Food Facts & Lore

6 Foods That Fight or Soothe Sunburn

We all know that most fair-skinned individuals experience sunburn much faster than their darker-skinned counterparts. Faster in this case, is very fast, as in pigment damage within 15 minutes (did you know?), whereas it is not uncommon for darker skin to tolerate direct sun exposure for hours. Do not try this at home. Just take our word for it… and eat or wear your fish and veggies. Here are 6 foods that can help preserve and sooth your skin all summer long.

CARROTS – In Newcastle University experiments, subjects who consumed carrot juice daily for three months experienced almost 50% less reddening from direct sun exposure, suggesting that resilience can be built over time. For a concentrated dose, drink up that beneficial beta-carotene, or make sure to include it as a daily and abundant salad garnish.

TOMATOES – The lycopene-rich fruit is a long-established antioxidant with a potent effect against UV-ray attacks. More than this, tomatoes help reduce the inflammation associated with sunburn, and they help keep you and your skin well hydrated. The more concentrated the better. In studies, subjects who ate tomato paste or tomato sauce over a period of 3 months experienced a 25% increase to their natural resistance to sunburn.

SALMON – The ultimate natural moisturizer. No, we are not suggesting you slather your skin with it. Simply enjoy a good Salmon Salad every week to maintain a healthy supply of omega-3 fatty acids. People living in cultures where fish is a main staple also have higher resistance to sunburn and show significantly fewer signs of the DNA alterations associated with sun exposure.

ALMONDS – As long as we’re hopping onto the omega wagon, you might want to include a handful of almonds to your daily summer-time snacks. Not only are they rich in vitamin E (another bonus for your skin), but they offer a good supply of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids for supple, resilient skin.

POTATOES – Nothing like fries and a burger on the grill or potato salad once upon a perfect summer evening. If you are trying to reduce starchy foods from your diet, you can still enjoy the benefits of the potato when you’ve stayed in the sun a bit too long. Those starchy compounds can sooth your skin. Simply rub a raw slice on the affected area, or apply mashed, raw potato and leave it on for a few minutes.

CUCUMBERS – Hydration, hydration, hydration. The best thing you can do if you run out of sunscreen (and even if you don’t) is to keep well-hydrated all-day long. Cucumbers are 95% water. Why not simply drink more? Drinking more is good advice… and snack on cukes, unpeeled cukes that is. The skin is a storehouse of vitamin C that will do your epidermis good.