The Skinny on Skincare, with Molecular Biologist Sudhir Shah

What you’re putting on your face and the rest of your body is probably full of harmful chemicals that don’t really work. Sudhir Shah is a scientist, molecular biologist, social entrepreneur, and Ayurvedic practitioner, and he’s here to tell you why you should consider all-natural skin care products.

For the skincare products that Dr Shah recommends, visit https://store.betrhealth.com/collections/om-botanicals.

Article: What Does Gut Health Have to do with Skincare?

Transcript

Dr Bill Ferro: Okay, welcome to the Quacks and Hypochondriacs podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Bill Ferro. I started my career as a chiropractor and health clubs, turned into a gut health first expert. So believe it or not, I’ve been called a “quack” a time or two in my life. On this podcast, we’re going to give you the inside scoop on the so-called quacks of the world, quackery claims, who you should and shouldn’t listen to, and why sometimes hypochondriacs have every right to be paranoid about their health. 

So with me today is my co-host, Erin O’Hearn. She is an ABC news anchor, mom of three, tequila drinker, and fitness fanatic. Erin, it’s a pretty interesting week in Philadelphia. You got, uh, COVID cases are spiking. And what do we got on top of that? A Nor’easter.

Erin O’Hearn:  A Nor’easter. So it’s like we, we have a vaccine and all of a sudden we call in the blizzard. It’s been great. Actually, it’s not as bad as they initially anticipated. They thought it was going to through this morning, 

Dr Bill Ferro: Who’s they? The people at your station? 

Erin O’Hearn: The people on my station, that, that are the only people that can do their job, right 30% of the time and still be employed. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yeah. This is the first time someone referenced the “they” when they were the they. 

Erin O’Hearn: I’m sorry, the meteorologists, the scientists. But it’s, you know, it’s pretty out. Kids went sledding. We’re going sledding again today. They have a snow day. It took me an hour to get home at 11 o’clock last night because the newscast finished late and I had like, white knuckles.

Dr Bill Ferro: Well, you are going to love today’s guest because today we’re talking to a skincare specialist, Sudhir Shah. And so if you’ve ever wondered if those expensive creams, lotions, and cosmetics might be making you fat, sick, and tired, or causing cancer, this episode will push your inner hypochondriac buttons to the brink.

Erin O’Hearn: Why would you do this to me? You know, I’m a hypochondriac and I’m going to spend the entire snow day worrying that I’m sick. 

Dr Bill Ferro: You’re going to be blowing up Amazon all day today. 

Erin O’Hearn: Mhm.

Dr Bill Ferro: Give you a cure for that as well. So, what is your skincare purchase strategy? Meaning like, are you someone that likes to go to the store, check out things, get information, or do you buy from Facebook?

Erin O’Hearn: So I do a combination of things. I usually, when I make a dermatologist appointment or, you know, those other kinds of appointments where they just give you a freshen up with some needles. I usually look at the shelf and see what they have.

And it’s funny because the way I judge it is I, I am very trusting of the doctor or the physician’s assistant or the nurse.

So I basically say, you know, “What do I need?” And the more intense it is, the better. The more it promises to do, the way the bottle looks is very important to me. Like this one, for instance, it’s called Body Beauty Lab: Sensitive and Hydrate Resurfacing Serum. Anything with “resurfacing” or “serum” or “retinol,” “repair,” or “younger” in the verbiage, I buy. 

And this one is “five times retinol.” So anything that’s over one time, I think the more, the better. I never read the ingredients, except I like seeing “retinol” and “vitamin C.” Those are the two ingredients that are attractive to me. In addition to one I found on a discount site, which I bought. And it’s called stem cell, age-defying concentrates.

I think it’s expired. And that’s why it was on sale. And I am pretty sure it is nothing but clear Elmer’s Glue because that’s what it looks like. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yeah.

Erin O’Hearn: I don’t think there’s stem cells in there. I don’t think they used a placenta to concoct the serum. I think it’s a big hoax. And I bought into it. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Well, it’s just unbelievable to me how many, uh, claims they make.

Erin O’Hearn: Yeah.

Dr Bill Ferro: So, all right. We’re going bring on Sudhir in just a minute, but before we do that, let me tell you about our quack tales, which is brought to you by our sponsor, Betr Health, B-E-T-Rhealth.com. Each week, we’re going to tell you about a historic miracle cure that turned out to be misinformation, a hoax, or a methodical “get rich quick” scheme.

So Misses O’Hearn Paone, tell us what you have for us? 

Erin O’Hearn: Okay, so I actually have a couple things. The first thing I will start with is actually pretty recent. It was a big thing in say 2015 to 2018, and it is called a “placenta facial.” And the idea behind this is that they collect the placentas from sheep or humans and they take the Stem cells.

And the Stem cells are supposed to rejuvenate your skin by whether it’s a traditional facial or a mask, or I don’t know if they inject it or not, but I do know that when this first came out, I feel like a lot of people were already interested in saving their placentas for other reasons, like real reasons, like medical reasons.

But now, I guess there’s a whole host of reasons to save your placenta, but they’re very expensive. They sort of lost steam. Like I don’t, that’s not the thing anymore. So I think people wasted a lot of money getting those. I don’t know. I’m willing to try anything. I mean, I wouldn’t have another baby to get a placenta facial, but I think it’s interesting how they come up with the stem cell concept of just, you know, using other people’s baby cells to sort of rejuvenate and reverse aging.

Dr Bill Ferro: I mean, from a marketing perspective, calling it “Baby Face.” I mean, so many places you could go with it. I mean, they did ask a few sheep if they thought it worked and all of them said, “Naah.” 

Erin O’Hearn: Oh, my God. I can’t. I can’t. You were, you were doing so well. And then it went downhill, but wait, I really want to know, like, is this just, when you talk about a placenta facial or stem cells in a bottle, which is what I have right now. Is it really derived from the fact that medicine in real ways that are applicable to people with cancer, or my father had two stem cell transplants, are they just sort of crossing that over and thinking it’s like a cure all for everything, including aging?

Dr Bill Ferro: Well, I think we’ll what we’ll do is when we get Sudhir on, we will ask him a lot about that. I bet he has a lot to say on that topic. 

Erin O’Hearn: I, what about eating arsenic? 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yeah. That was another one. So eating arsenic to 

Erin O’Hearn: Yeah.

Dr Bill Ferro: Give you that “flush,” “flush face.” That was a good one. Yeah. I can only imagine what that was in. I mean, we’ve– 

Erin O’Hearn: Well.

Dr Bill Ferro: Done some crazy things over —

Erin O’Hearn: And it’s sort of like the best part of this is that whoever was behind the idea for eating arsenic obviously knew that once someone committed, they were a customer or consumer for life. Because it said once you began eating it, if you ever stopped, you would suffer from painful withdrawal symptoms, like vomiting and muscle spasms. It also gave people “goiters,” which, I mean, I don’t know. If there’s a way to transfer that. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yeah. 

Erin O’Hearn: So like on your cheekbones, 

Dr Bill Ferro: As a disclaimer for this podcast, there’s no good thing about “arsenic-eating,” as, as my co-host would like to, I love your optimism. 

Erin O’Hearn: No, no, no. I didn’t say that. What I said was whoever proposed the idea or was marketing arsenic as an ingestible was clearly, had in mind that, “All I need to do is get them to try it once, because if they stop, they will vomit and have muscle spasms.” So. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yes, same as the cigarette industry. Once you stop, you’re going to– 

Erin O’Hearn: Hey.

Dr Bill Ferro: Get fat. So, yeah, I think it’s very good. 

Erin O’Hearn: Alcohol? 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yeah. All right. So that was quack tales. Again, brought to you by our sponsor, bettrhealth.com, B-E-T-Rhealth.com. And that’s my own shameless plug for my own company. I love doing those. So we are going to bring on Sudhir, you know, as fun as we like to have in this, this is a big topic. Because in my eyes, we think about skincare, in, in terms of beauty and vanity, but when you really hear from Sudhir, you’re going to see that this is way beyond vanity.

This goes to your health. And the way I met Sudhir is randomly here in North Carolina. So without further ado, let’s introduce Sudhir. He’s a Yale University biochemist, a vegan chef turned organic skincare expert, Sudhir say, hello.

Sudhir Shah: Hello. How are you guys? 

Dr Bill Ferro: Great. Good to have you. 

Erin O’Hearn: You know that I went to Cornell, which is making me feel really awful right now that you went to Yale because Cornell is the easiest Ivy to get into. Yale is not.

Sudhir Shah: Well, Yale was not difficult either. 

Erin O’Hearn: Well, I don’t want, I don’t want to share my GPA, but. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yeah. Well, that’s, that’s another, another segment. 

Erin O’Hearn: Yeah. 

Dr Bill Ferro: So Sudhir, I will tell you that everything you’re about to say today is going to ruin Mrs. O’Hearn’s life as she knows it, as in terms of skincare and treatment forever. And in the other way, it’s going to totally set her free.

So this skincare segment, what she’s about to learn, which I already understand, is going to drive her a little bit nuts for a while, but I think ultimately, it’s going to come to a good place. So Sudhir, number one, why skincare? I mean, you’re a biochemist, you know, what prompted you to start this company and go down this road?

Sudhir Shah: I never thought that I would ever do skincare in my life. But when my son developed eczema, I could not find anything in the market that was free of chemicals. A dermatologist prescribing steroids, which we all know is not good for you, it turns out your skin messes with your endocrine system and yet, dermatologists kept using them.

So being a scientist, I said, I’m not going to use that on my son. What do I do? Thankfully, I grew up in India with mom who is Ayurveda practitioner. So I called her and I said, “What does Ayurveda have to say about eczema?” And she gave me some tips, I created a concoction in my kitchen using Vitamix, and it started working and within six months, eczema was completely gone.

So I said, “Okay.” I took that concoction to a couple of dermatologists that I knew and said, “You want to test it on your patients?” One of them said, “Sure.” And the other one said, “You know,” we basically started looking at the numbers. They said, “How much does it cost? All that?” And he said, “Why don’t you develop prescription products so we can make more money on it? Because $20 product off the shelf versus $200 product as a prescription, they make significantly more amount of money.” That turned me off. And I said, “Hell with you guys, I’m going to start my own company.” And that’s how the– 

Erin O’Hearn: Good for you.

Dr Bill Ferro: Yes, absolutely. And so, uh, the way I met Sudhir is you know, I’m always talking about skins from the inside out. Let’s get everybody healthy, gut health, brain, you know, you know, I’m a guru and I won’t ever shut up talking about it, and so I was at a friend’s house and we were talking and he said, “Tell me about your program.” And I started telling him, and I said, “You know, it’s all the chemicals, the toxicity, the environment we live in.”

And I said, “It’s even in the skincare products that people put on your skin.” And I think his wife was there and she said, “Well, what can I use then?” And I said, “To be honest with you, I just have not found anything that I could fully recommend that didn’t have something in it.” And I’m also the idea that there’s middle ground here.

You know, not, not everything we do is going to be perfect, but I’d never found something that I truly found organic, that was good enough to recommend. That’s why I’ve never recommended it. Even though I’ve gotten asked that question over the 15 years, tons and tons of time. And Ruben, your nephew, who happened to be there said “My uncle created one.” And I was like, “Oh, where is he?” And he’s like, “He’s right here in Apex.” And I said, “That’s like 20 minutes from here.” I said, “Are you kidding me?” And he started telling me more about it. And I met Sudhir and he basically took his product out, and he said, “This isn’t product, this is food. This is food for your body.” And I was like, “Okay.” And then he did the unthinkable, Erin. He squirted it on his finger. 

Erin O’Hearn: And ate it 

Dr Bill Ferro: And he ate it. 

Erin O’Hearn: Sorry,  I ruined it. I ruined it. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Thanks a lot, Erin. 

Erin O’Hearn: Sorry.  

Dr Bill Ferro: He ate it. And I said, and he said, “Do you think you could do that with any other product that your wife or family members have on their shelves?” 

Erin O’Hearn: That’s crazy. 

Dr Bill Ferro: So what, what happened was I watched him do this. He’s so dedicated to just amazing products, people love it, we’ve been recommending the shampoo. I use the shampoo. I don’t use conditioner, but there’s a conditioner as well. And it’s just made from such natural products that you just, you feel like you’re lavishing your body and nourishing your body versus putting a chemical on. So Sudhir, to that end, talk about how you can eat your product and how that, how that happens. 

Erin O’Hearn: And also Sudhir, sorry, Dr. Ferro, but people forget that skin is your largest organ. Right? 

Sudhir Shah: Exactly. Yep.

Erin O’Hearn: And so, you wouldn’t, if you think of your skin as an organ, as opposed to just your physical appearance, then your mindset might change.

Sudhir Shah: You said it perfectly. So if I were to ask you to put crude oil on your face, would you do it? No, because you can’t eat that. Right? And yet, we do that all the time, multiple times a day, because 98% of the products on the market have petrochemicals in them, which is pretty scary. Right? One other thing in Ayurveda is that if you can not eat something, you should not be putting it inside your body. If you cannot ingest anything, you can not put it on your body either. Because anything that’s not safe to put inside is not safe to put outside either. So.

Erin O’Hearn:  That’s really bad news for me. 

Sudhir Shah: Well, there are a lot of bad chips, but.

Dr Bill Ferro:  I knew it. This is going to blow her whole world up. 

Erin O’Hearn: I don’t want to, I feel like I want to crawl in my bed and not come out for a few days.

Sudhir Shah: Do you really want to hear it?

Erin O’Hearn: No, not really. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yes. 

Erin O’Hearn: Sorry I do. Go ahead. I’m sorry. I’ll get over it. I’ll just have a drink later. 

Sudhir Shah: So that’s, that’s the whole idea. So most, most important part is you want to nourish the whole idea about, Ayurveda, which is over 5,000 year old system of health and wellness in India. Right? And if you see, most of the Indians have pretty good skin.

So if you compare that, you can see okay, what’s the difference? And what makes that difference? So most important part here in Ayurveda is balancing. Creating balance not only within your body, as many of the ingestibles do, but also on your skin, because as you said, skin is the largest organ. The other thing that most people don’t understand and in terms of food, most people are realizing that probiotics or your gut microbiome is very important. And to support that is very important. 

Same way skin has a microbiome, and you want to make sure that you’re supporting that microbiome because that’s your first defense mechanism. It can prevent bacterias, viruses, yeast, fungus from entering your body through having a good skin microbiome. So you want to have skincare that protects it and enhances it rather than using chemical-based system that completely destroys it. 

Dr Bill Ferro: So in that way, you know, some people might not understand what microbiome is. So your body has 10 trillion cells and it has 300, 400 trillion natural bacteria and viruses living inside and on your skin. Some people forget about the microbiome on your skin. And if we are putting petrochemicals and other things, we could be killing off those microbes that are being beneficial. Same way if we’re taking antibiotics or chemicals internally, we’re killing off those microbes. Nowadays, when we’re worried about things like flu and COVID, what we’re saying is we’re actually depressing our abilities to fight this off from getting into our body,  by hurting our skin microbiome. Is that what I’m hearing? 

Sudhir Shah: Exactly. That’s exactly what I mentioned. And we forget that for every cell in our body, we have 10 times more microbiomes. Right? More bacteria. So when you go to a restaurant, when they ask you, “Okay, how many in your party?” And you can say, “Well, 10 billion, but one table will do.”

Dr Bill Ferro: That’s good. That’s good.

Erin O’Hearn: That’s a very good analogy. Can I ask a quick question about–?

Dr Bill Ferro: Yes.

Sudhir Shah: Yes.

Erin O’Hearn: So where did the idea, because you were talking about the system in India, and it’s been being used for 500 years. Where did the idea,  

Dr Bill Ferro: Thousand.

Erin O’Hearn: Sorry.

Dr Bill Ferro: Thousand. 

Erin O’Hearn: Sorry, sorry. Geez, listen, I worked really late. Where did the idea of it being okay to use chemicals and harsh substances on your skin, like what, what was the idea? Was it just that no, it doesn’t matter. 

Sudhir Shah: So fifties notion,  if you see that chemical has solution for everything. Right? That we had chemicals for everything, for agriculture, for pesticides, for household things. There was a chemical that was helpful. And yes, it did make sense. The other part was, let’s take the compounds that are helpful in nature and synthetically mass produce it. The problem is when you use synthetic products, the bioavailability is very different. Nature, the way nature is created, it has created balance over millions and millions of years of evolution. So when you take something of nature and then synthetically mass produce, you are disturbing that balance.

And I’ll give you one simple example that for acne, you use salicylic acid. In all acne products on the shelf, you’ll have salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. So salicylic acid does work in preventing acne, but it’s cytotoxin. So it’s going to affect your other cells as well. It makes your skin sun- sensitive and it has all other issues.

However, if you use Willow bark, which is high in salicin, which is a precursor to salicylic acid. It gives you the same effect, but there is no side effect, right? As effective for fighting acne without any side effects. Same thing can be applied to anti-aging products. So retinol for instance. Retinol works, however, retinol is nothing but synthetic version of vitamin A. 

Vitamin A is great. You need it, but why not use carotenoids, which is plant version of vitamin a and then allow your body to convert that carotenoids into retinoids. The safest way of using it. 

Erin O’Hearn: So do you think that there’s a natural, holistic version or substitute for every major chemical that’s on the market right now that is geared towards anti-aging because, and the reason I say anti-aging as opposed to referencing acne, is because the anti-aging business and beauty business is so huge. I mean, it’s a billion dollar industry. Because here’s what immediately comes to my mind, except the fact that I probably have cancer, what can I do to replace all these products in my medicine cabinet? Because the fact is, is I really don’t want to look old, and it’s sometimes, it’s a little bit of a toss up. Like, do I risk maybe not living as long and look good for all those years or do I live really long and look my age?

Dr Bill Ferro: Erin. Erin, timeout. Erin, timeout. One thing I didn’t tell you about Sudhir is he’s 172 years old. Okay? Look at him. 

Erin O’Hearn: Well, you don’t look a day over 45. 

Dr Bill Ferro: What we want everyone to really understand here, skin is from the inside out and what you put on it that it absorbs and use, it, your body knows how to produce all the chemicals in that shelf ten times over if it’s given the right building blocks to do so.

Erin O’Hearn: Right.

Dr Bill Ferro: And so that’s really the point is that you may think you have, you’ve been conditioned to think that it’s coming from the outside. So it must be topical to make this work. But how are you replenishing the cells in your digestive system right now, or when you get a cut on your skin, how is it repairing?

Is that because you put a chemical or is your body doing that from the inside out? And so when you shift your thinking into thinking, I’m nourishing vital organs, so the organs can do their job. And they have anti-aging properties already inside the body that know how to do this. We’re constantly shutting out, killing off cancer cells and toxic cells. It’s about giving you, fueling and feeding your body versus doing a treatment to it. And that is the fine difference here. 

Erin O’Hearn: Okay, I understand. So, so. 

Dr Bill Ferro: One other thing here, you told me this one time, and it was really interesting to me because when we’re actually going through the protocol where we’re helping people restore their gut health internally, a lot of times they ask for substitute to sweeten things.

And so I’m always like, well, I’d rather use organic honey or just some natural sweetener and people have shifted to using Stevia. It’s been a big, huge issue. And Sudhir told me, he said, “Are your people using the powdered form of the liquid form?” And I said, “You know, I don’t think I’ve ever made a distinction.”

I said, “It was okay to use sparingly.” And Sudhir, I’ll let you speak to this. Uh, tell us what the difference between, cause this is a lot of people using Stevia. What’s the difference between the powdered form of Stevia and the liquid form and why did you recommend to me and my, my clients that they should use liquid?

Sudhir Shah: So liquid is, what is, did I right from plan? Then you can take that and you can process it and turn it into powder form. In the process, we are using chemicals again. So, the whole idea of converting what is naturally available by processing it, using different chemicals so that it can be stabilized or it can be, you can have longer shelf life, or you can make it white to–

Erin O’Hearn: Make it look like sugar too. Yeah.

Sudhir Shah: Right. You are affecting the bioavailability of that plant. So. Anything you can find as natural as possible, you want to use it that way rather than getting it processed and then disturbing the bioavailability. 

Dr Bill Ferro: And as a followup to that, they have recently found, there’s a study that Stevia has not disrupted the microbiome, but that may be responsible for altering signals of the microbiome to the brain. I’m not saying it’s bad or good, but they are looking at this. Sudhir, do you have any experience with this? 

Sudhir Shah: So, altering the expression of microbiomes. Right? So, anytime you get craving, it’s not you who are craving, it’s your microbiome that’s craving. It goes bacteria as saying, “Okay, I need that.” And then you provide that to those microbiome bacteria. So by disturbing your microbiome and having different types of bacteria, you’re going to clear for wrong items. Right? You’re going to clear for sugar more by feeding those microbiomes. So other than the healthier microbiomes. 

Dr Bill Ferro: And we had a woman on, so I do my live ,Tuesday night call and the woman got on the phone and she said, “I’m sitting here on your call listening. My husband’s eating a bowl of ice cream, and I’m eating blueberries. And if this was four weeks ago, that would have been killing me,” but she’s like, “Now I can sit here with no problem and eat and feel good and actually want these blueberries more than I want that bowl of ice cream.” Because we took her through that reintroduction process and her microbiomes getting better.

So the cravings stop  and I know we’re mixing these two topics, but to me, it’s the same. The food and the products you’ve created. To me again, they’re not products, they’re just a recipe. You know, what you’ve created is a recipe of food in a bottle.

Sudhir Shah:  It’s a topical food. Yeah.

Dr Bill Ferro:  I’ll go food. And, and now let’s speak to this. Products have to be airtight, where your products, could you just read off the label of the product you have in your hand, Erin? 

Erin O’Hearn: Yes. Okay. I can’t pronounce most of the things. 

Dr Bill Ferro: By design. 

Erin O’Hearn: Yes. Uh, cyclopentasiloxane?

Sudhir Shah: That’s the first item?

Erin O’Hearn: Yes. 

Sudhir Shah: What is the, okay. 

Erin O’Hearn: By the way, I did stop using this, which I have a question about, and I’ll tell you why. Um, caprylyl, methicone, dimethicone, crosspolymer. Okay. PEG-12, which I hear is better than PEG-13. 

Sudhir Shah: So again, that’s a, that’s a petrochemical. 

Erin O’Hearn: Okay. Dimethicone, PPG-20, crosspolymer, which is listed again. Dimethicone, which is listed again. Caffeine, which is why I wasn’t getting sleep when I was using this. Camellia sinensis, green tea, polyphenthols, um, retinol, sodium.

Hyaluronate. 

Sudhir Shah: Hyaluronic.

Erin O’Hearn: Hyularonic. Uh, polysorbate 20 and cyclomethicone again. 

Sudhir Shah: So it’s basically lots of synthetic, compound petrochemicals. Anything that’s PEG, you want to avoid all PEG compounds. 

Erin O’Hearn: Why is that? 

Sudhir Shah: It’s polyethylene glycol. That comes from crude oil. What, do you want to put the crude oil on your face?

Erin O’Hearn: No. 

Dr Bill Ferro: This is why we call it quacks and hypochondriacs. Because I’m making more hypochondriacs. 

Erin O’Hearn: That’s really– 

Dr Bill Ferro: This is not quackery. What’s quackery, is the crap you put in your face. 

Erin O’Hearn: It is.

Dr Bill Ferro:  Sudhir, the number one ingredient in most of these products is water. Is that right? 

Sudhir Shah: Correct. Usually the first ingredient in most product is water. 

Dr Bill Ferro: And they hide it with fancy, fancy terms like Aqua. Right? Sometimes they’ll. They do, Erin. It will say like, AC– 

No, I understand.

So tell them why when you put a product and you actually have to add water to it, what else do you have to do to, to keep it preserved? 

Sudhir Shah: So anytime you have water, what grows in water? Bacteria. And anytime you have a base product, you have to have strong preservatives so that bacterias don’t grow. And that’s why you have all kinds of preservatives. Parabens, all of you must have known about, right? These days. you do hear that, please avoid parabens. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Tell us about parabens, please. So we can really get Erin’s mind, uh, in a tizzy. 

Erin O’Hearn: Why are you doing this to me? 

Dr Bill Ferro: This is what my podcast is about. 

Sudhir Shah: So parabens have been proven, have been shown, to be carcinogenic. In women with breast cancer, they have found parabens in their cancer cells and in their tissues. So it has been known for many years. However, over 90% of the products still  continue using parabens in them because it’s cheap. Cheapest preservative for skincare is parabens. Now that most people have realized that parabens are not good. Companies have come up with alternative, which is the cousin of paraben, which is called phenoxyethanol.

That’s also another petrochemical. What they do is take phenol, which is  oxidized, hydrolyzed benzyl compound. And combined with ethylene oxide. So you got phenoxyethanol, but it’s basically a petroleum product. 

Would you take the productDr Bill Ferro:  that you had in your hand and just read off the ingredients to everybody and just tell us what it is. Because we can’t say. Just tell us what, what product of yours you’re holding and just read off the ingredient. 

 So I have 

Sudhir Shah: this wrinkle repair 

Dr Bill Ferro: eye gel. 

Sudhir Shah: One of the anti-aging products that we have. So first ingredient is Aloe Vera. So why Aloe Vera? Because lignan and Aloe Vera is a great substance that is absorbed literally within seconds at the hypodermal region.

And then we select other ingredients that dissolve in lignan so they are also carried down at the hypodermal region. So the product starts working from inside out. So that’s Aloe Vera, then you have kokum butter. So kokum is a  mangosteen type of substance that grows in India. The butter from that is very highly emollient and it also assists in collagen buildup. And your vitamin C, now our vitamin C comes from acerola cherries, a hundred percent natural. Not the synthetic version of vitamin C. Then vegetable glycerin, argan oil, jojoba oil, citrus fiber, cucumber, planturide peptides, camomile, licorice, fungus polysaccharide, lavender essential oil, and vitamin E. And that’s it. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Now when you press it out, it must have this beautiful red color, right?

Sudhir Shah: Well, it’s, it’s off-white or brown, but it’s never white. Anything that’s white, is chemically processed. Plants and herbs are not naturally white. So if it is white, it’s been processed. 

So are you 

Dr Bill Ferro: trying to say to me that if it’s black, blue, pink, red, or white, you should throw it out tonight?

Sudhir Shah:  Exactly. If it is green, brown, beige. Anything that’s natural without process, without any processing is what you want. 

Erin O’Hearn: So this is cream. A cream color, 

Sudhir Shah: So cream color could be fine. Again. 

Erin O’Hearn: No but it has all the terrible chemicals in it. 

Sudhir Shah: It has chemicals in it. And that cream color, what you just showed is mostly yellow. And this product also has vitamin C in it. Right? You said? 

Erin O’Hearn: Yes, it does. 

Sudhir Shah: Okay. So, and it seemed to have ascorbic acid as vitamin C, which is very unstable molecule. Oxidizes quickly. And once it oxidizes, it becomes yellow. And that’s where the yellow is from. Because it’s oxidized now. 

Dr Bill Ferro: So my unstable co-host is having unstable vitamin C. This is, this is not very good. 

Erin O’Hearn: I understand. I’m in a slight depression. So let me ask a question because it’s not. Well, I have a lot of questions. So should, but this doesn’t work unless you’re nourishing your body, what you’re ingesting too. So you can’t drink Diet Coke and eat bacon every morning and put plants and herbs on your face and expect to be okay. Like this is a combination. It’s, this is everything together. Correct?

Sudhir Shah: You got it,  right. Yes.It always starts from your gut. Right? 

Erin O’Hearn: Right. 

Sudhir Shah: What you ingest is as important as what you put on your skin. However, as you feed your body, you need to feed your skin as well. And that’s why I would recommend some sort of skincare regimen that is healthy.

And what about, and I don’t think I’m giving away any big secret, but. What about the anti-aging procedures that plastic surgeons do with injections and filler and Botox and all that stuff? So we’ve become a, a population of jokers, joker-looking people. 

Right. So let’s, let’s talk about Botox. That’s nothing but poison.

Erin O’Hearn: Yes, I know. 

Sudhir Shah: We inject it so that nerves, your nerves, they become numb. And so when you smile, you don’t have all of those wrinkles showing because your nerves don’t work anymore. So you have a fake smile. And if that’s what you want.

Erin O’Hearn: Are you talking about me?

Sudhir Shah: No. You’re, you’re.

Erin O’Hearn: No, it’s just, I don’t, I don’t want any of it, but I also don’t want to look old. So what about, okay. So here’s another, here’s another question. A lot of people have, like there has been a move away from fillers. And I’m talking about this because like,  I understand skincare, but you can have all the natural skincare you want, but there are so many people looking to reverse or stall the aging process and they go for injections as opposed to surgery.

Because number one, it’s less scary I think. And number two, it’s less expensive. Although, it’s really not. If you look at the cumulative amount that you spend, but now there is a move towards taking your own cells, fat cells, and injecting them in different parts of your body. So if you took fat cells from your stomach or the back of your arms, and then put them in like, your tear troughs. What is the, I mean, is that where we’re moving to? Or is that just as disruptive for your body?

Sudhir Shah: I would answer it in two different ways. Number one, is, is it helpful to some degree? And anytime you inject fat cells, what you are doing is basically adding more fats or less wrinkles show up. So that’s one aspect, but on the other hand, you don’t need to do any of it if you are just cleaning your skin properly and using a good moisturizer. Two simple processes would do. And then occasionally you can use some vitamin C serum, which has been very effective, but make sure that it’s natural.

Erin O’Hearn: Natural, right. I will tell you the reason I stopped using this. And I don’t pay enough attention to the ingredients in the skincare I use, but the reason I stopped using everything for a while and just used a gentle cleanser, which now I don’t even know I’ve got to go look and see what’s on the back of it that’s making me die.

But it’s because I started getting perioral dermatitis. I will tell you that the dermatologists first started me on a topical, two topical creams that I knew had steroids in them. And then I was on an antibiotic. I will tell you that before all this, they told me it was probably the skincare. It was either the skincare or fluoride.

So I stopped using fluoride and I, and they said, well, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s a bacteria, which goes back to your point that you’re putting bacteria on your face when you use the skin products, or it’s an allergic reaction. So anyway, obviously the antibiotic help, but I don’t want to keep going on antibiotics.

So I stopped using all this and I’m at, I guess my question is what can I do in the future if that comes back? I’ve tried honey, like raw honey, which really helps the inflammation, like I just applied it onto my skin.

Dr Bill Ferro: Erin, before Sudhir answers, I want you to answer your own question. We have just stated on this call, that there’s a microbiome on your body, in your body and on your skin that prepares you to fight off other viruses and bacteria.

It’s part of your immune system. And anytime you use cosmetics that have tons of chemicals in the water, you are destroying that microbiome and basically lowering your defenses. So it’s possible from that skincare routine you’ve been doing has actually lowered your immunity and that’s why you had the inflammation, not again, looking for, what do I do to keep that away?

What you do to keep that away is keep your skin healthy by feeding it properly rather than what treatment am I going to use to keep that away? 

Sudhir Shah: Yeah, I think you said it correctly, that that’s the most important part that you want to support your microbiome. And that’s why any skincare that you use, you want to make sure that it’s not going to destroy it, number one. If it happens again, stop using any chemical in this product first. I think that’s the first thing your body will over time, recover, but you can speed it up the recovery by using for instance, Aloe Vera. Righ?. It would reduce inflammation and gets absolved deep down and keeps your skin healthier. Simple Aloe Vera juice would help also, but if you have good skincare products, that would help too.

Dr Bill Ferro: And by the way, you’re going to be able to get his skincare products at bettrhealth.com 

Erin O’Hearn: Great, because I’m ordering them today 

Dr Bill Ferro: Yeah. You’ll be able to get them. But I do have a question about Aloe Vera? Are all Aloe Vera’s equal?

Sudhir Shah: No. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Okay. Explain to, explain to us that issue. 

Sudhir Shah: So. So there are multiple varieties of Aloe Vera and they have all kinds of, any plant has multiple different types of so-called chemicals, right? Naturally occurring chemicals in them. So again, you can’t take any plant and eat it because they can be poisonous. Same way. There are multiple types of Aloe Vera that may have some ingredients in them that may not support your natural microbiome or your skin’s PH balance. So you want to make sure that you have the right kind. So basically, Aloe Vera that we use is the one that has been tested and has been used for many, many years.

Dr Bill Ferro:  Got it. And then, a basic skin routine. So you telling any, any man, woman, or child alive, what is a basic good skincare nourishment that you should do every night? What would be that skincare routine?

Sudhir Shah: If you want to keep it simple, just cleaning and moisturizing. Those are the two things you must do every day. And then you may add a treatment here and there, like the vitamins or some sort of  supporting treatment or anti-aging treatment, where you’re using herbs to enhance collagen production, increase fibroblast production, so skin becomes healthier. 

Dr Bill Ferro: And then the other topic, because of COVID everyone’s getting “maskne.” Right? Wearing these masks and it’s current so I’d love to see if you have any tips. Is there any topical thing we could do to kind of protect that area? I know drinking water and inside-out, but is there anything you can speak to that we can do from a product perspective to help that?

Sudhir Shah: Yeah, definitely using good moisturizer. That certainly would help. And. Anytime you have opportunity to move the mask and let your skin breathe. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Got it. Well, we super appreciate you spending your time with us today. And Erin, did you want to add, did you? 

Erin O’Hearn: No, it was a, it’s not really a question. It’s an additional thank you. Because I have a daughter who is approaching, like she’s a tween, so she’s quickly approaching her teen years. And she started asking me about skincare regimens because you know, she’s starting to get some blackheads and acne, and I feel so much more informed now knowing how to explain it to her and what she should look for and feel okay about giving her certain products.

Because right now, the only thing I’m looking for is organic, organic, organic, right? Just, or all natural. And I think you have to look further than that and be more investigative and inquisitive, especially when it comes to your kids. And if I can instill this in her now, then she won’t be a hypochondriac like me and start thinking about all the products that she’s used over the last 25 years and how they are going to affect her in a detrimental way.

So I do think this is important for all of us to sort of prepare the next generation so they’re not in this situation where, you know, they’re, they’re wasting a lot of money, they’re sacrificing the quality of their skin, or, you know, what their skin is going to look like tomorrow or how their body’s going to react. So thank you. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Use Farm to Face. Every time you’re shopping,picture him just dropping down on a Noel, like a little crazy skincare Yoda, and he’ll just say, “Erin, it says organic, but does it start with water? No, thank you. Does it have a color? No, thank you. And you put it down. 

Erin O’Hearn: We just need a little like a, a hologram of you just to carry around or.

Dr Bill Ferro: I hear him speaking to me when I go to grab something. Sudhir, thank you so much. 

Erin O’Hearn: Yeah. It was so informative. 

Sudhir Shah: Thank you for having me. 

Dr Bill Ferro: You’re welcome. Okay, so, Erin, what did you learn today? 

Erin O’Hearn: So today I learned that I have not been doing the right thing and that I have let vanity and marketing pressure convince me to spend money on things that I would not ingest, or I would not give my children.

So I shouldn’t give them to myself. And then I need to rethink how you nourish your skin. And it does truly need to be from the inside out and not what you put on top. That’s going to make the difference. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Absolutely. And I want to leave everybody with the conception that, think of when you’re putting a skincare routine, that you are helping your body’s defenses, right? You’re fueling it because this is the COVID time. And, you know, we all have, being touched by this. We’re losing loved ones and family members. Our biggest offenses is going to be our defense, how defensive we are in this time in life. And so even more now than ever. Look at what you’re putting on your skin, realize that those chemicals actually, just drying it out, making it worse, almost like you said, when they had to take the arsenic, they had to keep taking it. That’s very similar to the products you’re taking. 

Erin O’Hearn: It’s like a skin addiction. 

Dr Bill Ferro: Totally. And now what I want you to be addicted to is Aloe Vera and the, and the good healthy products that actually fuel your immunity and fuel your gut-brain connection so you can have less anxiety, depression, and more energy.

We all need it right now. So the idea of giving the skinny-on-skin topic was not so much how to look better and feel better and from that spot of it, was really about overall health. And when you’re overall healthy, your skin naturally is going to glow and look phenomenal. So we want to thank you for listening to quacks and hypochondriacs podcasts.

If you like the show, please be sure to rate, review, subscribe to all the things that help us and help you. Find the show when the next episode comes out. Don’t forget to visit our sponsor, Betr Health, B-E-T-R health.com. This episode was edited and produced by Earfluence. For Erin  O’Hearn, I’m Dr. Bill Ferro and we’ll see you next time on Quacks and Hypochondriacs podcasts.

Full Episode Transcript

Quacks and Hypochondriacs is hosted by Dr Bill Ferro and Erin O’Hearn, and is produced by Earfluence.

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