The beauty industry is always offering us new products that are supposed to have a miraculous effect. Especially in summer, miracle weapons sprout up everywhere, which are supposed to protect the skin from the effects of UV rays and thus prevent premature skin aging. But what is really behind the trend "sun protection from the inside"? In this article you will learn which nutrients and vitamins can support your skin in the summer and how you can take them.
How your skin's own protection works
Every skin has a certain natural protection against UV radiation, but this only lasts for a certain time. For light skin types it is shorter, the darker the skin, the longer it is protected. People with the lightest skin type - usually they have red or light blond hair and freckles - can suffer cell damage after only 15 minutes in the sun. Initially this manifests itself as sunburn, in the medium term sun spots develop, but in the long term skin cancer can develop from such sun damage. The skin's own protection depends on the amount of melanin in the skin. This can block UV rays and thus protect the cells. There is also a short- or medium-term "habituation" to UV rays, the so-called "light callosity". With increased exposure over several weeks, the top layer of skin thickens so that less UV radiation can penetrate. The tanning of the skin itself is also a protective mechanism.
Supporting skin protection with the right nutrients
UV rays damage the skin cells and can even damage the DNA in the cell nucleus. Free radicals are released, which are captured by the cell's own antioxidant protective mechanisms. However, if more radicals are produced than the cells themselves can remove, this is known as oxidative stress. In the case of a deficiency of antioxidant vitamins and secondary substances, this condition occurs much more quickly. Such antioxidant substances are for example
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- OPC (resveratrol)
These are mainly found in plant foods, but are also available in concentrated capsule or tablet form.
Vitamins and trace elements such as zinc, selenium, vitamins C, E and B2 also protect cells from oxidative stress.
Sun protection from within - what you should know
If you want to support your skin with nutrients from the inside, make sure to eat plenty of fresh vegetables and berries every day, which are high in antioxidants. These include:
- currants, blackberries, blueberries.
- spinach, tomatoes & carrots
- whole grain products
- white tea
Especially for facial skin, there are countless creams that contain antioxidants. These can also help your skin fight free radicals.
Capsules with antioxidants have the great advantage that they contain antioxidants in a very concentrated form. So you get much more helpful phytochemicals than if you try to cover it with fresh foods.
There's no substitute for SPF!
Even though these substances help your skin to better cope with UV radiation, they are by no means a substitute for sunscreen with a real SPF. The protection they provide is in the single-digit SPF range, so it's never enough to completely protect your skin. Especially if you go out in the sun during midday hours, you should apply an SPF of at least 30. This is the only way you can really protect yourself against cell damage, pigment spots and skin cancer.