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By Olivia Janisch 

Sun damage is so 1998. Hit the beach in confidence this season knowing you’re well protected.

With summer fast approaching it’s critical we protect and nourish our skin. While beauty products abound when it comes to sun protection, there are foods that will protect our skin from the effects of sun exposure and that can help speed up recovery from sun damage. Our outer health is a reflection of our inner health, so we must eat the right things to nourish our complexion and reduce our risk of sun damage.

One of the most important things to eat to take care of our skin are Omega-3 fatty acids. These are known as essential fatty acids, meaning that we don’t make them in our bodies so we must get them from our foods. They are hugely anti-inflammatory so they inhibit the cancerous changes that typically occur in our bodies after sun exposure. Fish oil, flax seeds, almonds, and avocados are all excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

These foods are also high in vitamin E, an antioxidant which has strong protecting action against UV rays and environmental pollution, both of which contribute to accelerated aging of our skin and free radicals within our systems.

Another important nutrient is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant found in bright foods like carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes and leafy greens. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A, or retinol when eaten. It helps expedite cell regeneration and recovery, reducing skin damage like wrinkles and contributing to a healthy and vibrant glow.

Vitamin C is incredibly powerful when it comes to protecting us from the effects of the sun and also reversing damage like sun spots, discoloration and fine lines. You can apply vitamin C creams, and enjoy foods like grapefruits and water with lemon daily to help get the benefits.

Sunscreen should be applied every day, but it’s important to make sure you’re using the right one. When shopping, make sure your sunscreen has titanium or zinc in it. These are the only ingredients that are proven to protect your skin from the UVA rays that cause skin cancer and signs of aging.

By eating lots of bright fruits and veggies, and using the right skin products, you’ll be set for a healthy and vibrant summer.

Photo by: Beto Galetto

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