In the summer, it’s essential to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from sun damage. But fighting the harmful effects of the sun doesn’t end with SPF sun cream. Eating nourishing, hydrating food could also provide protection from the inside out.
Read on to find out how the food you eat could leave your skin with a youthful, radiant glow.
How does the sun damage our skin?
Basking in the sun may give you a golden tan, but it also exposes you to harmful UV (ultraviolet) rays. These rays can burn the skin which raises your risk of developing skin cancer. As well as sunburn, UV rays also causes the skin to age prematurely.
In fact, research has shown sun exposure is responsible for most visible signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots. Whilst we need the sun to help our bodies make vitamin D, baring our skin to UV rays also reduces the amount of vitamin E in our skin.
We need vitamin E to strengthen our immune systems to keep our skin healthy.
How can we protect our skin from the sun?
As well as applying sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor), there are several ways to shield your skin from UV rays. In the UK, try to stay out of the sun between 11am – 3pm from March to October.
But if you don’t fancy staying in the shade, wear a hat and sunglasses for extra protection. Look out for sunscreen that contains vitamin C and vitamin E which may lessen the effects of the sun. Remember to reapply sun cream regularly, even waterproof ones, especially if you’ve been in water or have been sweating.
Which foods helps nourish and hydrate skin?
Pile your plate with broccoli for a dose of skin-repairing vitamin C and E. Antioxidants like these may help to protect skin cells from harmful free radicals which can damage the skin. As well as being rich in fibre, evidence shows that the crunchy green florets could have a natural anti-inflammatory effect.
This may be effective against sunburn which causes skin redness and inflammation.
Staying hydrated in warmer weather is vital for our overall health. Drinking at least 1.2 litres a day helps to reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles and dry skin. But topping up fluids with a cup of green tea could boost protection from the sun’s rays.
A rich source of healthy fats and vitamins A and E, nuts like walnuts and almonds are loaded with skin-boosting nutrients. Like olive oil, they’re also a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats which may prevent skin aging and help the skin renew itself.
Sources of omega-3
According to one recent study, a diet supplemented with omega-3 fish oils increased the skin’s resistance to sunlight. As well oily fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are wonderful plant-based sources of omega-3.
You may recognise retinol, otherwise known as vitamin A, as a common ingredient in your favourite face cream. This is because it plays a part in building and repairing skin tissue. In addition to vitamin C, sweet potatoes contain almost three times the amount of vitamin A we need each day.
Although, sunscreens shield against sun damage, it’s clear that a nutritious diet also plays a role. Check out our range of paraben-free sun care.