Beauty 101: Toss Shade to Sun Damage

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Now I don’t live in California, and I haven’t spent more than 5-6 hours at a beach since July, but I do fry in the sun when I get a chance, and to my displeasure it take a whole lot of burn to get the (ahem, nice tan lined) caramel complexion I have unsuccessfully scoured Sephora for.

Nothing compares to a natural tan other than people who are born with darker skin tones obviously. Well no – not so obvious because I’m one of them and believe you me, the places where the sun don’t hit? “Shine bright like a diamond” takes on a whole new meaning. Therefore, like most females who would rather look 75 going on 20 than sizzle in a tanning bed, I take advantage of the summer rays. Shame on me, I simply “forgot” the sunscreen this summer but look at what I have here…foods that fight sun damage? What?! You don’t say. Nice. Now I can leave the ski mask at home the next time I’m spotted spreadeagled in a patch of sun without sunscreen.

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So without further ado, chow down and you sit in that sun you crazy thing you!

  1. Dark Chocolate
    Oh heck yes. Believe it or not, dark chocolate actually acts as a shield from the sun. It contains four times as many phenols compounds (help to decrease the risk of developing cancer) and catechins (heart healthy flavonoids) as tea. Both of these are antioxidants that help protect our skin from sunburn and skin cancer, so feel free to head to your nearest supermarket, hit up the bulk foods section and just tip your mouth under one of those tubes. You know? The ones that pour food directly into your mouth? That’s what they’re for right? Right?
  2. Tomatoes
    According to studies, lycopene-rich tomatoes can actually protect your skin against sunburn. Lycopene helps to neutralize the damaging effects of UV light and eating lycopene-rich foods can actually help prevent your skin from aging. Throw a few tomatoes in your salad, load em up on a piece of toast and garnish with arugula, or just juice them into a shake. (Kidding on the shake – really though as anyone tried this – and does it make you skinny?) That’s all that matters anyway. Yeah.
  3. Green Tea
    In addition to speeding up your metabolism, it also helps to soothe sunburns. Drinking one to two cups a day helps to reduce the redness of sunburn. It even repairs broken capillary veins too. In fact, studies show that it can actually block DNA damage from happening as a result of UV light. Now, if they only made it in cocktail form…
  4. Red Peppers
    Bell peppers contain an antioxidant called capsiate, which decreases skin damage caused by UVB rays. Peppers also help to reduce inflammation from sun exposure. I eat them raw. They’re good – just try it.
  5. Garlic
    Not only does garlic detoxify and reduce bloating, it also can protect the skin from the aging effects of UV radiation. Garlic contains a natural compound called allicin, which has strong antioxidant and healing properties. Antioxidants fight off free radicals that enter your body from sun exposure, so eat your garlic. This only works if you don’t pop mints or breath freshening agents of any kind afterwards. I’m not lying to you.
  6. Olive Oil
    Olive oil is not only great to use for cooking, it’s also an antioxidant-rich food that fights sun damage. One study actually proved that incorporating olive oil regularly into your diet can help to reduce reddening from sun exposure by 35%.
  7. Citrus 
    Orange and pink citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, contain large amounts of the skin-cell protective compound called limonene. These fruits also come packed with flavonoids, which improve the skin’s ability to recover from sun damage. I’ll post on how you can include citrus within your daily water intake. It’s pretty dummy-proof and straightforward, but I’ll post it anyway because I want to feel creative.
  8. Carrots
    These bad boys have carotenoids (plant pigments that are rich antioxidants), which help to protect against sunburn because of their antioxidant properties.

Anyway, I feel that public shaming is pretty hot right now so I’ll take this chance to admit that I really should wear sunscreen. The above tips won’t do much if you’re bare-assing it (SPF-wise that is).

Consider me shamed but my complexion right now thinks it’s a BOSS.

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