Longer, sunnier days are upon us, which means we will (hopefully) be spending all day breathing in the fresh air and soaking up the warm rays of the sun. But as we emerge from our long but necessary hibernations, we must remember to protect our delicate, young faces from the harmful sun beams. Exposing your bare skin to the sun is damaging, so in addition to lathering on sunscreen, be sure to incorporate these foods into your diet.
Tomatoes contain vitamin C, which is essential for the production of the elastic tissue in skin known as collagen. Tomatoes, specifically cooked, processed tomatoes, are also packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which naturally protects your skin from the sun. Not getting enough tomatoes in your diet? Try making a cucumber tomato salad or 5-minute gazpacho.
This delicious sweet contains flavonols, an antioxidant which reduces skin roughness, protects against the harmful rays of the sun and improves circulation. Flavonols also hydrate skin, making it firmer and more supple. Want to get fancy with dark chocolate? Try making dark chocolate avocado truffles.
Eating green and yellow peppers regularly can lead to fewer wrinkles, especially around the eyes, and the antioxidants in yellow and orange peppers can protect your skin against the sun. Make a roasted pepper salad to incorporate more of these colorful veggies into your diet.
These orange veggies clear up breakouts thanks to the large amount of vitamin A packed into each root. Vitamin A helps prevent the overproduction of outer layer skin cells. Producing too many of these skin cells can clog pores. Vitamin A also decreases the development of skin-cancer cells. Are carrots lacking from your diet? Roast your own carrots or make carrot fries for more orange goodness.
Almonds are packed with vitamin E, an effective sun blocker. Vitamin E helps to protect skin cells from UV rays and free radical damage. In addition, it helps the skin retain moisture. Make your own almond milk to take your almond experience to the next level.
Antioxidants in green tea increase blood flow and the amount of oxygen in skin. Oxygen contains important nutrients for a healthy complexion and helps fight inflammation. One antioxidant in particular, EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate, reduces redness. One study found that drinking two to six cups per day may reverse the damaging effects of the sun. Find out more about green tea here.
We’ve all heard it before, but it’s true: water keeps your skin hydrated. And staying hydrated gives skin the appearance of plumpness and smoothness. Of course, there is a plethora of reasons to drink water over other drinks. Water is free of sugar, a substance that causes skin to sag and wrinkle. Water also aids the movement of nutrients around your body and removes toxins, leaving your skin looking #FLAWLESS. Not getting enough water? Find out some strategies for actually drinking eight glasses a day here.