It sounds like a joke, but the classic olive and tomato combination turns out to be full of goodies that can give your skin an antioxidant boost to soothe inflammation, reduce sun damage, and fight fine lines.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we’ll be cramming over pizza or pasta in the name of glowing skin. At this point, scientists have yet to find proven skin benefits for mozzarella cheese and wheat flour (yes, it makes me sad too). However, many dermatologists say that a substance called lycopene has many benefits for the skin and recommends eating tomatoes…
To learn more about the link between delicious tomatoes and super skin, we delved deeper into lycopene…
What is lycopene
Lycopene is a red nutrient in the carotenoid family that gives tomatoes and watermelons their red color. Although it is found naturally in a few red and pink fruits and vegetables, it is most commonly found in tomatoes. The lycopene content increases as tomatoes ripen.
So why are these ripe red tomatoes so good for us? Lycopene is a great antioxidant with many skin benefits encompassing all skin health. The nutrient not only scavenges free radicals, but also supports the body’s own defense mechanism against oxidative stress and inflammation, increasing skin elasticity and enabling skin cells to better cope with the environment.
In simpler terms: When you have too many free radicals, it stresses the body. Antioxidants help reduce stress, inflammation and signs of aging by neutralizing free radicals.
Lycopene is a particularly powerful antioxidant, so it can help your skin’s appearance along with your overall health. Plus, antioxidants help reverse the signs of aging, which means plump skin and reduced fine lines. After all, tomatoes help you look a little younger and feel a little better.
What exactly does lycopene do for the skin
Antioxidants help prevent damage to and restore collagen in the skin. Lycopene helps prevent skin discoloration, texture changes, and fine lines and wrinkles.
Lycopene can’t turn back time, but by increasing your lycopene intake, you can boost the health of the collagen in your skin and stop some fine lines before they start.
Lycopene can benefit any skin type, but it works especially well for sensitive and aging skin. Tomato acts as an astringent and can reduce the appearance of large pores. Also, antioxidants calm the body’s inflammatory process, reducing redness and irritation. Lycopene has something to offer for any skin type.
But what sets lycopene apart from all other antioxidants is its potential effect on sun damage. A study in the British Journal of Dermatology found that lycopene supplements help protect the skin from UV rays.
Small study found that participants who took extra lycopene had significantly less sun damage than the placebo group. The use of sunscreen and tomato carotenoids can increase skin elasticity and support a healthy relationship with the sun.
The best ways to get more lycopene
Does getting more lycopene from your diet really help your skin? Yeah! You should get it both topically and from the diet for best results. That might mean adding a lycopene-rich serum or mask to your skincare routine. But the diet piece of the puzzle is still the most important. Lycopene topical treatment won’t hurt, so if you want to try a different ingredient in your serums or toners, try a tomato-based product.
It is important to note that lycopene works best for the skin when it can combine with other nutrients found in tomatoes. Eating whole tomatoes or supplementing with tomato-based products will benefit our body and skin more than simply supplementing with lycopene. Since lycopene is fat-soluble, you can cook tomatoes in olive oil for optimal absorption. So yes, you can make a nice sauce and appeal to both your taste buds and your skin.