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    Aging Skin: Do You Look Older Than You Should?

    Wrinkles may be the road map of life, but no one wants to read an atlas when they look in the mirror.

    A Surprising Cause of Wrinkles: Yo-yo Dieting

    Some experts believe that years of repeated yo-yo dieting -- losing and gaining back large amounts of weight -- can damage the skin. Repeated stretching of the skin may damage the elastic structure that gives skin its youthful, firm tone.

    • What you can do: If you've decided to lose weight, do it at a reasonable pace. Most experts recommend losing a pound a week. Avoid binge eating, which leads to rapid weight gain that could stretch the skin.

    Preventing Wrinkles Through Diet and Nutrition

    Your skin is your body's largest organ. Like your heart and brain, your skin needs good nutrition to maintain form and function. In particular, skin needs the B vitamin, biotin. This forms the basis of new, healthy skin cells. Other vitamins are important for skin, as well.

    Vitamin C and E are antioxidants. They can protect skin from sun damage, and reduce skin damage caused by free radicals. These naturally occurring by-products of metabolism contribute to aging skin.

    Vitamin A helps to maintain and repair skin tissue.

    • What you can do: eat a balanced, healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables. Five to seven servings a day are best. Tomatoes have biotin and vitamin C, carrots provide biotin and vitamin A, and green leafy vegetables and almonds are loaded with vitamin E.

    And Don’t Forget Water

    As we age, skin becomes thinner and drier. It becomes more important than ever to drink plenty of water, to keep skin hydrated and full.

    • What you can do: drink six to eight glasses of water a day -- the amount recommended by most experts. Talk to your doctor first if you have heart failure or are on dialysis for kidney disease.
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    Reviewed on January 31, 2008
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