Everyone knows to slather on the sunscreen to block the sun’s UV rays, but did you know that what we eat and drink plays a part in protecting our healthy summer glow? If you’re heading outdoors to catch up on some much-needed vitamin D, here are our top tips to protect your skin from the inside out.
One of the primary reasons for skin aging – including wrinkles – is free radical damage. This can come from processes inside the body (our cells make free radicals just from producing energy) and from outside the body, such as from UV damage. Studies suggest that the sun’s ultraviolet rays are responsible for approximately 80 percent of visible signs of aging in your skin (1)
As well as protecting our skin from the outside, we can take steps to reduce any potential damaged caused by UV rays through diet, herbs and lifestyle.
1) Load your plate up with organic dark, leafy greens and brightly coloured plants this summer. Red and orange fruits and vegetables such as carrots, red peppers, mango, tomatoes and watermelon contain skin-protecting antioxidants such as lycopene and beta-carotene. While they cannot be compared with sunscreen, there is evidence that they can help to protect the skin against sunburn, so try adding these vibrant coloured fruits into your daily diet (2)
2) One of our favourite herbs has to be turmeric, also known as the ‘Golden Goddess’ in India. Studies have shown that this amazing root is rich in antioxidants which can enhance our skin; from protecting us against premature ageing, to supporting skin healing and cell renewal. It also has special plant properties to neutralise free radicals within the skin before they damage cells. It's great to look for ways to incorporate this wonderful spice into your diet. We love Pukka Herb’s organic , which is a blend of turmeric, lemon and green tea. A refreshing blend of protective plants, delicious to sip throughout the day.
3) Aloe Vera Juice is naturally cooling and soothing for the skin. It is brimming with nourishing and moisturising properties to calm irritated and hot skin when applied topically. Aloe vera ice cubes can offer instant soothing relief after a long day in the sun. Simply pour our Organic into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Gently rub over your skin and let it melt slowly to ease any discomfort.
4) Fish, walnuts, hemp seeds and chia seeds all contain omega-3 essential fatty acids. Our bodies can’t make omega-3s, so it’s essential that we get them from our diet. What do omega-3s do for your skin? They help to maintain your skin’s integrity and have beneficial properties which mitigate the potential damage caused to our skin by UV rays.
5) Water makes up around 64% of our skin, so it’s vital to stay hydrated. Drinking lots of fluids is an essential part of keeping skin healthy, glowing and looking young. Add a dash of Aqua Herbs to your water for a refreshing drink full of herbal goodness.
Effect of the sun on visible clinical signs of aging in Caucasian skin. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2013; 6: 221–232.
Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012 Jul 1; 4(3): 298–307.
Tundis R et al. Potential role of natural compounds against skin aging. Curr Med Chem. 2015;22(12):1515-38.
Thangapazham RL et al. Skin regenerative potentials of curcumin. Biofactors. 2013 Jan-Feb;39(1):141-9.
Saf is a qualified Nutritional Therapist from the College of Naturopathic Medicine and runs a private clinical practice specialising in digestive health. She delivers herbal education both internally at Pukka and externally to our partners and practitioners and is passionate about making herbs and nutrition exciting and accessible for all.
DipCNM, mANP, mGNC
Qualified nutritionist (College of Naturopathic Medicine, 2021)