What You Don’t Know About Antioxidants and Tanning

Oxidation from tanning negates any effect that topical antioxidant creams could provide.

I’m amazed how often deeply tanned women ask me about topical antioxidants for wrinkles.

If you have $100 worth of antioxidants and anti-aging creams in your bathroom, and you have a tan, we need to talk.

The amount of oxidation damage that you’re doing to your skin by tanning far exceeds the minuscule benefit any topical antioxidant cream could provide.

It’s like being 75 pounds overweight and having ketchup with your bacon cheese burger and fries because you heard that ketchup has lycopene which prevents diabetes.

If you’re concerned about wrinkles, brown spots, and other signs of aging, then the sun is always bad for you. You should wear sunscreen and protect against sun exposure as much as possible.

Purposely tanning your skin while trying to fight off aging with topical antioxidants and wrinkle creams is a losing battle. You would be far better off to avoid the sun completely without using any cosmetics than to spend hundreds of dollars on antioxidants creams only to purposely expose yourself to powerfully oxidizing radiation.

Photo credit: FCC, Steven DePolo

Food Friday: Sweet, Savory, Sensational Watermelon

Watermelon season is almost over, so here are 4 tasty ways to enjoy the health benefits of watermelon.

watermelon slices

Watermelon season is almost over, so while they’re still around, slurp them up as much as you can. Cause the ones you’ll find in February won’t be nearly as juicy and sweet.

Watermelon is not only low in calories (about 50 per cup) but high in fiber, water, and flavor, so it keeps you full long after you eat it. It’s a great source of Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin A. It’s also packed with lycopene, a carotenoid with antioxidant properties, that gives it its red color and its disease-fighting power.

Eating watermelon is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, macular degeneration, and many types of cancer, especially colon. Since your body absorbs lycopene better when it’s combined with a little bit of fat, consider adding some olive oil or avocado to your next watermelon salad.

Here are 4 refreshing ways to enjoy the health benefits of watermelon:

1. Power Boost Smoothie: Blend 1 cup cubed watermelon, 1 cup strawberries or blueberries, 1 cup reduced-fat milk of your choice, and ice.

2. Sweet Morning Fruit Salad: Combine watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe with fresh peaches, lemon juice, and mint for a refreshing summer salad.

3. Savory Watermelon and Avocado Salad: Combine mesclun salad mix, watermelon cubes, diced avocado, cubed jicama, sliced green onions, cilantro, and mint in a bowl. Toss with olive oil, lime juice, cayenne pepper, and salt. Sprinkle with a little crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese, if desired.

4. Watermelon Salsa: Combine diced watermelon, raw corn kernels, diced red bell peppers, sliced green onions, minced jalapeño, and diced avocado. Toss with a little olive oil, lime juice, and salt. Serve with grilled shrimp, fish, chicken, or pork tenderloin.

Got other ways to enjoy watermelon? Please share them below.

Photo credit: Susan Russo, Flickr, Food Blogga

The Truth About Eating Antioxidant Foods For Your Skin

“Hi everyone. I’m @dermdoc. It’s been 3 weeks since my last acai berry shake.”

It’s been 4 months since I ate a blueberry. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a shot of pomegranate juice. Back when I was consuming 18 pounds of antioxidants a day, I used to look like this.

Now look at me.

Don’t let this happen to you! Eat your blueberries (only wild, please). Snack on some walnuts (just the red ones). And don’t forget your green tea (the white kind only). Otherwise you’ll be a wrinkled, spotted, mess; plus, you’ll die of a heart attack.

I love food. I love to eat local farmers’ market produce, I eat lots of fish and olive oil, and I even drink an occasional smoothie. But I don’t eat this way because it keeps me looking young. I eat real food because I enjoy it, because it tastes good, and because it makes me feel good. There are health benefits to eating well, including perhaps some advantages for your skin. But commonly held beliefs that eating antioxidant-rich foods will keep you looking young and cancer-free are still far from being scientifically proven.

So if you’re feeling guilty because your tightened family budget doesn’t allow you to buy the latest antioxidant berry, then stop it. Below is a list of all the scientific research (in people) that showed eating antioxidant-rich foods made people look younger, smoothed their wrinkles, or reduced their risk for skin cancer:

Yup. That’s all of them.

“Eat real food. Mostly plants. Wear your sunscreen.” – @dermdoc

Photos: Leedav (berries) and Tetsumo (old man), both from flickr.

5 Reasons Why You Should Look for CoffeeBerry

CoffeeBerry® extract is a new, powerful antioxidant that uses the whole fruit of the coffee plant. It may turn out to be the most potent of natural antioxidants, better than white tea, blueberries, and pomegranates. It is currently available in a limited number of skin care products, but look for many more in the future. Continue reading “5 Reasons Why You Should Look for CoffeeBerry”

Natural Soy Moisturizer Improves Skin Tone and Texture

aveeno2.gifSoybeans contain a whole host of molecules that act on the skin; the key ones are isoflavones (or phytoestrogens) which are potent antioxidants. They also contain protease inhibitors, which are much less known than the antioxidants but no less potent.

Continue reading “Natural Soy Moisturizer Improves Skin Tone and Texture”