7 Foods to Eat to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage
Arming yourself with plenty of sunscreen, sun hats and cover ups is an absolute must for excellent skin health and UV protection. But why not add an extra layer of protection from the inside out? As it turns out, the foods you eat could actually help your skin stay protected from the harmful effects of the summer sun’s strong UV rays. These seven foods are great choices for a healthy body and healthy, radiant summer skin.
That lovely red hue that marks a deliciously ripe tomato is all thanks to lycopene, a carotenoid known for its antioxidant and anticancer properties. Getting your fill of tomatoes and tomato-based products can block UVB rays from penetrating your skin, as well as neutralize the oxidation of free radicals caused by past sun damage, thus counteracting the effects of photoaging on the skin (Nutrition and Cancer).
Carrots are perhaps best known for their ability to improve your eye health, but research shows that these powerful vegetables can also be beneficial for your skin. Like lycopene, the beta-carotene found in carrots is a strong antioxidant that can protect your skin from damage caused by overexposure to the sun.
Carrots may also help to lower your skin’s sensitivity to the sun, which could reduce the severity of sunburns, should you get caught outside without sunscreen (University of Maryland Medical Center).
3. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene, which is considered a safe source of vitamin A, and therefore also contribute to cell repair and UV protection. Additionally, sweet potatoes also contain high amounts of vitamins C and E, which have been shown to promote collagen production, improve skin texture, and even reduce under eye puffiness (Healthline).
4. Red, Orange, and Yellow Peppers
The advice your mother may have given you about eating a colorful plate of food is actually backed by science, who knew? The carotenoids found in red, orange, and yellow peppers not only provide excellent antioxidant properties, but they also contain 11 times more beta-carotene than green peppers (Livestrong).
Watermelon isn’t just the perfect summer snack for its refreshingly juicy taste. It’s also packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to keep your skin protected from the sun. Watermelon also helps your entire body stay hydrated, which can help to keep your skin healthy and glowing (Medical News Today).
6. Blueberries and Grapes
Continuing with the color wheel of skin-healthy foods, blueberries and grapes contain the phytochemicals flavonoids and resveratrol. These have been shown to have powerful anti-aging and anti-inflammatory capabilities that can help to reverse premature aging caused by sun damage (Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, Inflammation and Allergy-Drug Targets).
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are also found in tuna, flaxseed, and walnuts. Not only are omega-3s beneficial for your overall health, but they may also help to boost your skin’s ability to protect itself from UV rays and even fight infection and skin cancer (University of Manchester).
Taking Your Skin Care to the Next Level
The best skin care routine will provide many layers of protection and treatment to not only keep your skin healthy, but to also help it look and feel smooth, radiant, and youthful. When it comes to sun damage, applying a daily sunscreen, avoiding prolonged sun exposure, and eating the right foods can add up to the perfect equation for excellent skin health.
If previous sun damage has lead to signs of premature aging such as lines, wrinkles, and dark spots, however, there are a number of professional treatment options available to help your skin repair and restore itself. Laser skin resurfacing options like Laser Genesis and Halo can stimulate your skin’s natural collagen production, resulting in a smoother, more even tone and texture.
At Acqua Blu Medical Spa in Pittsburgh and Wexford, we offer a variety of laser skin resurfacing treatments to meet the unique needs of our clients. Our board-certified dermatologist Dr. Ana Busquets would be happy to meet with you to discuss which option might be right for your skin condition. If you’d like more information about treating sun damage, or to schedule a consultation, please contact us at (724) 933-1800.