Natural skin protection: This is how you prepare yourself from the inside against sunshine and UV radiation

from Lisa Ressi, MSc
on 02.03.2023
Natural skin protection: This is how you prepare yourself from the inside against sunshine and UV radiation Natural skin protection: This is how you prepare yourself from the inside against sunshine and UV radiation

For many people, sun-tanned skin is THE sign of summer and holidays. This makes it all the more important to optimally protect our skin from UV-induced damage such as sunburn and premature skin ageing. We can do this with good care and the right sun protection. A sunscreen with a sun protection factor adapted to your type of skin is indispensable. In addition to the external application of high-quality sun protection, skin can also be supported by nutritional measures.

Natural sun protection from the inside

Antioxidant vitamins and phytochemicals

Antioxidant vitamins are able to protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by solar radiation. Effective helpers of the skin during "UV stress" are vitamin C and vitamin E, which protect the cells from oxidative stress, as well as the carotenoids beta-carotene and lycopene, which are plant substances responsible for the wonderful orange-yellow-red color of numerous fruits and vegetables. For this reason, sun worshippers in the vacation paradise should pay particular attention to a diet rich in antioxidants. In summer, apricots, tomatoes, olive oil, red peppers, carrots and peaches as well as juicy tropical fruits invite feasting.

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Astaxanthin is another natural carotinoid. Natural astaxanthin comes from the green microalgae haematococcus pluvialis, which, in the case of stress due to a lack of nutrition or water, extreme cold or strong sunlight, reacts by creating the characteristic red natural dye. People and animals absorb astaxanthin, which is responsible for the red colouration in crustaceans, lobsters and salmon, via the food chain. 

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Zinc should also not be lacking in your nutrition. This trace element is involved in numerous processes in the body and contributes to maintaining normal skin. It plays a role in cell division, DNA synthesis, and immune defence. It also helps protect cells from oxidative stress. Good sources of zinc include animal products such as meat, offal, fish, eggs, and dairy products.

Prepare your skin for the sun with nutrition

To achieve effective protection, nutrient stores must be well replenished at an early stage. You should include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet well before your summer holidays – ideally in combination with vitamin E-rich oils. And don’t forget to drink enough to compensate for heat-related fluid loss and prevent your skin from drying out. A daily cup of green tea not only cools the body but also provides valuable bio-active plant substances.

But don’t forget your external sun protection!

Remember that even the best sun diet cannot replace sunscreen. But it can provide valuable basic protection. People with sensitive skin should avoid direct sunlight and slowly accustom their skin to the sun. In any case, even before your holiday it is worth investing in a well-tolerated sunscreen with a high sun protection factor. Natural sunscreens such as coconut oil are usually well tolerated but can only protect the skin to a certain degree. Finding a shady spot under a palm tree would be best. Have a nice trip!

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