How to Protect Your Skin Against Sun Damage

Tuesday, July 21, 2015 | 7:55 pm

Who doesn’t like the feeling of warm sunlight hitting their skin? Depending on the time of year this feeling can be pure heaven. Without the sun we would not exist. It has the most wonderful life giving power. The sun helps us to produce vitamin D, a hormone necessary for bone health and optimal immune function. Too much of any good thing can become a bad thing. This is true of sun light. Too much sun affects our skin’s elasticity which promotes early aging of the skin. Now we have this dilemma, how do we get the life giving, health promoting benefits from the sun but avoid premature aging or permanent skin damage? Unfortunately, this dilemma causes many people to be frighten from getting any sun at all.

The way best way to protect against sun damage and to maintain healthy skin is from the inside out. Research shows that what you put into your body may be just as important, as or more important than the protection you place on your skin. Basically we have to make sure we are eating foods that will keep us protected. Antioxidants do just that. Antioxidants are powerful natural UV protectants. Some can be very helpful for protecting us against accelerated skin aging due to UV exposure.

There is evidence that the spices turmeric and ginger, both antioxidants, have protective effects on skin health. Both of these spices are a wonderful ways to add flavor to meals but they can both be taken as supplements too. White tea, one of the least processed varieties of tea and high in antioxidants, has been shown to be protective against early wrinkle formation.

Any plant food that is a natural source of vitamin C or E is also an antioxidant. Most fruits and vegetables contain some amount of Vitamin C. Some great sources vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach and avocado. Lycopene, a compound found in tomatoes, has been shown to be protective against free radicals brought on by too much sunlight exposure. Studies show that organic tomato paste appears to have higher levels of lycopene than raw tomatoes. Tomatoes also contain a number of other antioxidants, including a high amount of vitamin C which complements lycopene’s protective action.

My advice is to make sure you get some sunshine on a regular basis and at the same time make sure you are consuming nature’s natural sun protectors!

Dr. Tina Paul, BCND, Traditional Naturopath, Vibrant Living Wellness Center, 144 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, (626) 470-7711 or visit


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