Inside & Out


A radiant complexion depends on what you put IN your body as well as what you put ON it Here, our guide to the right FOODS TO eat and the natural skincare PRODUCTS to apply to achieve complexion perfection. We've got you covered …
smooth wrinkles Inside…

Twice a day, snack on vitamin C-rich fruit such as oranges and grapefruit, plus kiwi, strawberries and guava (all in season late summer/early fall) to build strong, wrinkle-resistant collagen, says Lisa Drayer, R.D., author of The Beauty Diet (McGraw-Hill, 2008).
… Out Renew at night

Retinol, a form of vitamin A, is the gold standard in anti-wrinkle treatments. It speeds up cell turnover, reducing fine lines so skin's texture looks and feels silkier, plus it triggers new collagen production to fight deeper wrinkles from below. It degrades in daylight, however, so only apply products like 1 Arcona Vitamin A Complex ($68; before bed.
Stimulate collagen

Vitamin C applied topically builds and strengthens collagen, says Ole Henriksen, a spa owner and skincare expert in Los Angeles. Get it in a treatment product (it may be called ascorbic acid or ester C on labels) like Ole Henriksen Truth Serum ($48;
Protect your complexion

Free radicals, formed from UV rays, pollution, and stress, are the main cause of wrinkles. Antioxidants fight off the damage, says Jeannette Graf, M.D., a dermatologist in New York and author of Stop Aging, Start Living (Crown, 2007). "Look for a variety; they're more effective when working synergistically," she adds. Check labels for ingredients like green tea, vitamins A, C and E, or grapeseed extract such as in 3 Juice Beauty Green Apple Antioxidant Moisturizer ($45;
moisturize your skin Inside…

A handful of almonds or half an avocado a day deliver skin-softening, hydration-boosting vitamin E and healthy fats, says Drayer.
…& Out Lock in moisture with oil

Essential fatty acids found in oils are fantastic moisturizers because they're so similar to skin's own oils, says Henriksen. For dry skin, look for products with heavier sesame and avocado oils, such as 1 Caudalie Pulpe Vitaminée Energizing Cream ($55; If you have normal skin, go for lighter weight grapeseed or carrot seed oils like in The Body Shop Wise Woman Regenerating Day Cream ($32;
Seek out vitamin B hydrators

At night, nourish skin with vitamin B3, a.k.a. niacin or niacinamide. The ingredient boosts levels of ceramides, which are lipids found naturally in skin that help strengthen cell membranes so they can better retain water. Look for them in 3 Canyon Ranch Restore Intensive Moisture ($95; nordstrom .com) or 4 Olay Regenerist Night Recovery Moisturizing Treatment ($20;
Deep clean

Pick a moisturizing cleanser that also contains a mild exfoliant like lactic acid (derived from milk). Gentle, daily sloughing rids your skin of dead, dry surface cells, clearing the way for lotions and creams to fully absorb, says Henriksen. Try 5 Kate Sommerville Purify Exfoliating Cleanser ($32;
brighten your complexion Inside…

Carrots, plus fall favorites like sweet potatoes and squash act like edible exfoliants. Add a serving of orange, beta-carotene-packed veggies to at least one meal a day.
…& Out Boost blood flow

"Algae and yeast extract stimulate cell's ATP, or energy, increasing skin's microcirculation," says Graf. The extra blood and nutrients funneling to cells translates to a rosier complexion and strengthened skin. In the evenings, smooth on a serum or lotion containing these ingredients like 1 Jurlique Biodynamic Beauty Serum ($75; with yeast.
Even out skin tone

Smooth texture and a glow are only part of the equation; a clear, uniform tone also contributes to luminosity, says Graf. Fight hyper-pigmentation and sun damage every morning with lightening ingredients such as licorice extract or soy, which is in 2 Aveeno Positively Radiant Triple Boosting Serum ($16; drugstore .com). Both help thwart excess melanin from clustering into brown spots.
Exfoliate regularly

Products containing fruit acids gently remove skin's dull top layer, plus dirt and oil buildup that can rob you of radiance. Try a twice-a-week peel like 3 Zia Natural Skincare Ultimate Exfoliant ($30;, or a mild daily scrub like 4 Alba Botanica Pineapple Enzyme Facial Scrub ($13;
fight in flammation Inside…

Top sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, mackerel, and trout, plus walnuts and flaxseed can help calm conditions like acne, rosacea, psoriasis, and sensitive skin, says Alison Tannis, R.H.N., author of Feed Your Skin Starve Your Wrinkles (Fair Winds Press, 2009).
… Out Erase redness

In a moisturizer, opt for more potent anti-inflammatories. Graf suggests licorice and feverfew, two herbs known to help tamp down existing redness. 1 Neutrogena Continuous Hydration Night Cream from Ageless Essentials ($15; moisturizer features feverfew and 2 Eucerin Redness Relief Daily Perfecting Lotion SPF 15 ($15; drug contains licorice.
Skip suds

Soap can be one of the most irritating items in your bathroom. "It dissolves skin's lipid layer, making your complexion more vulnerable," says Graf. Instead, opt for a creamy, soap-free wash with calming botanicals like aloe, cucumber, chamomile (it may be listed as bisabolol), or lavender. Try Alaffia Shea Butter Cleansing Milk ($17; that gently cleanses with aloe.
Calm irritation

When your complexion becomes especially hot and bothered, give it a refreshing drink. Dampen skin, then apply a soothing, hydrating gel mask packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients. 4 Laura Mercier Hydra Soothing Gel Mask ($32; calms with aloe, chamomile, and lavender, and the extra moisture helps strengthens skin's defenses against irritation.

Get a protein boost from lean meats, poultry, low-fat yogurt and beans. The nutrient delivers the amino-acid building blocks of healthy nails, says Drayer.
strengthen your nails …& Out Use a sweet scrub

Eating sugar may not be a treat for skin (see "3 Saboteurs to Avoid," page 73), but the granules make an effective and gentle exfoliant. Just like on facial skin, dead, dry cells build up on nails and cuticles, so removing them restores luster and smoothes cuticles, says Jessica Vartoughian, owner of Jessica Nail Clinic in LA. Try a product like 1 Orly SugarFix Citrus Scrub ($20; orlybeauty .com) or mix plain sugar with warm olive oil, then scrub slowly and carefully. Also, don't press too hard as it could scratch nails, she adds.
Brush on strength

Topical protein can shore up weak nails, too. Look for it in a basecoat and brush on weekly, even if you don't add color on top. "The basecoat replenishes cracked nails, protects the nail plate and smoothes the surface," Vartoughian says. Try 2 SpaRitual Protein Boost Nail Fortifier ($15;
Massage in moisture

Moisturizing nails keeps them flexible, which fights breakage, plus hydrated cuticles promote nail growth, says Vartoughian. Rub in a cuticle oil such as 3 Jessica Phenomen Oil ($14; Jessica or you could also use straight olive, almond or jojoba oils. During the day, use lotions like 4 Origins Make a Difference Rejuvenating Hand Treatment ($19.50; after every hand wash to seal in hydration.

LEARN MORE: For 15 recipes that incorporate skin-healthy ingredients, log on to

Just another reason to clean up your diet — these junk food stalwarts can ruin your complexion.

SUGAR An occasional sweet treat is OK, but overdoing the candy and cakes weaken collagen, causing it to become brittle and not function properly, leading to wrinkling and sagging, says Graf.

REFINED CARBS Simple carbohydrates like white bread can spike insulin levels, which experts think increases levels of pimple-related hormones. Two recent Australian studies found that a low-glycemic diet reduces the severity of acne.

PROCESSED FOODS Packaged meals and snacks often contain preservatives and other additives that may tip your body's pH more acidic, which causes skin to look dull and feel dry.


By Beth Janes

Still life photography by Alexandra Rowley

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