Skin: your biggest organ, all 20 square feet of it, and every square inch containing 19 million skincells—which the body replaces monthly. It's no wonder caring for your outer self can feel like such a big project. If it's any consolation, it's not all for vanity's sake, according to Alan Logan, ND, coauthor of Your Skin, Younger (Cumberland House, 2010). "Studies show skin damage often reflects a person's health and vitality," he says. Consider recent studies of twins, which found the younger-looking twin had healthier habits, less stress, and fewer medical problems—and ultimately lived longer. Here, get effective, nontoxic solutions for your top skin care concerns.

How does my diet affect my skin?

Your skin is what you eat, say experts: Food choices can cause and combat skin problems. "The body repairs and replenishes from the inside out," says Logan. "Nutrition makes a significant contribution to overall skin appearance." Start by cutting way back on sugar, which damages skin through a process called glycation, collagen distortion that promotes inflammation and oxidative stress. Also be conservative with vegetable oils, which can encourage breakouts. And foods cooked on high, dry heat (grilled, fried, or baked) have a similar inflammatory effect in the body because of preformed advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which also distort collagen.

Beauty fix: Minimize AGE damage by boiling, steaming, poaching, or stewing your foods. "We don't say, ‘never enjoy a grilled food,'" says Logan. But something as simple as poaching an egg, rather than frying it, can make a significant difference in AGE levels. In fact, high water content in the Japanese diet may be one reason why Japanese people tend to have fewer visible aging signs than Caucasians, says Logan.