Stop Wrinkles Before They Start.

In Los Angeles, everybody cares about the way they look.  So when I moved back to the West Coast after five years of living in Boston, I felt like a dumpy country mouse. I had gone to med school in the land of duck boots and Carhartt jackets. To say I had a bit of culture shock when I returned to Hollywood is the understatement of the century. And if you’re really looking for a confidence smasher, just try shopping for clothes.

I once went to a high-end boutique in West Hollywood with a friend who’s a former model. As we walked among racks of uber-expensive designer duds, not a single salesperson bothered to look my way. While my friend was in the dressing room, I browsed the sale rack and actually found something to try on. But when I tried it on, I realized it was too small. After some effort I flagged down a saleswoman to bring me a larger size. “Guess you had a little too much pumpkin pie over the holidays” she clucked as she handed me the larger dress.  I felt my face flush, got dressed as quickly as possible, and told my friend I’d wait for her outside. The whole episode brought back a rush of painful grade-school memories when I was triple-cursed with clumsiness, bad skin, and poor vision, It was like being picked last for kickball all over again.  You never forget that feeling.

This is why I can related to my patients and their various insecurities. I knew what it was like to have bad skin as a teen, and now, as I enter my 50s, I know what it’s like to wake up and see wrinkles and crow’s feet where there weren’t any before. Just as it’s cruel to accuse someone of eating too much pie when they can’t fit into a dress, I can’t imagine blaming anyone for what happens to her skin over time.  After all, you can’t fight gravity.  What you can do is make the best choices for your skin three times a day, every time you sit down for a meal or reach for a snack.

Whether you want to improve your skin or you’re happy with what you’ve got and you want to keep it that way, you can look and feel your best by stocking your fridge with the right foods, making smart choices when you eat out, and choosing skin-friendly snacks in between meals. You have the power to feed your skin the foods that will help build collagen, preserve elastic tissue, and restore firmness. That, combined with using the right skin care, will help your skin look, feel, and be more healthy and glowing. But before we talk about how to turn back time with food, we need to understand what happens to the skin as time goes on.