09/09/2016 12:07 EDT | Updated 11/23/2016 06:52 EST

Great Skin Is Way Simpler Than We All Thought

Want to keep your skin healthy-looking and youthful?

Would some practical and penny-wise advice appeal to you?

And no, I'm not just talking to the ladies. This is for you guys, too.

First, you don't have to buy expensive facial creams -- nearly all of which are ridiculously overpriced compared to what it costs to make them.

Nor do you need to visit beauty salons.

You just have to realize that what's good for your body internally is good externally, too.

In other words, a healthy diet is the best recipe for great skin. It's one that should contain low-fat protein, complex carbohydrates (including organic vegetables), and antioxidant-filled fruits.

If you're not convinced, then consider this: Your skin has three layers. And cosmetic treatments don't even effectively penetrate the outer layer, according to scientific studies.

So it's all up to you. You have to be proactive about taking care of your skin. And you need to do it in a more meaningful way than just rubbing some pricey cream on your face at night.

The good news is you can eat your way to great skin with delicious, nutritious natural foods. Choose them wisely and your skin will maintain a youthful, radiant glow well into middle-age.

The Secret of Youthful Skin is in the Oil

Most of all, your diet should contain a small amount of essential fatty acids -- which are found in foods like fish, nuts, and olive oil.

In particular, be sure to include seafood in your diet. Fish is the only nutrient-dense food source in which higher fat content is better for you, particularly for your skin.

Cold-water fish are the healthiest kind as they're high in essential fatty acids but are low in saturated fats. (Essential fatty acids include omega-3s, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.)

Among the seafood that fall into this category are wild salmon, cod, halibut, albacore tuna, sardines, herring, anchovies, bass, mackerel, and trout. Many of these fish are also full of antioxidant-rich vitamins A and E.

They're also loaded with B vitamins and important minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. Wild salmon is a particularly good choice as it also contains deanol dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE). This is a very powerful antioxidant that's touted as having natural face-lift properties.

Why Fruit is Your Friend and Fruit Juices Aren't

Vitamin-rich fruits also play a key role in keeping you looking your best. What they do is strengthen your skin's collagen formation. That is what gives youthful skin its plump, radiant appearance.

This is important because your body ordinarily experiences a gradual loss of collagen as you age. Now, you may not be able to completely stop this process. But you can significantly slow it down with an ample intake of vitamin C and other antioxidant-rich foods.

However, be sure to get your vitamin C from fruit, rather than fruit juices, which are high in natural sugars.

Some supermarket fruit juices even have added refined sugar. And juices pack plenty of calories that don't fill you up; so they're easy to over-consume. Conversely, the fiber in whole fruit causes its sugar to be absorbed far more slowly. And fiber also induces satiety (feeling full).

Sugary drinks can cause your blood sugar (glucose) to rise rapidly.

In turn, this can damage the collagen in your skin. Consequently, this tends to lead to accelerate the aging process by causing wrinkles and a premature loss of skin elasticity.

However, if you get a sugar craving, just eat some fruit. Or try simply drinking a glass of water because mild dehydration can trigger sugar cravings that disappear as soon as you're rehydrated.

In summary, your skin's appearance is a fairly good indicator of your body's overall health and vitality, including the well-being of your internal organs.

Healthy skin is youthful and sexy, too. Keep that in mind the next time you're grocery shopping. It'll inspire you to eat right, and for a fraction of the cost of over-hyped skin rejuvenating creams.

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