Eat Sunscreen for Glowing Skin and Health

July 2011, Xtend-Life Expert

Summary

No, I haven’t got sunstroke and hallucinations! I’m not suggesting that you squeeze that toxic gunk out of the bottle and actually eat it. I am talking about protecting and conditioning your skin from the inside out with the right nutrition. You can eat your own healthy version of natural sunscreen by following these recommendations.

No, I haven’t got sunstroke and hallucinations! I’m not suggesting that you squeeze that toxic gunk out of the bottle and actually eat it. I am talking about protecting and conditioning your skin from the inside out with the right nutrition.

You can eat your own healthy version of natural sunscreen by following these recommendations:

Healthy fats
It’s a fact that people who regularly eat ‘healthy’ fats: a mix of mainly monounsaturated, Omega 3 and some saturated fats, have much smoother, softer skin. In contrast, a diet high in polyunsaturated or trans fats and processed foods and vegetable oils promote free radicals, oxidation and inflammation resulting in aged, withered and wrinkled skin.

Omega-3 rich foods are particularly effective skin conditioners. Research shows how omega 3 fats helps prolong the time that it takes skin to get burned during sun exposure, and reduces the chance of skin cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids best sources come from grass fed beef, free range whole eggs, and cold-water wild caught fish such as that found in our Omega 3 range

Carotenoids

For a healthy ‘sun-kissed glow’, eat Carotenoids.

Carotenoids are colorful molecules like beta carotene, astaxanthin and lycopene that block UV rays. When humans ingest carotenoids, they are actually deposited into the skin to prevent sunburn and oxidative stress.

A recent study led by Dr. Ian Stephen at The University of Nottingham, suggests that eating your fruit and veggies is more likely to give you a golden glow than sunbathing! He says: "Most people think the best way to improve skin color is to get a suntan, but our research shows that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is actually more effective."

The best sources of carotenoids are whole eggs, spirulina, dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, etc), and brightly colored yellow-orange fruits and vegetables (apricots, cantaloupe, sweet red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and squash).

Carotenoid and Flavanol-rich fruit like berries, mangoes, kiwis, peaches, cherries, and plums are also rich in vitamin C which is an added bonus.

Perhaps one of the most potent carotenoids is astaxanthin: a red pigment found in algae, salmon, trout, shrimp, lobsters, and other shellfish. Astaxanthin is 1,000 times more effective at protecting skin from UV damage than other carotenoids.

A key reason for this is because unlike most other nutrients, astaxanthin crosses the blood brain barrier providing an overall anti-inflammatory effect, and especially for the eyes and brain. This is one of the reason why we use it in our Premium and Ultra versions of our Omega 3 Fish oils.

Another very potent carotenoid is Lycopene: an antioxidant and sunscreen in one and another ingredient that we have used for years.

Lycopene is found in red fruits such as tomatoes, red bell pepper and watermelon. Unlike many other fruits and vegetables, cooking actually increases this nutrient. Tomato paste has much more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. In one study, people who consumed tomato paste had 33% more protection against sunburn compared to a control group after 12 weeks.

However, to get any appreciable health and skin benefit of lycopene you need to eat at least 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of tomato paste a day. An easier way may be to use a lycopene in the form of a supplement such as found in our Omega 3 range.

In fact our Premium and Ultra Omega 3 supplements synergistically combine the benefits of Omega 3, lycopene and Astaxanthin.

Polyphenols

Drink plenty of green tea daily for internal sun protection. Green tea is known to contain a category of antioxidants called polyphenols (especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate - EGCG - ) which boost the ability of skin to protect itself from the sun. If the idea of drinking warm green tea on a hot day is unappetizing, go for cool glass of iced green tea!

Keep in mind that ALL teas are rich sources of various skin-protecting antioxidants. So consider rooibos, tulsi tea, mint, chamomile, and others. The more variety, the greater the diversity of antioxidants.

Other excellent sources of polyphenols are apples, pears, grapes, berries and parsley. Parsley is also a concentrated source of vitamin A which nourishes and protects your skin. Together with the antioxidant effect of the polyphenols, it naturally helps prevent skin damage and excessive burning from sun exposure.

I’ve left the best for last!

Decadent dark cacao rich (70% +) organic chocolate is an excellent source of bone-healthy polyphenols, even though it is acidifying. Studies confirm that it not only protects your skin from the sun, it also beautifies it.

No to CLO

I know that many people take Cod liver oil (CLO) thinking that it is a good source of Vit D and Omega 3.

Actually this is not true. CLO isn't a good source of Omega 3 DHA. Not only is it low in natural DHA, but the extract comes from the liver, so often contains many toxins, and potentially excess vitamin A.

For health benefits you are better looking at a soft gel form of an omega 3 fish oil that is not taken from the liver or any organs, but is taken from the flesh and skeleton of the fish. This reduces risk of toxins and avoids excessive vitamin A.

As mentioned above, our Premium and Ultra Omega 3 oils are preferable to CLO because they one of the purest and highest quality fish oils available, and synergistically combine the benefits of Omega 3, lycopene and Astaxanthin.

As you can see, eating your suncreen for glowing skin and health can actually be enjoyable too! Mother Nature’s own sunblock is surely preferable to toxic laden sunscreens.

9 Comments

  • “Hello Lorena No I don’t think we have any plans to develop in this area at this point. It is a very large and complex one. We are best sticking at what we do well! However, should this change we will certainly inform all our customers. For natural skin cosmetics perhaps I may suggest you consider mineral makeup? Caramia Hello DJ Your scuba diving adventure sounds fun! Thanks for your positive feedback about our supplements….They will certainly have helped to protect you, and together with your healthy lifestyle may well have contributed to your ’nice golden colour! Caramia”

    Xtend-Life Expert - July 29 2011

  • “Hi Caramia, To keep our skin fresh and glowing we must inrease water intake and drink green tea twice a day as it is great antioxidant and good for skin, hair, nails and overall health. <a href="http://www.sanantoniofitbody.com/san_antonio_personal_trainer.html">san antonio personal trainer</a>”

    James - November 18 2011

  • “Hello Christina I cannot say that ALL whitening products ‘tend to be more drying’ because it depends so much on what they are made of. For sure, most over the counter products are harsh chemical &/or bleach based creams that will damage the skin long term. But not our whitening cream! This is a totally natural skin lightener and aids anti aging. The key to the lightening effect is Extrapone nutgrass which naturally inhibits melanin to lighten your skin, as well as make it look brighter and healthier. As to whether to use the whitening or day cream, you can use the whitening cream as a normal day cream to help with uneven skin tones, as our Women’s Age Defence Whitening Day Cream is designed for those who not only wish the same full anti-aging benefits that our Day Cream offers, but also want to help lighten skin colour, gradually, naturally and without bleaching. Thanks Caramia  ”

    Xtend-Life Expert - July 30 2011

  • “Are you working on any skin cosmetics such as foundations, blushes, etc. that are good for the skin?”

    Lorena - July 29 2011

  • “Just wanted to know if all whitening products tend to be more drying including ur day whitening cream. I have slight pigmentation on cheek area but not sure if i should use your whitening cream or just the day cream. For your info i live in a tropical climate country. Please advise”

    christina - July 30 2011

  • “Hi”

    Robert - July 29 2011

  • “Just a quickie note … I take 4 softgels of Omega 3 / DHA Fish Oil Premium, every day (2 in the morning, 2 at night). I went on a 7 day Scuba Diving adventure in Mexico, recently, and it was VERY hot and VERY sunny. We were always on boats, outside, baking. I’m a pretty healthy guy and take Men’s Total Balance, the fish oil, and a few other things. With these kinds of things, there’s no real way I know to verify they work. Certainly, my skin looks better and I feel better, but it’s hard to quantify. It’s all "preventative", and isn’t immediately noticeable. I’m a pasty white guy, who rarely sees the sun and I’m not a big fan of skin creams. 7 days in a non-air conditioned boat, in the Mexican sun, without a sunblocking cream … that’s a true test of what these supplements have done for me. Yes, I got a sun burn. Yes, I peeled. HOWEVER, this was the kind of situation that should’ve blistered and caused some sinister pain and whole layers of skin flaking off. NOTHING liked that happened. My nose peeled … a little. That was it. My skin ultimately turned a nice golden color and was mostly just really nice. SOMETHING was protecting me (and then some!). Thanks, Xtend-Life!”

    DJ - July 29 2011

  • “Hello Caramia, Could you suggest a high quality mineral make-up ?? Cheers, Alexia”

    Alexia - August 04 2011

  • “Hello Alexia There are quite a few if you hunt around. The two that have worked best for me are: - Lavera at http://www.lavera.com/ - Affordable Mineral makeup at http://www.affordablemineralmakeup.com   It really is a matter of experimentation…what works well for one person may not be so great for another. Like diets I guess! But the above have absolutely the right natural ingredients so they should be good for most. Hope that helps Caramia ”

    Xtend-Life Expert - August 05 2011

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