There’s nothing we love more than basking in the sun, trips to the beach, and BBQs in the park during summertime. But the beating heat doesn’t just serve good vibes and a glistening upper lip, it’s taking its toll on your skin in ways that will last longer than the heat. Lathering on a healthy layer of SPF 30+ (with UVA 4-star plus rating, obvs) is only half of the battle against protecting your body’s largest organ, your skin, against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Eating the right foods regularly during summer is also key to boosting your skin’s natural defenses, and ensuring you look gorgeous this summer and next.
We spoke to dietician and chef, Aphisith Phongsavanh – who last month dropped the bomb about why your diet is affecting your glow game – to find out how to let our skin live its best life this summer.
“Two key antioxidant vitamins that play a major role in priming your skin for protection against the sun are vitamins E and C.” Aphisith says. These antioxidants fight aging by destroying damaging free radicals that deplete your collagen supply – the more quickly your collagen deteriorates, the quicker your skin will show signs of aging. Which means including more vitamin C in your diet can actually make your sunscreen more effective, as well as speeding up the healing process of damaged skin.
“A balanced diet rich in vitamins E and C, healthy fatty acids, and other antioxidants will ensure that your skin is ready to fight free radicals and repair itself against the effects of oxidation.” And don’t worry, it’s actually not difficult, Aphisith says there’s plenty of foods that are abundant in these vitamins and that “a great indicator is eating colorful foods with deep reds, bright oranges, and rich greens” – that doesn’t sound too hard!
Where to get your dose of vitamin C: “Tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, strawberries, citrus (oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit), broccoli, kale, and guava will help support your skin when exposed to the Sun.”
Where to get your dose of vitamin E: “Try seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, spinach, and avocados. Tomatoes, bell peppers, and broccoli contain both E and C, so you’ll be boosting your skin doubly.”
“Collagen protein also helps retain our skin’s elasticity – keeping it firm and helping to prevent wrinkling – and vitamin C is essential in the skin’s production of collagen. Believe it or not, garlic is actually amazing for rebuilding damaged collagen and the production of it as well.” Aphisith says.
Aphisith Phongsavanh’s Super Easy Summer Skincare Drink Recipes:
Recipe 1. The Skin Detox: You can easily prepare a skin-fortifying detox drink by making green tea and chilling it overnight with a couple slices of lemon and lime, a few halved strawberries, chunks of guava, and cucumber. If you’re feeling adventurous, try tossing in one smashed clove of garlic and a tiny piece of fresh turmeric.
Recipe 2. The Super Smoothie: If you’re in the mood for a more filling beverage then this vitamin-loaded smoothie will do the trick. In a blender, combine a handful of kale, spinach, one carrot, strawberries, and half an avocado. Bring it all together with coconut milk and enjoy.