Protecting your skin from the sun can take many forms. People are most familiar with the idea to apply sunscreen. There are also clothes specifically made and treated to provide sun protection as well. These offer another layer of protection that we’ve invented to help protect ourselves from UV rays. You have natural protections against the sun too courtesy of your body. The layers of dead skin that protect the lower layers of your skin and your natural oils all work to protect your skin naturally. You skin tans slightly on the way to burning to try to reduce the impact of the sun even as it is damaged. You can bolster all of these protections by adding another layer: diet. You can keep your skin and body ready to deal with sun damage by eating right.
Antioxidants Are Your Friend
Most of the time we’re used to thinking of antioxidants as something applied topically. A lot of anti-aging products utilize antioxidant rich ingredients to help reduce the signs of aging in the skin. They do this by neutralizing free radicals in the skin that build up over time. Free radicals are atoms and similar structures that lack fully paired electrons in their structure. They constantly seek to bond to finish filling out the last unpaired electron, but this in turn necessarily results in the removal of an electron from another structure and causes the problem to continue. Free radicals are roaming sources of damage in the body and skin. We neutralize them topically through substances applied on the skin as the skin often bears the brunt of visible damage from free radicals due to sun exposure being a primary method of introducing them to the body. Topical products don’t necessarily get into your body as deeply as you want them to though.
Antioxidants And Your Body
Eating food rich in antioxidants introduce the compounds into your entire body instead of just your skin. The antioxidants are able to help neutralize the free radicals throughout your body while also beginning to build up and provide a buffer in the body. This buffer, in turn, will wait in various locations. Your skin can end up having its fair share as the compounds are distributed throughout the body. Those eating an antioxidant rich diet will then have skin more resistant to sun damage for a number of reasons. The quicker neutralization of free radicals helps, but the more complex reason helps you more. This neutralization lowers the amount of resources your skin has to devote to repairing free radical damage, and as a result, it can focus on other forms of sun damage. This ends up prolonging the amount of time that you can stay in the safely. You’ll still want to use other forms of protection though.
What to Eat
If you’re a carnivore at heart, you’re going to be a little disappointed to know that some of the best sources of antioxidants are fruits and vegetables. You can probably get away with being a little light on them if you make sure you prepare meats with red and orange vegetables like peppers though. These are good sources of antioxidants. Meats, particular fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids can also be a good way to keep your inner carnivore happy while boosting your skin’s protection. Anyone who isn’t a carnivore is likely to get far more out of eating a salad rich in dark, leafy greens. The complex combination of nutrients found in many of them are particularly full of antioxidants. Similarly, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are also useful. Dessert isn’t off the table in all of this. Dark, dark chocolate can help a little too even if it isn’t as good as some of the other options.
Eating a rich, varied diet typically ensures most of us get antioxidants in our diet regularly. You can adjust your diet to include more if it has been lacking though. It isn’t likely that you’ll actually notice any improvement in your skin’s ability to handle the sun, but this is largely due to the fact that the factors surrounding this are functionally invisible to most of us. You just need to remember that eating a healthy diet and taking care of yourself is as important to your skin’s health as choosing effective products.