Vitamin A Is Vital continued...
Florida dermatologist Andrea Lynn Cambio, MD, FAAD, agrees. She considers vitamin A derivatives, like retinoids, the most important nutrient in maintaining smooth, healthy skin.
Chemically related to vitamin A, retinoids such as retinol, Atralin, Differin, Retin A, and Tazarac slow down collagen breakdown, Jacob says. Collagen, along with elastin, is a fibrous protein vital in keeping skin firm, elastic, and youthful-looking.
"Adding a topical retinoid -- over the counter or by prescription -- is a great way to undo some sun damage, fine lines, and wrinkles and give a brighter, healthier glow," Cambio says.
You can also give your diet a vitamin A boost by eating foods such as low-fat milk and cheese, eggs, leafy greens, oranges, carrots, and cantaloupe.
Amp Up the Antioxidants and Healthy Oils
Antioxidants are important to great skin because they slow down and may prevent the harm done to your body by free radicals. Free radical damage is one factor behind signs of aging such as wrinkles and dry skin.
Some powerhouse antioxidants that can help skin stay healthy include vitamins C and E, selenium, and coenzyme Q10, also called CoQ10.
You can find antioxidants in all kinds of good foods, including tangerines, sweet potatoes, papayas, peppers, citrus fruits, cherries, spinach, olives, and grapes as well as in light canned tuna in oil, cooked beef, whole wheat pasta, green tea, and sardines.
Be sure to get essential fatty acids like omega-3s and omega-6s in your diet to replenish your skin's natural protective oils. Olive and canola oils, salmon, mackerel, walnuts, and flax are all good choices. These essential fatty acids encourage smoother skin and may help clear blemishes.
When looking for antioxidants in skin care creams, reach for products with green tea, caffeine, and grape seed extract, Baumann, author of The Skin Type Solution, says. The AAD suggests adding antioxidant-enriched sunscreens to your arsenal too, because antioxidants also have sun-protection properties.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
To decrease the look of fine lines and wrinkles, you want to moisturize skin well.
Jacob gives a thumbs up to moisturizers with glycolic acid, but you don't need to get too stuck on specific types of moisturizers. Many products help trap in moisture and keep skin supple. Petroleum jelly, mineral oil, aloe vera, and glycerin can do the job.