, you're calling this the 30 Day Nonsurgical Facelift, and you said that some people can actually see results even within a few days. But what are the typical results in that 30 day timeframe, or does it take some people a little bit longer?
Jodi: Well, generally before the program starts, we're going to get you ready to start right on day one. We would meet before that so that you know exactly what you need to do and get prepared to start the challenge for 30 days. We'll have all the supplements in hand and the skincare in hand, and we'll start right on day one. People will probably notice changes, like I said, sometimes within three days, sometimes within a week, sometimes within a couple of weeks. But people should notice that their skin looks much more youthful, more plump.
Some of the lines may start to disappear. Some of the dark spots, some of the melasma where you see these dark aging spots on your skin should start to lighten up as well. And sometimes that takes a little longer using the skincare. It might take sometimes six months to see a difference with the products that we're using.
But generally, I have seen results pretty quickly with the skincare and people noticing their skin evening out more, and some people even saying that they don't have to wear makeup anymore going out where they've always felt like they had to cover up and use makeup to hide their spots. I've seen dramatic changes, and the 30 days is just a start. People when they see the results, they want to continue with the regimen because they feel better. They look better. They have more energy as a side effect of this program.
Jodi: It's really just a start. The good news is, is that other things in their health improved. When we improve the anti-aging of our skin, we're also improving the health of our brain and our organs and everything, our digestion. Everything starts to work better and people start to feel better. It's like some bonus extras that you get in the program of feeling wonderful, and more energetic, and more youthful, and your skin will radiate, so you'll feel so much better.
John: What role does water play in terms of your water intake throughout the day and how much water you're drinking? Is that part of the program at all?
Jodi: Absolutely. Great question. So many people go around dehydrated. They don't realize that that they're thirsty, and especially first thing in the morning. And that's part of the program is we do talk about water. But not just drinking the water out of your tap, because unfortunately the water quality has gone down with the industrial chemicals that make its way into our water supply. There are certain filters that we recommend.
And one of the ingredients that is really toxic that gets into our water supply is fluoride. It not only gets into the water supply, but it's added with the hope of preventing cavities. The research has just shown that that fluoride is really a neurotoxin, and it's not really necessary. There are countries that don't add fluoride to their water and their teeth are much better than the teeth in the municipalities that use fluoride. There's definitely better things you can do, and you have to look out for PFAS, which are a carcinogen. It's finding its way into a lot of water supplies these days when they're testing it.
We have to look at all that and find the best filtration system that is affordable for my people, so we definitely make recommendations on that, but we definitely do talk about hydration. And one of the problems with hydration is that just drinking water doesn't necessarily mean it's getting into your cells. You know those people that drink all day and it feels like they're always thirsty, and it's because they may not have adequate co-factors that can incorporate the hydration into their cells like the certain minerals that really aid in that process.
Those are things that we add into the supplement regimen that we do in this program. People will notice changes in their hydration. They'll feel more hydrated, which is actually super important to prevent heart attacks and strokes. The most common time people have heart attacks and strokes is first thing in the morning when they wake up and they haven't had anything to drink in eight or 10 hours. They are dehydrated and that can be a contributing factor. These are all things that we talk about in the program.
John: Is a natural facelift like this permanent, or what kind of maintenance is involved? Is this really more of a real lifestyle change?
Jodi: It is a lifestyle change. But like I said before, people will feel more energy. They feel better. They look better. They're not going to want to stop. Can you go and have weekends where you have fun and kick back a little bit on the food choices? Absolutely. I mean, we want you to have fun and bring joy into your life. That's part of not getting wrinkles, is not having a lot of stress. Stress control is another thing we're going to be discussing in the program, and helping people to manage that.
Stress can actually age your skin and age your whole body, and it's a big contributor for disease. This is all part of the lifestyle. The maintenance involved is definitely continuing to use the skincare and using the supplements for maintenance and the food choices and all the other lifestyle factors that we're putting into the program. But just not having to do it as strictly as we do the first 30 days so they can really see results, but just to maintain the results and look the best they possibly can for their age without having to go under the knife.
John: All right. Well, that's really great information, Jodi. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Jodi: Thanks so much, John. I really appreciate it.
John: And for more information about functional medicine and nonsurgical facelift options, visit the website at floryandfranklin.com.