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Here Comes the Sun, Grab the … Tomatoes?

Ah, finally – sun! It seemed like winter would never end, but here we are with summer upon us. It’s time to shed those layers and get outside.

But first, slather on the sunscreen. And grab a hat. Oh, and where did you leave your sunglasses?

So much for shedding the layers.

Don’t leave home without the sunscreen

Ensuring your skin is protected from the harmful rays of the sun is important. Making sure you use a broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen that is at a minimum an SPF 30 is vital to keeping the sun’s damaging rays at bay and preventing everything from premature aging to malignant melanoma.1,2,3

But there are things you can do even on the cloudiest days to increase your skin’s protections against sun damage.

You really are what you eat

In addition to external precautions like sunscreen, there are things that you can do to keep your skin healthy from the inside out and increase its resistance to the sun’s harmful effects.

Topping the list: antioxidants.4 Antioxidants prevent DNA damage, decreasing mutations and reducing skin cancer risk, and their anti-inflammatory properties guard against sunburn. So, can a salad really help you avoid looking like a lobster after a day at the beach? Short answer – yes.

Carotenoids, which give pigment to orange and red vegetables and fruits, can help offer natural sun protection. Carotenoids, which include lycopene, lutein and beta carotene, accumulate in your skin to absorb sunlight and can help against skin damage and prevent premature aging. One study even showed that risk of sunburn was significantly lowered when test subjects ate a small amount of tomato paste daily for 10 weeks.5

So when you’re out picking up the sunscreen, pick up some tomatoes (lycopene), too, along with other antioxidant-loaded foods such as sweet potato (beta carotene), spinach (beta carotene), berries (polyphenols), grapes (polyphenols), pomegranates (polyphenols), oranges (Vitamin C), fatty fish (omega-3s), and walnuts (omega-3s). Your skin will thank you!4

We’re here to help

If you need advice selecting a sunscreen product or are looking for relief from a sunburn, talk to your local Health Mart pharmacist – they are always happy to help!

Health Mart. Caring for you and about you. 

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

Sources: 

  1. NIH: “Sun and Skin - The Dark Side of Sun Exposure” https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2014/07/sun-skin Last accessed May 20, 2019
  2. CDC: “Skin Cancer” https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/basic_info/sun-safety.htm Last accessed May 20, 2019
  3. AAD: “How to select a sunscreen” https://www.aad.org/public/spot-skin-cancer/learn-about-skin-cancer/prevent/how-to-select-a-sunscreen Last accessed: May 20, 2019
  4. CNN: “Protecting your skin from the inside out” https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/17/health/healthy-skin-diet-sunscreen-drayer-food/index.html Last accessed May, 20, 2019
  5. NCBI: “Dietary tomato paste protects against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11340098 Last accessed May 20, 2019