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How to Combat Inflammation During the Holidays

The holiday season can feel like a flood of wellness for our soul--the connection and time with family and friends, doing for others, festivities that remind us of all there is to be grateful for. But it can also be the perfect storm to throw a different aspect of our health and wellness off track: the often frantic pace and stress of the season can lower our immune systems while spiking inflammation, which can leave us feeling lethargic or irritable (all of which even shows up on our skin). How many of us end up with an unexpected holiday surprise of a breakout, dullness, or worse--in essence, tired, irritable skin? And let’s not forget the  inflammation that many holiday foods (and adult beverages!) are causing in our bodies. And if you normally stick to an anti-inflammatory diet, you may feel the effects even more once your body is flooded with inflammation. 

What is inflammation?

By design, inflammation isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s a necessary one designed to protect our bodies. When a foreign organism (like bacteria or virus) invades the body, our white blood cells spring into action to fight off the potentially harmful intruders. The problem is that this is supposed to be a temporary response, but more and more often, our bodies live in a constant state of inflammation—in no small part based on what we are ingesting.

Dr. Perricone is often referred to as the “father of the inflammation theory of aging”. Back in 1997, the board-certified dermatologist and double-certified nutrition specialist declared that inflammation was enemy number one to everyone who hoped to live a long, healthy life.

And studies support his assertion: high markers of inflammation are found in people with coronary artery disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer.

As a prescription for fighting the effects of aging and age-related disease caused by inflammation—the systematic damage of every single organ in the body (including the brain, the heart, and the skin) from free-radical damage—Dr. Perricone developed a comprehensive health and wellness approach he broke down into three tiers.

Tier 1: Eating an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

The best nutrition plan to minimize the visible signs of aging and reduce inflammation is to eat lean sources of protein, make low-glycemic choices about carbohydrates and choose fruits and vegetables rather than refined, processed foods. Another key: controlling your blood sugar. When blood sugar and insulin levels increase, cellular-level inflammation is created, resulting in low energy levels, increased susceptibility to diseases, and an accelerated aging process.

But, we know you’re human. And who doesn’t crave a decadent dessert? This dark-chocolate covered pears dessert combines omega-3 rich walnuts, cocoa and fiber-rich pears. To reap the many health benefits cocoa can provide to both body and skin, choose extra dark chocolate—preferably 70-85%—and look for “non-dutched” cocoa (since the process of “dutching” cocoa significantly reduces the amount of anti-inflammatory flavanols in cocoa).

Ingredients: (Makes 8 chocolate-covered slices) 6 tablespoons dark chocolate, 2 pears, 4 tablespoons chopped raw walnuts, waxed paper.


  1. Clean and slice pears into quarters, omitting the core and seeds.
  2. Melt chocolate over low heat in a small saucepan, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Dip pear slices until half is covered, then sprinkle dipped side with raw walnuts and place on wax paper.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Tier 2: Taking Targeted Nutritional Supplements


Since our antioxidant levels are difficult to measure at any given moment, the best way to ensure you have steady protection is to control your dietary intake of antioxidants with nutritional supplements rich in vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

“Supplements have always been at the heart of the Perricone brand, specifically our three-tier philosophy,” explains Rosalba Martone, Perricone Director of Education. 

“Even someone who eats the most anti-inflammatory style ‘diet’ daily doesn’t necessarily get all the nutrients our bodies need to optimally function. Our supplements, for the lack of better words, supplement our bodies with nutrients we aren’t able to obtain from the foods that we eat, further contributing to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle from the inside-out.”

Select Perricone MD Supplements will be 65% off during our sale now, making a perfect time to stock up:

An easy-to-use way to support healthy weight management during the holidays and beyond is, the Health and Weight Management Supplements. The set has 90 perfectly portioned packets, so you don’t need to worry about piecing together what you need and how much of it to take. The supplements includes DMAE, L-tyrosine, antioxidants, and CLA, a fatty acid that helps support our bodies’ fat-breakdown process.

The alpha-lipoic acid found in Skin & Total Body Supplements.benefits every single cell in our bodies. It’s been shown to improve the tone and texture of skin, making it smoother, healthier and more resilient and able to fight off inflammation.

The Skin Clear Supplements deliver a powerful boost of Omega-3s, B-Complex and Vitamin C, plus alpha lipoic acid (ALA), which has been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines, and even enlarged pores.

Another proven combination of energy boosters that help your body and brain work more efficiently are DMAE and L-tyrosine, both found in The Metabolic Formula Supplements and support a healthy metabolism.

Tier 3: Choosing Skincare with Anti-Inflammatory Benefits

Topical formulations rich in antioxidants and nutrients that our bodies naturally create on their own are better accepted by our skin because they are easily recognized.

Essential FX Acyl-Glutathione Collection harnesses the power our best-selling, patented Acyl-Glutathione molecule, combined with the skin barrier-protecting Vitamin F blend comprised of chia seed, flax seed and macadamia seed oils. Acyl-Glutathione is a custom biomolecule created by Perricone MD to support the body's natural level of glutathione – also known as the body's master antioxidant. This potent molecule targets the deepest creases, wrinkles and engraved expression lines.

“Because Acyl-Glutathione helps improve the appearance of damaged skin, it's important to pair it with an intense moisturizing ingredient, like Vitamin F, to improve the skin's moisture barrier," says Perricone Chief Innovation Officer Chris Caires. "

This powerful combination locks moisture in and keeps environmental aggressors out, making it the most potent Perricone MD skincare formula to date."

Cold Plasma Plus+ Collection: This line of serums, moisturizers and cleansers is loaded with Omega fatty acids to plump and strengthen skin, Vitamin C ester to brighten and minimize discoloration, and copper tripeptide to firm and protect against environmental aggressors. The result is  a dramatic improvement in loss of radiance, uneven texture, uneven skin tone, discoloration, redness, enlarged pores, fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness.

Inflammatory foods versus anti-inflammatory foods: How to celebrate without succumbing

The list of inflammatory foods is (sadly) a long one, but the biggest culprits include alcohol, sugar, artificial sweeteners, refined carbohydrates (like those made with white flour, which converts to sugar in our bodies), saturated fats (like those found in certain types of red meat and processed meats, like hot dogs and sausages), and trans fats like those found in margarine and store-bought pie crusts, cookies and other processed foods.

On the other side of the fence, there are quite a few foods that fight inflammation. University of South Carolina epidemiologists surveyed 1,943 studies and published a Dietary Inflammatory Index, with 45 food elements. Some of the biggest winners include:

Omega-3 fatty acids

They’re found in fatty fish like salmon, flaxseeds, and chia seeds. Opting for a piece of salmon over the steak at a holiday dinner scores major points in fighting inflammation.

Vitamin C

It’s found in oranges (and other citrus fruits), strawberries, peppers, and tomatoes. Using peppers for dips instead of crackers or bread is an easy way to get the anti-inflammatory benefits of Vitamin C. And noshing on a dark-chocolate-dipped strawberry is a great alternative to a sweeter, fattier, heavily processed dessert.


The powerful antioxidant is found in plants and berries like cranberries.  Their high amounts of ellagic acid (a polyphenol) blocks the formation of MMPs (matrix metalloproteinase), the enzymes that break down collagen and elastin in the skin. The polyphenols in red wine make it a better choice than other types of alcohol.

Find Balance by Putting Yourself First

Perhaps the best thing you can do to protect your body and skin from inflammation is being mindful that it’s happening, and that prioritizing yourself is an important first step. Choosing one food over another, consciously supporting your system with supplements designed to fuel you, getting enough sleep (yes, even during the merriest time of the year!), protecting and nourishing your skin with the most effective ingredients possible—all of these are choices you can make to ensure a peaceful season, inside and out. To make it even easier, all of our best skincare and supplement products for this holiday season are on sale.