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Top Nutrients to Protect Your Skin From Summer Sun

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

nutrients to protect skin from summer sun

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  • You can support healthy skin and protect it from ultraviolet damage from the inside. Scientists have identified several nutrients that have UV protective activity, reducing your risk of sunburn and related skin damage
  • Astaxanthin, lycopene, beta carotene, vitamins D, E and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have all been shown to help protect your skin against sun damage
  • Astaxanthin specifically helps protect against UV-induced cell death. Unlike topical sun block, astaxanthin does not actually block UV rays, so it doesn’t prevent UVB from converting into vitamin D in your skin; it simply protects your skin against damage
  • Lycopene also acts as an internal sunscreen, although it’s not nearly as protective as astaxanthin. A 2001 study found tomato paste helped protect fair-skinned individuals with a tendency to burn rather than tan
  • Vitamin E absorbs energy from UV light, thus plays an important role in photoprotection, preventing UV-induced free radical damage to skin

Summer and sunshine-filled days are upon us and, with that, increased calls for the use of sunscreen. Unfortunately, most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients that are easily absorbed through your skin and can jeopardize your health.

The good news is you can support healthy skin and protect it from ultraviolet damage from the inside. Scientists have identified several nutrients that have UV protective activity which can reduce your risk of sunburn and related skin damage. Here, I'll review the top contenders: astaxanthin, lycopene and beta carotene, vitamins D and E, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).


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