The Good Skin Diet

Recently I’ve been noticing little subtle changes in my body that I can only attribute to “getting older”. For instance, I never used to have dry skin in the winter, but this year, for some reason, I’ve been looking like someone dipped me in Parmesan cheese. Another change I’ve noticed is that my skin isn’t as “glowy” as it used to be. I’ve always been pale, but I still managed to keep a little shimmer year round. This year, however, my skin has felt dull and lifeless.

Now, I’m not exactly collecting social security yet, but I am starting to enter a new phase in my body’s life called “the mid-20s”. (Those of you who are older, please keep the eye rolling to yourself. You know you thought about this sort of stuff when you were my age.) In fact, oxygen levels in our skin start to go down around this time. It’s subtle, but does result in a loss of a healthy glow. So besides lotions and creams, what can I do? Eat!

The Good-Skin Diet: 10 Foods for Healthier Skin

Get Glowing with Chocolate. Cocoa hydrates your skin, making it firmer and more supple, Dr. Bank says. “And dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonols, a potent type of antioxidant,” adds Nicholas Perricone, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. For maximum flavonol content, eat chocolate that’s at least 70 percent cacao. A couple of squares a day should be enough to improve luminosity. “When applied topically, the caffeine in chocolate may temporarily reduce skin puffiness,” says Jessica Wu, MD, a dermatologist in Los Angeles and the author of Feed Your Face.

Prevent Wrinkles with Yogurt. The protein you get from eating dairy helps skin become firmer, so it’s more resistant to lines, Dr. Wu says. Greek yogurt is especiallybeneficial. “The protein content is often double that of regular yogurt,” Dr. Perricone adds. Eat a single serving daily to make your complexion smoother, and apply Korres Yoghurt Instant Soothing Gel ($38, to calm irritated, dry, or sensitive skin.

I still recommend eating it!

Protect with Pomegranates. They’re packed with polyphenol antioxidants, Dr. Perricone says. Polyphenols fight free radicals and regulate skin’s blood flow, giving it rosiness. One pomegranate or a few glasses of juice daily should do the trick. When applied to skin, the fruits’ antioxidants help smooth lines and moisturize, Dr. Bank says.

Soften Skin with Walnuts. “Walnuts contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, which can improve skin’s elasticity,” Dr. Bank says. The nuts are also loaded with copper, a mineral that boosts collagen production. Snack on a handful of walnuts each day to improve your complexion’s texture.

Fight Crow’s Feet with Peppers. “Women who eat green and yellow vegetables regularly tend to have fewer wrinkles, especially around the eyes,” Dr. Wu says. Also, studies found that carotenoids – the antioxidants in yellow and orange veggies – can decrease skin’s sensitivity to sun, Dr. Banks says. Aim for about two cups of pepper daily.

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My Healthy Tip of the Day: Remember, to prevent premature aging you need to use UV protection every day. Studies show that 80% of skin’s aging happens due to UV damage. The right anti aging skin care can help you to avoid this damage.