Sun, heat, redness and sweat are indisputable this summer. It’s time to get out your skimpy outfits and make the most of the vitamin D and good vibes, while respecting your skin’s balance.
Your skin is your first natural barrier; it protects you from external aggressions (ultraviolet rays, pollutions, shocks, etc.) and controls your body temperature. In this detoxification mechanism, your skin is as important as your liver, intestines, kidneys, gall bladder and even your lungs.
Take good care of your skin by keeping it hydrated and feeding it plenty of anti-oxidants; it’ll reward you with sublime-looking skin!
THE SKIN IS MAINLY MADE OF WATER
70% composed of water, your skin is very sensitive to temperature variations. When it is hot, your skin’s pores open to release the water from your cells. This is called perspiration. In addition to water loss, perspiration drains away essential minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, which must be replaced through hydration and food.
The sun’s UV rays reflect off your skin making it thin, dry and dehydrated. Look out for repeated sunburn, responsible for the appearance of fine lines and skin cancer including the fearsome melanoma…
UV rays promote a build-up of waste (free radicals) in your body. In addition to a good sunscreen and brief exposure to sunlight, you should drink at least 2.5L of water throughout the day to cleanse your body and provide it with deep hydration.
What type of water should I choose this summer? You should aim to vary the different types of water consumed over the course of the days, by alternating tap water with mineral water. Summer fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of water and anti-oxidants. Add them to the menu at each meal.
ANTIOXIDANTS PROTECT AND REGENERATE THE SKIN
There are five famous anti-oxidants. Three vitamins (A, C and E) and two minerals (zinc and selenium) are found in them. The main role of anti-oxidants is to protect and regenerate your body’s cells, in order to keep its tissue healthy. When exposed to the sun, the skin cells are mainly affected and your supply of vitamins A and E and selenium decreases.
- Carotenoids, beta-Carotene, provitamin A, retinol or vitamin A?
In the carotenoid family, you will find beta-Carotene (=provitamin A) and retinol (=vitamin A). To create active vitamin A, your body uses either beta-Carotene found in the coloured pigments of fruits and vegetables of the plant kingdom; or retinol contained in fat found in the animal kingdom.
Good sources of beta-Carotenes: seaweed, melon, sweet potato, spinach, cabbage, dandelion, lettuce, parsley, cress, corn, apricot, peach and blackberry.
Good sources of retinol: fish oils, offal, oily fish, cold meats and butter.
- Vitamin E or tocopherol
Like vitamin A, D or K, vitamin E is a fat, which is fat soluble. It is also transported by fat and not by water (unlike vitamin C and the B complex). Don’t live in fear of fatty foods. You need them to perfect your tan and keep your skin well-hydrated by preserving the thin, greasy film left on your skin.
The good sources of Vitamin E: oils (wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, almond, avocado and rapeseed) omega 3-rich margarine, oil seed and cereals, cayenne pepper and paprika.
Selenium keeps the cell membrane intact by slowing down the effects of cell-ageing, to give you healthy and smooth skin. A larger majority are found in animal foods rather than in plants and vegetables. However, selenium is the only dietary mineral best absorbed in plants and vegetables.
Selenium from animal sources: raw fish and shellfish (grenadier, tuna, mullet and cod), offal and eggs.
Selenium from plant sources: dried seaweed, cereals and legumes.
Eating a variety of foods is essential in combining all the benefits of anti-oxidants. One enhances the effectiveness of the other and vice versa.
Enjoy the benefits of the sun wisely this summer!