Dermatologist reveals best ways to keep skin looking ageless

Forget the serums, potions, gels and products of all kinds that take up so much bathroom cabinet space.

Instead, for healthier living, one expert revealed that the best skin care routine today is a very simple one.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Dr. Fayne Frey — a dermatologist based in West Nyack, New York, with more than three decades of experience — shared her best-kept skin care secrets.

They include strong protection against the sun.

Frey revealed that the only product needed to achieve a healthy, ageless complexion is sunscreen.

“The single product [that] everybody should be using 365 days a year is sunscreen,” she said.

“It is by far the most effective ‘anti-aging’ protective product on the market that promotes not only skin health but skin appearance.”

Even during the cold winter months, Frey emphasized the importance of using sunscreen.

Dr. Fayne Frey is a dermatologist based in West Nyack, New York. Shay Frey

And while many beauty products such as foundations and moisturizers come with SPF, Frey said most women don’t use enough of the product for adequate protection.

“I always suggest wearing sunscreen — an SPF broad-spectrum sunscreen — and then apply your makeup over it,” she said.

“And put it on liberally.”

Frey said sun exposure can cause pigmentation and fine wrinkling issues with age, so she recommends sunscreen as a preventative for people of all ages.

The dermatologist and author of the book “The Skincare Hoax,” explained that most people don’t need a multi-step skincare routine.

Dr. Frey recommends applying sunscreen on before putting on makeup.

Instead, the best skin care regimen doesn’t come in a bottle, but rather in the lifestyle choices that people make every day.

“Healthy skin mimics a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

“So, getting up in the morning and maybe exercising, getting a good night’s sleep … [eating] a nutritious diet” — all of these things are wise to do, she stressed.

The product needed to achieve ageless complexion is sunscreen. Getty Images

“The best things in life don’t come in a bottle or a syringe or a tube or a jar,” she said.

Frey revealed that she’s seen “thousands” of women who come into her office feeling bad about “minuscule” flaws that are often pointed out by today’s media machines.

“Marketing is powerful,” she said. “And our cultural bias is a definition of beauty that is unattainable and unreachable for many people.”

When it comes to skincare misconceptions, Frey encouraged the public to pay attention to marketing labels, especially on products that claim they’re anti-aging.”

“The truth is, science hasn’t found a single ingredient to reverse the aging process,” she said. “It is inevitable, and it is irreversible.”

The dermatologist admitted that she doesn’t even recommend using a cleanser for normal face washing, based on a study that revealed that half of a pool of 500 women used only water and still had healthy skin.

“I don’t know anybody who doesn’t use cleanser and has sick skin because of it,” she said.

The dermatologist doesn’t recommend using a cleanser for normal face washing. Getty Images/Tetra images RF

For those with inflammatory skin, acne or other conditions, especially adolescents, Frey recommends seeing a dermatologist for elevated skin care.

Otherwise, Frey said that a hydrating moisturizer for dry skin and petroleum jelly, like Vaseline, are great additional products to keep in your cabinet.

“Petroleum jelly is the most versatile skincare product on the market,” she said.

“It’s great for really dry areas, like elbows and knees, runaway eyebrows, chafing on the nose when you have a cold, chapped lips … I can’t imagine life without it,” she said.

Eat your way to fabulous skin

That said, as much as we may try to resist it, our skin naturally ages. Wrinkles and age spots are inevitable, but skin ageing may be sped up by overexposure to the sun, tanning beds, harsh soaps, chemicals and poor diet. With this in mind, a holistic approach is best.

Everyone has a favourite face cream or treatment, but there’s no denying that beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within. Older skin cells are constantly being shed and replaced, which means a steady supply of nutrients is essential to support this rapid turnover. Eat the correct balance of foods and you'll feed your skin and help keep it soft, supple and blemish-free.

Interested in trying our FREE 7-day healthy diet plan? Click here and choose between our meat eaters, vegetarian or vegan meal plans.

Treat your skin well and optimise your nutrition by eating a varied and balanced diet including antioxidant-rich fruit and vegetables, healthy fats from oily fish and nuts, and adequate hydration.

Read on for our 10 top tips on eating your way to glowing skin...

1. Eat a minimum of five portions of fruit and vegetables every day

Fruits and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. These free radicals may be triggered by smoking, pollution and the action of sunlight.

Eat a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables, and aim for at least five portions a day. Beta-carotene, found in orange fruit and vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkins, and lutein, found in kale, papaya and spinach are both important for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone.

Discover what counts as one of your five-a-day.

2. Get your vitamin C

We need vitamin C to support the immune system, promote radiant skin and help blemishes heal. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin C is also key for producing collagen, the protein that forms the scaffolding that keeps our skin plump and supported, and strengthens the blood capillaries that supply the blood that nourishes our skin.

Read more about vital vitamins.

3. Eat enough vitamin E

Vitamin E plays a key role in protecting the skin from oxidative (cell) damage and especially photo-aging. Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, avocados, hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and pumpkin seed oil.

Read more about what makes avocados so healthy.

4. Stock up on selenium

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant and works alongside vitamins C and E. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet may help protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. One way to boost your intake is to eat Brazil nuts. Just 2-3 nuts will provide your recommended daily amount. Mix Brazil nuts with other seeds rich in vitamin E as a snack or salad sprinkle. Other good sources of this mineral include fish, shellfish, eggs, wheatgerm, tomatoes and broccoli.

Read more about the health benefits of Brazil nuts.

5. Eat plenty of zinc

The mineral zinc helps keep skin supple through supporting the normal functioning of oil-producing glands in the skin. It’s also involved in the healing process and helps repair skin damage. Zinc-rich foods include fish, lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish.

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Read more about why we need vital minerals.

6. Include healthy fats, especially omega-3

Certain fats act as a natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple from the inside and improving elasticity. These fats include the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated varieties found in avocados, oily fish, nuts and seeds. These fats come cleverly packaged with a healthy dose of valuable vitamin E.

Pay special attention to food sources of a poly-unsaturated fat called omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are anti-inflammatory and may help skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. They also form the building blocks of healthy skin.

You can find omega-3 in oily fish, such as salmon, trout and sardines as well as plant sources including flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts and rapeseed oil.

Discover the health benefits of salmon.

7. Eat more phyto-estrogens

Phyto-estrogens are natural compounds found in plants. They have a similar structure to the female sex hormone oestrogen and are thought to help keep our natural hormones in balance. This is important because oestrogen plays an important role in skin health, especially in supporting skin structure and minimising skin damage.

There are different types of plant ‘oestrogen’, some are found in soya (isoflavones) such as tofu and tempeh, others are found in the fibre of wholegrains, fruit, vegetables and flaxseed (lignans).

At key life stages such as midlife it may be useful to focus on phyto-estrogen-rich soya, wholegrains, fruits and vegetables as part of a balanced diet.

Find out more about the health benefits of soya.

8. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day

Skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration may leave your skin looking dry, tired and slightly grey. Experts recommend that we drink six to eight glasses of water a day – all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the best.

If you work in an office, keep a large bottle of water on your desk to remind you to drink. Herbal, caffeine-free teas are good, too. Don't forget that some fruit and vegetables, such as watermelon, courgette and cucumber, also contribute fluids – the added benefit is that the minerals they contain will increase the rate you hydrate your body and skin.

Discover how to stay hydrated.

9. Go for low-GI carbs

The glycaemic index (GI) is a system that ranks carbohydrate-based foods on how slowly or quickly they are broken down in the body to glucose. Try to eat plenty of beans, pulses, porridge and other low-GI, slow-releasing carbohydrates. These carbs release their energy into the blood stream gradually, providing you with a steady supply of energy and leaving you feeling satisfied and less likely to snack.

Avoid high-GI carbohydrates such as biscuits and sugary drinks, as they lead to production of insulin, which may damage collagen and accelerate wrinkles.

Learn more about what the glycaemic index is and discover our favourite low-GI recipes.

10. Don't crash diet

Repeatedly losing and regaining weight will take its toll on your skin, causing sagging, wrinkles and stretch marks. Crash diets are often deficient in essential vitamins and minerals too. Over long periods of time this type of dieting will reflect on your skin.

If you're considering trying a weight loss plan, make sure you have all the facts first – explore our expert guides to popular diets and read the six things you should consider before starting a diet.

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are two other life style factors that will impact the look and appearance of your skin.

Sign up for our free Healthy Diet Plans – these are nutritionally balanced and designed to kickstart a healthier way of eating.

Eat to beat common skin problems

Does diet affect acne?

Acne is commonly linked to changes in hormone levels, at puberty and peri-menopause. Fluctuating hormones can stimulate the oil-producing glands, which can trigger an inflammatory response and lead to the signs of acne.

In order to help minimise acne, cut back on saturated and hydrogenated fats in margarines and processed foods. Eliminate junk food as well as foods high in sugar, such as cakes and biscuits, from your diet. Eat more raw vegetables, wholegrains, fresh fruit and fish. Try to include selenium-rich foods, such as Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, fresh tuna, sunflower seeds, walnuts and wholemeal bread.

Does diet affect psoriasis?

Psoriasis is characterised by red skin patches with silvery scales, most commonly on the elbows and knees. These patches are caused by rapid growth and turnover of cells in the outer layer of the skin. Patches can be itchy and sore, and, in severe cases, the skin may crack and bleed.

Sunburn, alcohol, smoking, obesity and stress are all implicated but there may also be trigger foods which you will have to identify using an exclusion diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil or cold-pressed nut and seed oils are important to include in the diet. The diet should also, ideally, be low in saturated fat and include anti-inflammatory herbs and spices such as turmeric, ginger, cumin, fennel, rosemary and garlic.

Seek professional advice from your GP or a registered dietician before making changes to your diet or commencing an exclusion diet.

Does diet affect eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that usually begins as patchy redness, often on the hands but can appear anywhere on the skin. Although there are many triggers, one of the most common is food sensitivity. Potential offending foods may be milk, eggs, fish, cheese, nuts and food additives. Omega-3 fats, zinc and vitamin E may help reduce symptoms.

If you have any of these conditions be aware that once you make changes to your diet, you can't expect an overnight miracle. It takes six weeks for new skin to emerge, so the visible benefits from dietary changes will take just as long.

For persistent skin conditions, talk to your GP or consider seeing a dermatologist.

This article was last reviewed on 23 June 2022 by Kerry Torrens.

Kerry Torrens BSc. (Hons) PgCert MBANT is a Registered Nutritionist with a post graduate diploma in Personalised Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy. She is a member of the British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT) and a member of the Guild of Food Writers. Over the last 15 years she has been a contributing author to a number of nutritional and cookery publications including BBC Good Food. Find her on Instagram at @kerry_torrens_nutrition_

Jo Lewin is a registered nutritionist (RNutr) with the Association for Nutrition with a specialism in public health. Follow her on Twitter @nutri_jo.


All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider. See our website terms and conditions for more information.

10 Steps to naturally flawless skin

If you eat well, sleep well, take regular exercise and maintain an earth-wise skincare routine, you don’t need to spend a fortune on cosmetics and commercial treatments. Follow these steps for a naturally flawless complexion.

1. Keep out of the sun as much as possible

This is the single best preventive strategy to avoid premature aging and the risk of developing skin cancer,” says medical director Novuskin, Dr. Robert Kaplan, DO. Outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat and loose, light, long-sleeved clothing rather than shorts and brief tops.

2. Use sunscreen

Keep it in a handy place—your handbag, car, gardening kit, picnic basket or golf bag—and apply it about 30 minutes before you go out, as it takes this long to become effective. Sunscreens that contain essential oils can be highly effective in this case. Also, if it's hard for you to find such sunscreens, you can also make use of essential oil blends for the maximum benefits. Essential oils do tighten your skin and they come with many rejuvenating benefits. VINEVIDA is one of the leading wholesale essential oil companies in the USA. They can be a nice option for you to purchase oils at the most competitive prices on the web.

3. Eat a diet high in natural fibre

Digestive problems can result in skin blemishes. Good health starts from the inside out, so include lots of fruit, raw vegetables and whole grains in your diet.

4. Try to avoid exposure to your skin’s natural enemies

For example, stress, too many late nights, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes can all play a part in making you look less than your best.

Read more: How to quit smoking

5. Avoid using soap

Its alkalinity tends to strip the natural acid mantle of the skin. Choose a gentle cleansing oil or cream instead.

6. Moisturise your face every day

As well as minimising the appearance of fine lines and countering flakiness and dryness, a rich moisturiser will plump up your skin, creating a smoother, more even appearance.

7. Drink plenty of water

Coconut water is another great source of hydration

Your skin should contain about 15 percent water. However, in air-conditioned offices where the humidity level is around 10 percent, this moisture evaporates faster than it can be replaced.

Read more: 7 Great tips for staying hydrated

8. Give your skin time to rest and breathe

Occasionally, cleanse it thoroughly and set aside times where you leave it free of moisturisers and make-up.Your skin will benefit from the deep cleansing. For best results, do this after a facial or a facial steam.

9. Apply fruit acids in the form of a face mask

If used regularly, the acids and enzymes in the fruit help to slough off dead skin cells, fade age spots and make your skin appear brighter.

Save money by making your own face masks rather than buying expensive commercial products.

Read more: 3 Scrumptious DIY face scrub recipes

10. Exercise

Regular aerobic exercise gives you instantly glowing skin and it’s also a great natural foundation for good health.

Choose an activity that you enjoy and make it part of your daily routine.

Read more beauty advice

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Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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