Foods instead of sunscreen…what do you reckon?

Skin protection

Posted on 04/03/20

There are foods that are good (and bad) for your skin. That’s for sure.

However, and at risk of killing off this post pretty quickly, there are no foods that can reliably and safely protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.

Equally, there is no magic pill or homemade concoction of natural and organic ingredients that can provide your skin with protection from ultraviolet light.

We often see claims along these lines. We even see a handful of studies and scientific research on this subject. A lot of it focuses on the idea that foods which are high in vitamin C, water and antioxidants can potentially improve your skin’s ability to cope with the sun, without burning.

Strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes and green tea often get listed as possible wonder ingredients.

However, there haven’t been any studies that I would say provide convincing evidence.

In one of the finest (no joke) medical journals I’ve read on the human skin, the authors state it’s “likely that dietary nutrients are not easily able to reach the cells in the outermost layers of the epidermis, and these cells receive little nutrient support”. Simply put, nutrients inside you struggle to go from within your body to the outer, external layers of the skin.

For me, the litmus test is if I would endorse any of these approaches to my sister’s baby daughter? If the answer is no, then it’s not worth the risk. On anybody’s skin.

So, it is our view that you should ignore any dietary ‘advice’ you see or read that says eating half an avocado sprinkled with hemp seeds (or something similar) can extend your tolerance to the sun and/or prevent sun burn.

Don’t be blinded by terms like anti-oxidants and vitamin C.

Remember, ultraviolet rays from the sun are the principal cause of skin ageing and skin cancer. These rays touch your skin every single day, even on a cold winter’s day. Year round sunscreen, clothing, a hat and shade are your best defence against both.

For now and at the time of writing this, there are no shortcuts unfortunately. Make the right choice for you and your family – you know it makes sense.

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