HOW VITAMINS BOOST YOUR SUN PROTECTION FACTOR
Sunscreens are vitally important to the health of your skin and should be applied daily, but they’re not the whole story. There are two vitamins that have been scientifically shown to protect your skin against sun damage. They work when applied directly on the skin, or taken internally in combination with a sunscreen. These vitamins are Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
External Vitamin Protection
Did you know that to get the most out of your sunscreen, you should pair it with a powerful antioxidant serum that contains both Vitamins C & E Antioxidant Protection?
Sun damage is an oxidative process. UV rays and other environmental stressors like pollution, alcohol and cigarette smoke cause the release of skin damaging free radicals. Free radicals lead to premature skin aging. Vitamin C helps neutralizes free radicals to shield your skin from this kind of damage, in turn keeping your complexion healthy, vibrant and younger looking.
Vitamin C does not work as a barrier against UV rays the way sunscreen does, but once rays enter the skin, it is a potent antioxidant that slows the rate of free radical damage to collagen and aids in skin cell repair by reducing oxidative stress to the skin cells. It also reverses photo-aging, evens pigmentation and decreases fine lines by stimulating collagen production. Some studies show up to 60% of the Vitamin C in found in a stable Vitamin C serum can get absorbed right through the skin to the areas where it’s needed most. Vitamin E reduces the inflammation cascade which is associated with skin aging. Together these vitamins have been shown to enhance the protective function of SPF sunscreen formulations.
Internal Vitamin Protection
Both vitamins are antioxidants which have been shown to have additive sun protection when combined with sunscreen. Vitamin E is particularly effective by offering increased protection against UVB rays. Vitamin C offers most of it’s protection against aging UVA rays while it promotes firmness by increasing production of collagen and elastin fibers.
FOODS THAT BOOST NATURAL SUN PROTECTION
The foods you eat can seriously reduce your risk for sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer by supporting your skin’s ability to defend itself against too much sun. Here are 5 foods you should add to your summer diet for optimal protection:
1. CITRUS FRUIT – Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C which reduces the potential for sunburn. Besides being high in Vitamin C, citrus fruits also contain limonene, which has been associated with a whopping 34 percent lower risk of skin cancer. Citrus fruits also contain other antioxidants, which work to protect your cells from free-radical damage.
2. GREEN TEA – When you sip a cup of green tea, your body is getting catechins, which protects against sunburn inflammation and long-term UV radiation damage. Green tea also has tannic acid in it, which helps calm sunburn pain, and antioxidants called EGCGs. A University of Wisconsin study showed EGCGs stopped genetic damage in human skin cells exposed to UV light.
3. POMEGRANATES – The seeds in this delicious exotic fruit are rich in Vitamin C and other antioxidants. Pomegranates also contain ellagic acid, which can help protect your skin from cell damage induced by the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. In one research study, when pomegranate extract was used in conjunction with sunscreen, it increased the SPF by 20 percent!
4. RED GRAPES – Phytonutrients in grapes can slow down the formation of destructive reactive oxygen species (ROS) that form in skin cells, which has been linked to sun damage, skin cancer and cell death. Grapes also contain proanthocyanidins, shown to inhibits skin cancer induced by UV rays. Plus, grapes contain quercetin. Studies found that quercetin was responsible for lessening oxidative DNA damage caused by UVB exposure, and was able to help protect the skin from related inflammation.
5. WATERMELON – This staple summer fruit is high in lycopene (40% more than tomatoes). Lycopene is a carotenoid and antioxidant that neutralizes the free radicals produced from too much sun, and minimizes any inflammatory response to UV damage by your body.
For the most effective antioxidant and sun protection you should get your skin protecting vitamins and nutrient from a combination of topical and nutritional sources. Try to combine Vitamins C & E together in the same formulation when applied topically because these two vitamins recycle each other for increased, long term effectiveness.