Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Book Review: The Mind-Beauty Connection by Amy Wechsler, MD January 27, 2010


The first thing I would like to say about this book is – I loved it!  If you are at all interested in the connection between your skin and everything else that is going on in your life – stress, lifestyle choices, etc. – this is the book for you.  If you are wondering how to set-up a skincare regime that you can integrate with a healthy lifestyle (a healthy physical and emotional lifestyle) this is the book for you.

Dr. Wechsler is both a dermatologist and a psychiatrist (according to her she is one of only two such people in the country.  I assume the other one is Richard G. Fried who wrote the excellent book Healing Adult Acne), and her dual choice of professions certainly shines through in this book.  I loved that this book wasn’t simply about skincare or how the skin functions but instead addresses the effects of stress and lifestyle on your skin and overall health and happiness.  Simply put – Wechsler wants her reader to feel good about themselves and their healthy skin will follow.

As already mentioned Wechsler is a psychiatrist so her book is pretty interactive; she wants her reader to really give their skincare routine and issues some thought.  As such the book begins with a questionnaire so that the reader can determine how they really feel about their skin.  But the book isn’t all questions, plenty of answers are provided as well.  The book contains clear, concise advice about daily skincare routines, has good product suggestions (though as with all product suggestions don’t take Wechsler’s word as the final word on which products to use; take some time to do your own research on products before buying), and plenty of good tips.  I found two tips particularly helpful.   One tip is that you should have three separate towels in your bathroom – one for your face, one for your hair, and one for your body.  You don’t want products that you use on one part of your body getting to somewhere where they shouldn’t be (for instance hair products getting on your face and clogging your pores).  Another tip Wechsler gives is to moisturize your face before you body so that the lotion you use on your body doesn’t accidently clog the pores on your face.

The crux of Wechsler’s book is her 9 day program for optimal skin, body, and emotional health.  She clearly outlines her program and how each new step, on different days, will help you achieve your goal of having a happy, healthy life.  Some of the aspects of the program are spending more time outside (I thought this was a refreshing reminder how we take the outdoors for granted), seeking connections with friends and family, pampering yourself, and remembering to reflect on your week.  The great thing about this program is that it is definitely within reach.  Wechsler never asks her reader to give up too much too quickly or make unreasonable changes.  Instead she advocates for self-reflection, self-love, and relaxation.

Wechsler spends quite a bit of time in the book discussing stress and its extremely negative impact on your life and skin.  After reading that section of the book you should definitely be motivated to give meditation at least a try for one evening.  The book includes clear advice about aging and anti-aging products.  Once again, Wechsler asks her reader to fill out a questionnaire about how they really feel about aging in order to help them determine the best course of action to take in order to either slow down that process as much as possible or embrace what is happening to your body.  As in most books about skincare this book also includes chapters about skin disorders such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, rocasea, and cold sores.  There are also chapters about sun protection and skin cancer.  The back of the book has a chart that lists skin issues and which treatments are available to treat them.  I especially liked the information contained in appendix A which had a chart of “dos and don’ts” for your skin and life divided by age.

All in all, I highly recommend this book.  Wechsler takes a refreshing and original approach to caring for your skin.  Well worth reading.


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One Response to “Book Review: The Mind-Beauty Connection by Amy Wechsler, MD”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    Very interesting. Great review. Even though I barely can be bothered to wash my face every day, it inspired me to maybe try her suggestions.

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