Shout-out to all the humans like me that burn super, super easily in the sun! If you're slathering yourself in sunscreen regularly and still struggling hard, consider checking out these natural sources of SPF. The secret to not getting burned could in fact be waiting for you in a smoothie.
I personally got really into taking my care of my skin as best as possible after moving to a really rural and surprisingly tropical part of Japan on Shikoku. Though I'd lived in SoCal for years and always regularly applied sunscreen, living in what was essentially jungle and forced me to reevaluate my skincare situation.
Beyond sunscreen, I turned to my diet as a way to give my skin an additional protection strategy against the super fierce sun. To my surprise, I discovered a ridiculously diverse group of fruits, veggies, and more that would let me essentially eat my way to sunburn-free skin. Since I am pretty much always down for a smoothie bowl, this realization was a total revelation.
If getting sunburn has always seemed inevitable for you, I'd urge you to incorporate the foods below into your diet and see what happens. Of course, remember that these foods should be used in addition to sunscreen, not as a substitute!
1. Flax Seeds
Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked with protecting skin against free radical damage from sun exposure. Try sprinkling a few on your morning yogurt!
2. Coconut Oil
Yup, coconut oil. As explained by Wellness Mama, the medium chain fatty acids from this saturated fat "are easily utilized by the body for new skin formation and are protective against burning."
Women's Health shared some pretty convincing evidence for slathering tomato paste on your sandwiches. The mag revealed, "Tomatoes and tomato-based products are a major source of an antioxidant called lycopene, which has been proven to provide long-term protection against UV-radiation-induced effects."
4. Dark Chocolate
Thanks to all the flavanoids, dark chocolate boosts skin's natural ability to dodge sun damage. Not like I needed another reason to eat chocolate every day, but I'm not complaining!
Another Women's Health tip, channel your inner rabbit and nibble carrots for a burst of carotene that can help protect and repair cells from photoaging.
A deeply hued cruciferous veggie, kale is packed with antioxidants that fight free radicals released by sun damage.
If tomatoes aren't your thing, watermelon is also packed with sun damage-fighting lycopene. Pack a few slices before hitting the beach for the ultimate spring break snack!
Vitamin C is directly linked with killing off free radicals connected with cellular damage from the sun, and kiwi has even more than oranges!
9. Green Tea
The polyphenols in green tea have been proven to prevent non-melanoma skin cancer! Brew a cup and then refrigerate it for a super refreshing iced tea.
Images: aboikis/Fotolia, slavomir pancevac/Fotolia, Dipali S/Fotolia, fortyforks/Fotolia, Diana Taliun/Fotolia, Maresol/Fotolia, algae5/Fotolia, hikdaigaku86/Fotolia; Christopher Furlong/Getty Images, Sean Gallup/Getty Images