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How to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage

Author: Dr. Archie Goodwin


Excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is the most common cause of skin damage and premature aging. Ultraviolet B rays damage the outer layers of your skin and can cause painful sunburn. However, ultraviolet A rays are even more dangerous because they penetrate your skin and can lead to skin cancer. Most of this damage to the skin is caused by the production of free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that cause progressive damage to the skin.

Five simple steps to protect your skin from excessive ultraviolet radiation

Whenever you have to be out in the sun for long periods, protect yourself with these five precautions:


  1. Avoid staying out under direct sunlight between 11 am to 4 pm.
  1. Drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration.
  1. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses that block ultraviolet rays.
  1. Apply sunscreen with adequate sun protection factor (SPF).
  1. Eat foods that are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are substances that stabilize free radicals and prevent them from damaging your skin.

Ten Foods that protect your skin from sun damage

Most colorful fruits and vegetables are rich in natural anti-oxidants that protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals. The most powerful antioxidants include:

  1. carotenoids,
  2. astaxanthin,
  3. omega-3 fatty acids,
  4. selenium,
  5. vitamin C,
  6. vitamin E,
  7. flavanoids,
  8. catechins, and
  9. epigallocatechins.


To protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals, make sure you include the following foods in your diet:

  1. avocados,
  2. tomatoes,
  3. carrots,
  4. spinach,
  5. oranges,
  6. sweet potatoes,
  7. green tea,
  8. dark chocolate,
  9. Brazil nuts,
  10. walnuts,
  11. pomegranates,
  12. grapes,
  13. sweet corn,
  14. watermelon,
  15. flaxseed, and
  16. turmeric.


Though using sunscreen and other protective measures is important, don’t neglect the role of foods rich in anti-oxidants in the protection of your skin from sun damage. However, these foods must be taken regularly to protect you from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation and free radicals. Best of all, these foods not only protect your skin but also provide a wide range of other health benefits.



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The information in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor if you have any questions about your health.


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