Summer Skin Damage

Sunburn back in a manOh, summer sun! It feels so good to bask in the soothing warmth of sunshine, but what is it doing to our skin? Being the barrier between the body and the environment the skin is subjected to a lot of abuse. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can injure the skin leading it to be red and inflamed. With enough exposure ultraviolet rays cause the skin to be discoloured and wrinkled. Sun damage can also lead to the development of cancer. Melanoma (skin cancer) is the most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide. Think you are too young to worry about it? In Canada, melanoma is one of the most common cancers in our youth ages 15 to 29. What can you do to prevent summer skin damage? Sunscreen, broad rimmed hats and long sleeve shirts can help. However, can you also protect your skin from the inside out?

Ah, the warm therapeutic feeling of sunshine on your skin. There is nothing quite like it. But, lapping up those rays this summer can take a toll on your skin. Sunlight (ultraviolet radiation) exposure leads to inflammation in the skin, rough patches and sunspots. It also causes collagen and elastin to break down in your skin causing it to become saggy and more wrinkled. Most concerning, damage to your skin by ultraviolet radiation may lead to skin cancer. Along with wearing sunscreen year-round and covering up with broad-rimmed hats and long sleeve or sun shirts, you can eat a diet that is skin healthy. Come on and bite back against sun damage! Come discover how eating certain foods can help your skin repair, rejuvenate and be beautiful in the summer.

Crimini Mushrooms

They aren’t just a cute addition on a kebab at a summer barbeque; they’re packed with skin-protecting nutrients like selenium. Selenium is needed to make one of the body’s most potent antioxidants, glutathione peroxidase. Glutathione peroxidase fights those pesky damaging free radicals that form in your skin when it’s exposed to sunlight. Since you can’t avoid all sunlight exposure, your only defense is to have consistent presence of antioxidants in your skin. Another reason to pop some of these little mushrooms into your mouth is that they are a great source of B vitamins – the skin uses B vitamins to create new cells. Go on and add crimini or other mushrooms to your summer diet and enjoy beautiful summer skin.


The amount of antioxidants in your blood decreases when your skin is exposed to sunlight. A double-blind, controlled trial concluded that eating antioxidants (vitamin C and selenium) offers the skin protection against sunlight. Dig into nutrient-rich foods (and lather on the sunscreen) to help prevent sunburns and subsequent skin damage this summer. Juicy, tart Montmorency cherries are a source of antioxidants like vitamin C and melatonin. Melatonin protects the skin against ultraviolet radiation. Researchers have discovered that this powerful little nutrient also helps repair sunburned skin, thanks to its ability to stimulate new skin cell growth. Cherries are also packed with vitamin C needed to build collagen – your skin’s natural scaffolding and wrinkle preventer.

Green Tea

Hot green tea isn’t a popular picnic basket drink, but iced green tea should be your ‘go-to’ drink this summer. Scientists have discovered that an antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), fights inflammation in the skin. EGCG neutralizes free radicals that form in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, reducing their ability to cause damage that leads to inflammation. It even helps prevent wrinkles and other signs of unhealthy skin. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, the skin of women who consumed a drink with green tea polyphenols for 12 weeks showed improvements in elasticity, roughness, scaling, and moisture content.


Including some pomegranate to your summer picnic basket may be a great choice for your skin according to research from the University of Wisconsin. Pomegranate is well known for its high antioxidant content, and has been found in studies to offer anti-inflammatory benefits to the skin. Scientists have also found that nutrients in pomegranates can reduce the ability of ultraviolet radiation to cause cancer-promoting damage in your skin cells.

Fatty fish

Add fatty fish like salmon or anchovies to your skin-beautifying menu. Fatty fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their ability to regulate inflammation in the body. In the skin, sunlight exposure triggers inflammation. The presence of omega-3 fatty acids in the skin can prevent the extent of damage caused by inflammation.


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