Hello Sunshine
By Sherrie Strausfogel
In addition to sunscreen, certain foods like cocoa and red wine can help save skin from too much sun.

You may be able to boost your skin’s ability to protect itself from too much sun exposure by what you eat. Research is showing that diet and supplements can help minimize the signs of the sun’s damaging rays in combination with a correctly administered sunscreen routine.

Some sun each day boosts your mood and is an ideal source of vitamin D. However, too much sun can create free radicals, which damage cells. Antioxidants can help clean up free radicals before they can cause damage.

According to Alan C. Logan, ND, Mark G. Rubin, MD, and Phillip M. Levy, MD, authors of Your Skin, Younger (New Science Secrets to Reverse the Effects of Age), cocoa, fish oil, lycopene (a carotenoid found in red fruit that acts as an antioxidant), and grapes can provide UV protection.

They point to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2006 that showed that consuming 329 milligrams of cocoa (flavanols) daily for three months reduced sunburn, improved dermal thickness and hydration, and decreased roughness and scaling of the skin in otherwise healthy middle-aged women.

They note more recent studies that show that fish oil supplements, rich in EPA, provide internal protection against UV damage in healthy adults and also improve skin elasticity in healthy women. Another study showed healthy adults who ate 5 to 10 milligrams of lycopene (abundant in tomato products and also found in apricots, pink grapefruit, guava, and watermelon) for 12 weeks decreased sunburn by approximately 50 percent.

Eat and Drink Your Way to Sun-Protected Skin
The book also quotes a well-publicized study from the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology in 2009, that red wine, which is high in naturally occurring antioxidants, provides some UV protection within 40 minutes of consumption. In addition, green and white tea; vitamins A, C, and E; coffee; lutein (kale broccoli, spinach, parsley, and basil); zeaxanthin (yellow-orange foods, peppers, and corn); soy; berries; pomegranate; turmeric; ginger; and seaweed have been shown to provide internal UV protection in a variety of other studies.

Coenzyme Q10 supplements may also assist in sun protection by suppressing the inflammatory response of skin when exposed to oxidation stress like UV rays. Citrus bioflavonoids help promote even skin tone by inhibiting the enzyme that promotes hyperpigmentation.

Diet and supplements are not a substitute for good sunscreen. However, if used in combination, they may lend added sun protection and help minimize damage.

word: lyc-o-mato

The proprietary tomato extract (in supplements and foods) contains lycopene and other antioxidants. Research has demonstrated its ability to protect against the sun.

Get the UVA/UVB protection of zinc oxide without the pasty look with Elemental Herbs Sunscreen Sport Tinted SPF 22. Biodegradable and non-greasy, it blends naturally with your skin tone.

Go beyond sun protection with Lavera Sun 15 Anti-Ageing Sun Milk for 100 percent mineral-based UVA and UVB sun protection that is good for your skin.

Moisturize your skin while you protect it from the sun with Alba Botanica Very Emollient Sunblock SPF 45 with Organic Lavender. This improved water-resistant formula boasts a higher SPF, and UVA and UVB protection—endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation.

Protect your skin with new and improved JASON Sunbrellas Family Natural Sunblock SPF 45. It’s tear-free, water-resistant, and free from chemicals found in conventional sunscreens.

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