You're wearing your favourite dress, you pick out the accessories and book your hair appointment. You want to look your best, but but the whole effect can be ruined if you have a poor complexion, wrinkles and look older than your years. Your face is always on show and as a nutritionist, Monica knows it's not just the creams and moisturisers you put on the outside that count, but what you put in. Here, she shows you how, with the right diet, you can turn back 10 years and restore your youthful, glowing complexion to shine for 2009!
Top tip: face or figure?
The face loses fat first, but don't let that put you off slimming. If you're over 45, deal with figure faults by stretching and toning, as weight loss will show in your face. Not eating is as ageing as smoking and sunbathing, so follow a balanced weight loss programme...
Top 10 skin foods
Salmon supplies something called eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). The body converts it to prostaglandins, which prevent inflammation, broken veins and dryness. It also contains protein to make collagen and keratin.
Rich in vitamin C and beta carotene, and a natural sunscreen, papaya helps renew collagen and elastin, which give the skin its springy texture.
Linoleic acid in walnuts helps keep skin watertight, Brazil nuts have high levels of selenium, which protects skin against sun damage and almonds are high in calcium.
These are very rich in vitamin C and natural colouring flavanoids, which both strengthen collagen. This in turn helps the body to guard against and repel any pollutants it encounters.
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and ellagic acid. Eating them regularly helps prevent flushing and thread veins, and reduces bruising.
6. Avocado pears
Your beauty larder isn't complete without this food. They're delicious, highly nutritious, and rich in mono-unsaturated fats and antioxidant vitamin E.
7. Sweet potatoes
These are rich in the antioxidant vitamins E and C, and beta carotene. They protect against ultraviolet rays by forming a natural UV screen. Vitamin E also assists collagen repair.
Eggs are very high in protein, especially egg whites - they contain 100% protein and only 10 calories each.
They contain copper, which improves skin colour and reduces sallowness. Copper is also a building block for collagen, helping make skin soft.
Rich in calcium, protein and magnesium, milk is essential for skin cell growth. Drinking it helps maintain fluid balance and keeps skin plump and smooth.