Could Tomatoes help protect against sunburn and skin ageing caused by sunlight exposure?
In 2012 tests showed that eating tomato paste could help protect against sunburn as well as skin ageing which is caused by over exposure to light.
The anti-ageing component responsible for these effects in the Tomato is Lycopene, the very component that gives a Tomato its red colour. The highest levels of Lycopene are found where you the Tomato is processed with heat.
Lowers DNA Damage from ultraviolet (UV) exposure
In the study, women eating a diet rich in processed tomatoes had increased skin protection, as seen by a reduction in skin redness and less DNA damage from ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
Researchers compared the skin of 20 women, half of whom were given five tablespoons (55g) of standard tomato paste with 10g of olive oil every day for 12 weeks.
The effects on their skin were compared with the remaining volunteers, aged between 21 and 47, eating just olive oil for the same length of time. The volunteers were exposed to UV rays found in sunlight at the beginning and end of the trial. The researchers found significant improvement in the skin’s ability to protect itself against UV among those eating tomato paste.
Compared with the other women, the tomato-eating group had 33 per cent more protection against sunburn in the form of less redness. From this researchers deduced that protection offered by the tomato paste be equivalent to a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 1.3.
Increase in Pro Collagen as a result of Tomato intake
Skin samples taken from groups before and after trial showed an increase in levels of procollagen, a molecule which gives skin its structure and loss of which leads to skin ageing and lack of elasticity. There was also less damage to mitochondrial DNA in the skin, which is also believed to be linked to skin ageing.
Dermatology scientist Prof Birch-Machin said the tomato paste eaten was not overly excessive, but the amount that would be consumed from a lot of tomato-based meals.
An SPF of just 1.3 isn’t all the protection you require on a Sunny day, but the natural increase in Pro-Collagen that was brought about by the diet of Tomatoes is very beneficial in anti-ageing the skin.
Naturallythinking New Products
Over the coming months we will be introducing some products based upon the humble Tomato. Grown at Sutton Community Farm, they will of course be 100% Organic.
Lookout for our new Tomato & Olive Stone Face Scrub and a wonderful new moisture cream aimed at boosting ProCollagen, skin elasticity and tone.