Your skin is red, tight, and hot. “I was only outside for a few minutes,” is what most people say when they get a sunburn. But even if you think it’s just a minor burn, your skin never forgets. To reduce your risk of skin cancer, you need to use sun protection that is right for your skin type and has the necessary SPF. In addition to the right sunscreen, you can also protect your skin from UV rays naturally with certain foods.
A balanced diet is never a substitute for sunblock! Sun protection is a serious matter; make sure that you use the right products for your skin type.
3 vitamins that can increase your skin’s natural SPF
1. Vitamin A
…makes your skin soft, gives you good color, and can protect against sunburn. Vitamin A is only found in animal products like eggs, cheese, butter, and tuna fish. Foods like carrots, spinach, and broccoli, on the other hand, contain carotene, which the body turns into vitamin A. Since carotene and vitamin A are both fat soluble, it is recommended to add some fat to aid absorption (e.g. a few drops of vegetable oil in carrot juice).
2. Vitamin C
…not only supports the immune system, it is also important for boosting your skin’s own sun protection. This valuable vitamin, shown to have antioxidant effects, can be found in lemons, oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, acerola cherries, sea buckthorn, as well as peppers, potatoes, and fennel.(1, 2, 3)
3. Vitamin E
…strengthens the immune system and is an antioxidant. It acts as a shield against the free radicals that are formed in the skin through UV light, which accelerate the aging process and may lead to disease. Furthermore, when taken regularly, vitamin E can help fight the skin damage caused by frequent sunbathing. This vitamin is present in foods like sunflower and avocado oil, nuts like walnuts, almonds, and whole grain products.
More foods that can boost your UV protection:
- Watermelon, papayas, tomatoes
…contain lycopene, which is what gives these foods their strong color. This chemical compound is also an important antioxidant and protects your skin from the inside out.(4)
- Fish (especially wild salmon)
…contain omega 3 fatty acids. These block the release of UV-induced enzymes.
So you see, if you regularly add these vitamins and foods to your diet (preferably before summer starts), your body is better able to trap the free radicals formed by the sun. This is a good way to fight sun damage to your skin. Plus, antioxidants can support or even accelerate your skin’s regeneration process.
As stated above, you should only consider these natural skin protection methods supplementary support and never forget to use high quality sunscreen, sun protective clothing, and cover your head.