Is Your Diet Good For Your Skin?

Find out if your eating habits are making you glow—or trashing your face. Plus, what to tweak for a supersmooth complexion.

Josesph Montezinos
(such as The New Becoming Vegetarian and Skinny Bitch)

The lowdown: 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.

Plant-based protein sources may also have super skin benefits. For example, beans contain zit-battling zinc and decrease inflammation, a culprit behind redness, pimples, and premature wrinkles, says Nicholas Perricone, MD, author of Forever Young: The Science of Nutrigenomics for Glowing, Wrinkle-Free Skin and Radiant Health at Every Age. On the other hand, some studies suggest that dairy contributes to acne, Dr. Baumann says; consider other protein sources if breakouts are a problem.

Skin Rx: Veggie diets tend to be low in fat, so incorporate ground flaxseeds and olive and safflower oils to help your skin retain water, making it more supple, Dr. Baumann says.

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Cara Birnbaum
Last Updated: December 10, 2010

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