Eat for skin health
What we eat has a huge impact on how we look, especially when it comes to achieving that much-coveted youthful glow. Sports dietitian Marie Spano, MS, RD, CSCS, CSSD, recommends getting plenty of what she calls "smart" fats - omega-3s and monounsaturated fat - which help regenerate skin at the cellular level, improve texture and tone and help ensure skin looks supple. Get these smart fats from fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, halibut, sardines), avocado, olives and olive oil.
Spano also suggests choosing foods rich in lutein - a carotenoid that may help protect your skin from the inside out. The best sources of lutein are egg yolks, leafy dark green veggies and fresh corn. Some studies have found that lutein may also protect skin from UV damage.
Foods that are high in antioxidants, such as berries, broccoli, leafy greens (kale, spinach) and tomatoes are also great for your skin. We need antioxidants to help protect the skin from free-radical damage (rough texture, wrinkles, sun spots). Vitamin E is another must for skin health, Spano says, and suggests adding vegetable oils, wheat germ, nuts, seeds and olives to your diet for healthy, glowing skin.
If you want skin to look younger and more supple, drinking enough water is a must. "Dehydrated skin looks wrinkled and rough," Spano says. Aim for eight glasses of a day, which will also help you lose weight, aid digestion, improve your energy and concentration and flush toxins from your body. Keep a reusable bottle in your purse for easy, on-the-go sipping.
Cleanse: Gently wash your face both morning and night, but steer clear of cleansers that have high alcohol content and other drying agents. Try DERMAdoctor Wrinkle Revenge 1 ($24), which leaves skin clean, soft and free of pore-clogging debris.
Exfoliate: Exfoliate your skin weekly with a gentle facial scrub, which will get rid of dead skin cells and keep skin smooth, healthy and fresh. Try Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant ($50), a gentle but effective product that stimulates cell renewal and brightens skin.
Moisturize: Apply moisturizer over your entire face and neck twice a day. Dry, aging skin loses its elasticity, which is when wrinkles start to form. Try SkinMedica Rejuvinative Moisturizer ($54), which strengthens skins' moisture barrier to improve the look of dry, aging skin.
Look for skincare products with effective anti-aging ingredients such as vitamins A, C and E, retinol, peptides, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and glycolic acid. Most major skincare brands offer products with these anti-aging ingredients, and these products will help reduce the appearance of fine line and wrinkles, as well as help slow the aging process.
No matter your age, you need to protect your skin from the sun. Not only can sun exposure lead to skin cancer, it will also cause dryness, sun spots, wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. Always use a moisturizer, sunscreen and cosmetics that contain SPF 15 or higher. If you spend a lot of time in the sun each day, wear both sunglasses and a hat.
Even though you can buy anti-aging products at the store, you can also go the DIY route and make your own. We've created a simple but effective recipe you can try at home using items you probably have in your kitchen.
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