Well it certainly doesn’t feel like it, but it's Summer baby!
Considering the rising temps and strength of the Australian UVR (ultraviolet radiation) #ATTNScottMorrison, our blog is getting serious about suncare by looking at what you put in your mouth and what you put on your skin. Your skin has a high cell turnover. The cells in your epidermis (upper layers of skin) are constantly shed and replaced. The dermis (the lower layer of the skin) contains your sweat glands, hair follicles and blood capillaries.
When we head out for the day and we come into contact with the sun, we’re being exposed to UVR- notably UVA, UVB.
UVB is mostly absorbed by our ozone layer, however its been thinning out due to the release of chemicals into our environment so we are being exposed to higher amounts of UVB. When you notice sunburn, you can thank UVB for that.
UVA penetrates deeper into the skin and is responsible for causing cellular damage related to skin aging and increased skin cancer risk. UVA creates this via the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), or free radicals. These are basically unstable atoms, which try to make themselves stable by reacting with cells in our body ie. Causing inflammation & damage which contributes to skin diseases and aging.
Our skin has in-house antioxidant enzyme systems which help to repair the damage caused by these free radicals.
Dietary antioxidants support these internal antioxidant systems and act as antioxidants themselves. They sacrifice themselves to make the free radicals stable so that our cells don’t have to. Antioxidant rich diets have been shown to be important for reducing the negative effect of sun damage via a number of mechanisms.
- Increasing collagen production
- Reducing inflammation
- Reducing oxidative stress (stabilizing those freaky free radicals)
- Improve dermal blood circulation (increased delivery of oxygen & nutrients)
Vitamin E, Vitamin C, CoQ10, MUFA’s & PUFA’s, zinc, retinoids, selenium, green tea and polyphenols (lutein, lycopene, quercetin, anthocyanidins & carotenoids etc.) have demonstrated significant protection and provide damage control.
Anntioxidants have shown synergistic effects, meaning they work best all together rather than individually! An amazing example of consuming foods that contain a whole host of antioxidant is the Mediterranean diet.
A few important ways you can amp up the antioxidant density of your meals:
- Smoothies: These are a perfect way to combine fat soluble antioxidants (Vitamin E, MUFA’s & PUFA’s) alongside Vitamin C, selenium and zinc. Chuck some hemp seeds or chia for vegetarian omega-3 fats, or add 2 brazil nuts for your daily RDI of selenium. Don’t forget to add in some raw greens or berries for that Vitamin C hit, and then of course any nuts or seeds will help you tick off Vitamin E & MUFA.
- Main meals: always pimp your meals with nuts & seeds, herbs, spices for heaps of phytonutrients & antioxidants
- Vegetables- roast ‘em, steam ‘em, stir-fry ‘em, keep ‘em raw. These should be the basis of any meal, and always try to get a mix of raw and cooked veggies to get the most out of them
Avoid hanging out in the sun when UV is peaking highest in the day (10am-3pm). Which of course if this isn’t possible ensure you’re applying sunscreen every couple of hours (1 cupped hand for your entire body).
Contrary to popular belief, SPF50+ only offers marginally better protection from UV radiaton than SPF30+ (98% versus 96.7%). So just because you’re applying 50+ doesn’t mean you’re necessarily more protected, and it also doesn’t mean you can apply it less.
Avoid sunscreens containing benzophenones (also look for benzophenone-2 & benzophenone-3).
These are chemical UV filters which are added to sunscreen and cosmetics to absorb or reflect UV light. They have been shown to accumulate which can contribute to male and female hormone disruption and are the most common cause of photo-allergic reactions among the UV filters.
Choose sunscreens with ‘zinc oxide’ as the main UV filter. This is a filter which reflects and scatters UV by acting like a physical filter rather than a chemical filter.
- Go-to Zincredible
- Wotnot Sunscreen
- Sunbutter sunscreen
We hope you get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather that is coming our way (fingers crossed), but don’t forget to take care of your skin from the inside & out.
Until next time,
Rom & Al