DIET AND SKIN

Do you want good looking skin? Then take a close look at your diet. Fish, leafy greens, olive oil, and fruit are the stars of this heart-healthy diet. But the benefits don’t end there—eating Mediterranean may also protect against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, a recent Italian study suggests. On the cosmetic front, omega-3 fatty acids in fish help keep skin-cell membranes strong and elastic. Diet and skin are directly related.

Olive oil, tomatoes, and red wine also have antioxidants that help block the chemical reactions that lead to sun damage, explains Leslie Baumann, MD, chief executive officer of the Baumann Cosmetic and Research Institute in Miami Beach, Florida.

Whether you skip meat and other animal products for your health, ethical reasons, or both, you probably eat more fresh produce and whole grains as a result—good news for your skin. The antioxidants in these eats neutralize the free radicals that contribute to wrinkles, brown spots, and other signs of aging.

Cutting back on white bread, pasta, and refined sugar can also lower the stress hormone cortisol and minimize breakouts, says dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. Plans that swap in whole grains, fresh produce, and lean meats also up antioxidants, blemish-busting zinc, and collagen-building protein.

But beware of meat-heavy plans. “Too much animal fat can result in an increased production of free radicals, which are thought to interfere with normal cellular processing,” says aesthetic dermatologist Lisa Airan, MD. ‘

Cutting back on white bread, pasta, and refined sugar can also lower the stress hormone cortisol and minimize breakouts, says dermatologist Francesca Fusco, MD. Plans that swap in whole grains, fresh produce, and lean meats also up antioxidants, blemish-busting zinc, and collagen-building protein.

But beware of meat-heavy plans. “Too much animal fat can result in an increased production of free radicals, which are thought to interfere with normal cellular processing,” says aesthetic dermatologist Lisa Airan, MD.