We all know protecting our skin from the sun is an everyday must but sometimes, we simply forget. For those days when you’re too swamped to worry about the UV rays, nutritional therapist Alice Mackintosh has come up with some easy ways to help you out.
“Some nutrients help to strengthen skin cells to make them less susceptible to sun damage, and others help to reduce photo-sensitivity in the skin,” she said. “There is no getting away from the fact that a good SPF will offer a much stronger protection against the suns damaging rays.”
As compiled from Pop Sugar, here are six micronutrients Alice recommends for fortifying your skin against the harsh summer sun.
What: This trace mineral is often included in sunscreens because of its ability to slow the oxidative damage to skin cells from free radicals. Zinc is also essential for the production of collagen in the human body, which gives the skin its natural elasticity and youthfulness.
Where it’s found: Pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, garlic and sesame seeds.
What: This well-known vitamin has numerous antioxidant properties and one of its many benefits is that it helps to prevent and slow sun damage that can cause photochemical skin darkening and discolouration. Ultimately, these can lead to cancerous mutations and moles.
Where it’s found: Oranges, red peppers, kale, strawberries.
What: Vitamin A works in much the same way as vitamin C does. Increasing your intake will help normalise your skin’s functions, boost blood flow to its surface and slows free radical damage, which make your skin more vulnerable.
Where it’s found: Carrots, sweet potatos, kale and spinach.
What: This is a powerful phytonutrient that isn’t produced by the body naturally but when consumed orally, it promotes the production of melatonin and collagen, and aids in the repair of sun-damaged skin cells.
Where it’s found: Sun-dried tomatoes, watermelons, papayas, grapefruit, ketchup and goji berries.
What: Mono and polyunsaturated fats play an essential part in regulating the skin’s normal function. They also help keep the skin youthful and moisturised and have anti-inflammatory benefits that lessen sun damage, rashes and burns.
Where it’s found: Mackerel, salmon, flax seeds and walnuts.
What: Found in plants, resveratrol is a chemical that’s produced by plants when they’re under attack from certain bacteria and fungi. In the skin, it stimulates the production of collagen and has powerful antioxidant properties that enable it to stop and neutralise free radical activity.
Where it’s found: Blueberries and peanuts.