After months of winter’s frigid dry air outside and heated dry air inside, your skin probably feels as crinkly and creased as a crashed-up stock car on the Talladega speedway.
But you don’t need fancy repair creams that cost an arm and a leg. Our easy, economical plan will give your skin such a youthful head-to-toe glow that you’ll want to show it off under the covers. (Your partner can thank us later.)
Feed your skin wrinkle-fighters. Eat citrus often (oranges, tangelos, grapefruit). The bonanza of vitamin C in citrus discourages wrinkles, because C helps pump up collagen (supportive protein fibers that stop skin from sagging).
Wash with the right stuff. Skip soaps with colors and fragrances; dyes can leave a dull residue, and scents can trigger allergies. Instead, choose gentle, pH-balanced cleansers that won’t upset the skin’s protective acid mantle, which keeps moisture in. Tip: If the soap you’re using doesn’t sting your eyes, it likely won’t bother your skin.
Go for the greens. To keep skin from resembling a scaly alligator belt, up your intake of dark-green veggies. Spinach, broccoli and turnip greens are especially rich in skin-loving vitamin A, which encourages cell turnover, deters dryness and keeps the skin’s surface supple.
Seal in moisture. If you’re over 50, or live in a really dry climate, slather lotion all over your entire body while you’re still damp from the shower. Repeat on your hands after each cold-and-flu-fighting scrub.
Spring is here. You’ll be able to show that glow outdoors too.
Want to be able blow the candles out on your 100th birthday cake and actually remember what you did during all of those years? Then keep your healthy HDL cholesterol high.
That’s a secret shared by long-lived people who’ve never developed memory-robbing Alzheimer’s disease: They have higher-than-average HDL levels. Participants in a recent study whose HDL was above 56 (if yours is over 50, that’s great!) were 60 percent less likely to have Alzheimer’s than those with lower HDL.
Healthy, active HDL works like a good cop, patrolling your arterial streets and carting off lousy LDL perps to your liver and out before they turn into heart-threatening plaque. That keeps blood flowing freely to your head (your heart, too). Good HDL also protects delicate brain cells from damaging inflammation and improves your memory.
So if you’re counting on that 100th birthday cake, do this to keep your HDL high and your brain young:
1. Eat good fats. Make a daily date with monounsaturated fats, like those in walnuts, avocados, salmon, trout and olive/canola oils. DHA (900 mg a day) is what you want. It’ll raise HDL by 12 percent.
2. Keep walking. Doing 30 minutes a day can raise HDL by 9 percent.
3. Quit smoking. In addition to all its other benefits, you’ll get a fast four-point HDL bonus.
4. Slim down. Losing 6.6 pounds raises your HDL 1 point. It sounds small, but it isn’t.
5. Talk to your doc. Ask if taking niacin (vitamin B-3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), two baby aspirin, estrogen (for women) or a low-dose statin drug like Crestor would boost your HDL.
The YOU Docs, Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen, are authors of “YOU: On a Diet.” Want more? See “The Dr. Oz Show” on TV. To submit questions, go to www.RealAge.com.