Biohacking Beauty

Dr. Alina Sholar is a renowned plastic surgeon based in Austin, TX, the founder of Skin Science Soul by Dr. Sholar and her much-adored Dr2Dr skincare program exclusively for physicians. Dr. Sholar is recognized nationally as an aesthetic laser expert and is frequently featured in national media outlets. After completing a full five-year general surgery residency at the University of Louisville, she went on to a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Tennessee. Her plastic surgery training included not only aesthetic surgery, but also dermatology, non-invasive and laser aesthetic treatments, reconstruction related to craniofacial surgery, microsurgery, hand surgery, burn surgery, and breast surgery. Dr. Alina Sholar is not only known for her unparalleled medical background, she also builds a true connection with her patients, with an easy girl’s-girl relatability.

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Advocates of Biohacking believe that understanding and using to our advantage human genetics and biology, then utilizing advanced technology can unlock our full potential and help us to be our best selves: fitter, smarter, better… and more beautiful. The term “Biohacking” is a new word for an old idea, the idea that what we do to our bodies can change the way we live and feel. We eat better, therefore we feel better. We can train our bodies to build muscles and we can train our brains to be better at solving problems. Biohackers think of their bodies the way we might think of other kinds of complex tools; we upload programs through exercise or lifestyle, which changes the way our bodies work for us.

How can you use the knowledge locked inside your body to get your best skin ever?

Aging may bring us benefits, such as wisdom, but it, unfortunately, takes a toll on the appearance of our skin. As we age, molecules called free radicals cause oxidative stress, which is analogous to the “rusting” of our cells. To make matters worse, our ability to protect our cells against this oxidative stress decreases as we get older. The good news is that although we can’t stop the clock, we can make changes that can help us slow the aging process. Biohacking allows us to age more gracefully by using technology and science to manipulate and prepare our bodies to adapt to our rapidly-changing environments such as aging, pollution, genetics, and stress.

Your own DNA may have more of an impact on your skin than any product available on shelves. One study found that, of our 25,000 or so different genes, around 1,500 of those genes impact our skin health. They also determined there are eight major ways our skin ages, and each of these groups is controlled by its own group of genes. In fact, there are around 200 genes that affect the biochemistry of how the skin defends against the free radicals which can age skin. Aging can weaken our skin’s ability to repair itself when damage does occur, but Biohacking by eating antioxidant-rich foods, like berries and green tea, can help our bodies defend against free radicals better. Likewise, when we consistently topically apply growth factors, antioxidant complexes and retinoids as ingredients in our daily skincare products, we epigenetically (meaning it influences gene expression) alter how our cells function, optimizing the progression of aging, and thereby slowing it down.

Everything from stretch marks and cellulite to discoloration and skin sagging are related to our genetic makeup. This explains why some people start seeing wrinkles, acne, and skin discoloration in their 20s while others may not experience skin troubles until later in life.

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How do you get started using Biohacking for beauty?

If your genetic makeup can impact how quickly or slowly you wrinkle or your skin ages, it only makes sense that there are also several skin disorders that are genetic. There are a few skin disorders that are nearly entirely caused by inherited factors, including albinism, epidermolysis bullosa, ichthyosis, and neurofibromatosis. Many skin disorders are caused by a combination of genetics and the environment, such as skin cancer.

While a family history of skin cancer can increase your risk of experiencing skin cancer, other factors include excessive sun exposure and having fair skin. With the DermaDNA Analysis found at Skin Science Soul by Dr. Sholar, we focus on 23 DNA insights that you can turn into powerful lifestyle changes and a personalized plan for how to care for your skin. You’ll discover your personalized skin genetic profile and how to proactively address your skin health through lifestyle improvements. You’ll also gain insight into which skin nutrients and topicals will benefit your skin the most and which procedures are recommended for you.

We also perform a SkinRx Comprehensive Skin Analysis, using the Dermalab Biometric Measurement System and the Observ Optical Analysis to assess your skin’s unique biochemical “thumbprint” and underlying physiology, plus anything that may be going awry. These give our skin experts a guide to curating a custom product regimen and treatments that would best benefit your skin. Combining the insights gained from the DermaDNA Analysis, the SkinRx Analysis, and healthy lifestyle changes along with a bespoke skin treatment plan, you can take the first step towards beautiful skin.

Choosing treatment devices that actively influence your skin’s function at the cellular level is even possible. You’d think something as basic as the light had no biohacking capabilities but LED light therapy indeed harnesses different wavelengths of light – red, blue, green and yellow – to penetrate the skin at different levels, promoting specific benefits. Tired, aging skin uses Red LED light to enhance mitochondrial production of energy in the form of ATP and, therefore, speeds up all cellular processes- like plugging your cell into an electric socket. LED is an easy, non-invasive way to make a difference to your skin without downtime, but it does require consistent use to notice results. Another highly-effective Biohack is Radio-Frequency (RF) Microneedling, with several studies finding that with just four treatments spaced one month apart, produces up to 400% increase in collagen and elastin six months after the treatment series completion. The foundational science of this bio-booster is that the RF energy bio-mimics cellular energy to stimulate metabolic processes in the skin. It is basically like a workout supplement for your face, able to rev up natural repair mechanisms. If your skin is looking tired, not responding well to serums or just generally needs a “boost”, give these a go.

Focusing on your personal health and wellness from both the inside and outside at a young age through Biohacking will allow you to prevent wrinkle onset and age more gracefully. While traditional medicine has taught us to seek out a healthcare professional once our body has been affected by disease or illness, deliberate observations and understandings of the human body show evidence that focusing on health, wellness and disease prevention is the more optimal way to live your life. So, instead, we emphasize that the key to better skin health is to start young, be actively involved in your own health and wellness, and be constantly aware of the newest science and technology that helps us live in the most optimal fashion.

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