Find me a woman—and in today’s appearance-driven society, a man—who isn’t somewhat obsessed with aging and wrinkles.

A direct link between food consumption and skin damage has not been widely researched. But a 2001 study that examined  the correlation between food/nutrient intake and skin wrinkling found a positive relationship (“Skin Wrinkling: Can Food Make a Difference?”; Journal of the American College of Nutrition, February 2001).

Researchers determined that Swedish subjects 70 and older had the least skin wrinkling in a sun-exposed area, among four ethnic groups studied. This suggests “subjects with a higher intake of vegetables, olive oil, and monounsaturated fat and legumes, but a lower intake of milk/dairy products, butter, margarine and sugar products, had less skin wrinkling in a sun-exposed site.”

“More studies need to be done to determine the long-term benefits of food on our skin,” says Susan C. Taylor, MD, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University in New York City. “Eating a variety of healthy foods and drinking plenty of water so the skin stays hydrated should help most people improve the appearance of their skin.”

And remember: Be sure to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day. It should have an SPF of 15 or higher to protect your skin from sun exposure.

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