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If your skin is looser than a loose-meat sandwich, you can blame the decreased collagen and elastin in your skin. They work together to keep us young and beautiful but both deplete with age. Free radicals, created when old or weak cells divide improperly (oxidation), also ravage the skin. If you want skin tighter than Taylor Lautner's abs, increase your intake of a few key vitamins and minerals.
Better known as CoQ10, Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant that can counter free radicals. CoQ10 also helps cells reproduce. It stimulates the creation and repair of skin, along with boosting elastin and collagen levels. Ironically, CoQ10 levels decrease as we age, creating a vicious cycle. It's like that ex-boyfriend -- gone when you need it most. CoQ10 is sold as a topical cream but it's more effective as an oral supplement. Or combine the two for even better results. Don't shell out big bucks for CoQ10 skin cream, since spendy isn't always better. If CoQ10 is listed as an active ingredient, the cream should be sufficient when paired with an oral supplement. The suggested oral dose is 30 to 200 mg daily.
Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant that reduces free radicals. It also stimulates your body's production of collagen. Vitamin C can firm skin cells and reduce wrinkles. The problem with vitamin C for antiaging is that many manufacturers don't create a product that keeps vitamin C in optimal conditions. Vitamin C is fragile and prone to oxidation (creation of free radicals) if it's stored improperly. Creams containing vitamin C turn yellow as they oxidize, but some manufacturers deliberately tint their products to hide this. A better alternative is to create your own vitamin C cream in small batches, to ensure freshness (see Resources). It also helps from the inside out, so pick up a quality supplement. Start with a dose of 60 mg daily and increase to bowel tolerance -- though generally no higher than 2,500 mg daily. Believe me, you will know if you're taking too much.
Also an antioxidant, vitamin E helps protect your skin against ultraviolet radiation and pollution, which speed up cell oxidation that releases free radicals. Vitamin E also assists with regulating vitamin A utilization, another beneficial antiaging vitamin. This vitamin also helps firm the skin by reducing free radicals and reducing wrinkles. It comes in topical form or as an oral supplement. They can be used together. The Rcommended Daily Allowance is 15 I.U. per day.
Nope, it's not that stuff formerly put in breast implants. A trace mineral, silica helps maintain and strengthen connective tissues, like tendons, cartilage and ligaments. It plays a role in keeping your skin pliable, and deficiencies of silica can cause reduced skin elasticity. Add silica to your diet by eating mangoes, garbanzo beans, asparagus and strawberries. If none of those are on your favorite foods list, you can also get the natural form of silica from the herb horsetail. It is also available as a liquid supplement. A suggested dose is 375 mg daily.