Smooth and Radiant Skin: Healthy Habits

Martha Stewart Weddings, Spring 2006

It turns out that what's good for you -- eating right, getting plenty of rest, and exercising -- will also benefit your skin. Foods rich in vitamins A, B, and C help skin stay firm and smooth. Leafy green vegetables and colorful fruits are high in antioxidants, which can help repair skin cells that have been damaged by the sun. Fiber helps eliminate toxins, which can make skin appear dull.

If you aren't already eating these foods, take every opportunity to work them into your diet in the months leading up to your wedding. Exercising increases circulation, which also helps expel toxins. And drinking six to eight glasses of water a day helps skin stay supple, doctors say; try to make a habit of always carrying a bottle with you.

In the days just before the wedding, you may want to avoid foods such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, red wine, and spicy dishes if you're prone to blotchy skin, says New York City dermatologist Brad Katchen, M.D. He also suggests cutting back salt intake to decrease any bloating or puffiness. Finally, be sure to get enough rest: Spending late nights poring over seating arrangements can cause stress -- and lead to breakouts. If you're good to yourself, it will show.

What to Eat
Leafy green vegetables like broccoli, kale, and spinach contain antioxidants, which protect and repair skin cells.

Brightly colored fruits, such as kiwis, mangoes, papayas, apples, and grapes, also have antioxidants, plus they help reduce inflammation.

Salmon has omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect the skin against sunburn.

Lean meats like chicken and fish have protein to keep your skin firm.

Fiber-rich foods like nuts, beans, and bran cereal help digestion; good digestion promotes healthy skin.

Smooth and Radiant Skin

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