7 Ways to Eat Your Sunscreen: Can You Help Prevent Sunburn from the Inside Out?

7 Ways to Eat Your Sunscreen: Can You Help Prevent Sunburn from the Inside Out?

Anne Momber
Aug 22, 2016
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Could the right supplements help keep your skin safe all summer long? While it's absolutely essential to use a quality sunscreen to prevent burns, these seven foods and supplements just may bolster your efforts and increase your skin's tolerance to those red-inducing rays. Sign me—and my skin's borderline superhero ability to burn in ten minutes—up.

Vitamin D

Wait, isn't this the whole reason you're out in the sun in the first place? Ironically enough, new research is pointing to the ability of optimal levels of Vitamin D to prevent sunburn and skin cancer. Win-win.

Vitamin C

Because sunburn is an inflammatory reaction in your body, anti-inflammatory supplements can be an excellent way to prep your skin for sunshine. Vitamin C is one extra-strength option that also happens to be great for your skin and immune system even when a burn isn't part of the equation.

Coconut Oil

I'm starting to wonder if there's anything coconut oil can't do. But since I'm already using it to remove makeup and stir fry veggies, blending a couple more tablespoons into coffee or tea should be simple. Especially if there's a chance those medium chain fatty acids will soothe and prevent overexposed skin.


Some studies show that tomatoes, particularly cooked tomatoes or tomato paste, can provide significant protection from the sun thanks to their high dosage of a carotenoid called lycopene. This pigment is also found in summery treats like watermelon and grapefruit.

Leafy Greens

When has anyone ever suggested eating fewer leafy greens? It turns out these nutrient-dense wonders can not only help prevent sun damage – they can reduce the impact of it and your risk of skin cancer. Summer salad, anyone?

Cod Liver Oil

A daily dose of cod liver oil may be the secret weapon of eating your sunscreen. The Omega 3 fatty acids in the oil reduce inflammation and protect your skin, not to mention the fact that this supplement is a great source of Vitamin D.

Dark Chocolate

If only every list of healthy ideas included a little bit of dark chocolate. If your chosen sweet has at least 70% cacao, the antioxidants in your dessert can aid in skin defense. Just be sure you're not snacking on milk chocolate – the milk can actually prevent your body from absorbing the useful anti-inflammatory qualities that make dark chocolate so wonderful.

What do you think? Will you consider munching a little chocolate or having a nice tomato salad before your next day out and about?

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