When I was young, there was nothing I liked better than getting a tan -- and I have the "character lines" to prove it. Of course, everyone knows that UV exposure accelerates skin aging and causes the loss of elasticity that results in wrinkles. And everyone also knows that the quest to counter all the damage done by the sun is an expensive one, with the market for anti-aging products expected to top $114 billion by 2015.
The good news is that there are inexpensive steps you can take to achieve healthier skin. A study in 2002 found that eating certain foods can help your skin repair and rejuvenate itself. And don't forget water, which the skin needs to stay hydrated.
With that in mind, here are five of the best foods you can eat for better skin. What do you do for healthier skin? Let us know in comments.
You think oranges have a lot of vitamin C? Strawberries have even more. Vitamin C is key for firmer skin as it helps with collagen production. An added benefit: they also contain antioxidants that can help slow memory loss as you get older.
Almonds contain vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant that helps clear away toxins and protect skin cells from UV rays and other environmental factors. Want to revitalize your skin even more? Make a nice face mask using a mixture of honey, almond oil and lemon juice. (My 12-year-old daughter taught me that.)
Carrots are usually associated with better eyesight but they also are packed with beta carotene, an antioxidant that becomes vitamin A inside your body and helps protect against UV rays. In addition, a lack of the vitamin results in dry skin. Interesting tidbit: Cooked carrots deliver more beta carotene than raw ones.
Salmon contains healthy fatty acids such as omega-3s that work to ward off damaging substances while also allowing nutrients to enter cells. They also help diminish fine lines and wrinkles by improving your skin's elasticity and preventing clogged pores. So get out there and grill some salmon (or broil it... or smoke it... lots of possibilities).
Not only does kiwi taste good, but it's also packed with antioxidant vitamins C and E, which help protect against UV damage. One study even showed that kiwi can help you achieve a radiance akin to a tan in just a few weeks. And vitamin C has long been linked with less skin dryness and wrinkling.