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It's Not Your Mother's Skin -- Or Is It?

Premature aging skin is not inevitable -- no matter what your parents looked like.

How Smoking Damages Skin and Causes Wrinkles

Wrinkles occur sooner and run deeper in people who smoke, leading to so-called "smoker's face." Decreased blood flow to the face, and damage from toxic chemicals in smoke, are the likely causes. In addition, smokers tend to squint to keep smoke from their eyes, which can cause wrinkles.

Crow's feet around the eyes, and droopy skin around the eyelids ("smoker's face") are common in long-time tobacco smokers. A desire to protect your youthful looks is one more good reason to quit smoking.

Excessive Drinking and Your Skin

Excessive alcohol (more than one drink a day for women, two for men) is bad for skin, and your health in general. People who drink heavily tend to not eat a healthy diet -- depriving skin of the nutrients it needs to prevent aging.

The Diet and Skin Connection

Skin is constantly fighting a battle with the sun, and constantly repairing and regenerating itself. Your skin needs the right nutrition to stay young and healthy looking. If you're eating lots of junk food, you're feeding your skin junk, too.

Antioxidants like vitamin C and E, as well as vitamin A and the B vitamin biotin, are particularly important for healthy skin. You'll get all of these nutrients, and more, by eating five to seven servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day. Tomatoes, citrus, green leafy vegetables, and carrots are a good place to start.

Our parents gave us many gifts. Maybe the genes for good skin were one of yours. But no matter what kind of skin you inherited, you can take action to keep the skin you have looking young.

Brush Up on Beauty

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