Getting additional sunscreen from the food you eat

The food you eat affects your skin in a variety of ways. By eating certain plant foods, you can increase your protection from the sun. Certain foods are photoprotective because they contain specific phytonutrients like carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamins C and E, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients not only help protect your skin from sun damage, but they also support other health benefits as well.

To get the most benefits from these foods it is best to make them part of your regular diet, so that these nutrients can build up, rather than just eating them on days you know you will be in the sun. Consuming these foods does not take the place of using a barrier for protection, either clothing or sunscreen creams; both are recommended.

What foods have been specifically tested for their photopretective qualities?
  • Tomatoes
  • Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries
  • Avocados
  • Carrots
  • Watermelon
  • Dark chocolate
  • Goji berries
  • Green leafy veggies
  • Sweet potato
  • Rosemary
  • Green tea
  • Pomegranate
  • Grapes
  • Cruciferous veggies

By adding these foods to a daily smoothie, salad or eating them as a snack you will get all the phytonutrient benefits that support immune function, reduce inflammation, improve cardiovascular health AND provide nutrients for healthy skin and natural protection from sun damage.

Here are some recipes that have some of these ingredients:

Tons of Veggie Chopped Salad

Slow Roasted Tomatoes

Breakfast Toast

Sweet Potato Quesadilla

Mango Berry Tart

Green Goddess Dressing

Don’t feed your skin toxins

When it comes to skin health, we also need to talk about feeding your skin with the products you put ON your skin. Your skin will absorb most of the components found in lotions, elixirs, cleansers, shampoos, soaps and serums and sunscreens, so it is important to know what you are putting on your skin, because if it is absorbed through the skin, it goes directly into the bloodstream.

Ingredients to stay away from, so be sure to check product labels, include

  • Parabens – mimic estrogen on receptor sites
  • Avobenzone and Oxybenzone – hormone disruption, allergies
  • Homosalate – endocrine dydruptor
  • “Fragrance”– not required to disclose chemicals, but often toxic
  • Phthalates – associated with reproductive dysfunction, congenital disabilities, asthma, ADHD
  • Triclosan or Microban – kill beneficial skin microbiome, contribute to superbugs
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulphate – linked to potential kidney and liver dysfunction
Choose Clean products to nourish your skin

Instead of using chemically laden skincare products check the Skindeep Database for the products you use or to find products that have been tested and rated. I trust AnnMarie skincare and love the daily routine products and their sunscreen. I recommend the trial set that comes with at least a week’s worth of product so you can try a skin routine and sunscreen sample before purchasing full sizes. Plus it comes with a $10 coupon for your next purchase.

If you want a simple nourishing moisturizer, try plain almond oil or pure cocoa butter to smooth on after a shower or after being out in the sun. 

Do what you can to protect and nourish you skin from the inside with food while supporting it with barriers and topically from the outside. 


from the sun

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