Summer's Skin-Protecting Supplement (& Giveaway)

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[UPDATE: Giveaway closed. Congratulations to Taylor Callahan, winner via Instagram!]

Want to know one of my top summer skin secrets this year? I’ve been adding astaxanthin and its super potent UV defense benefits to my summer skin protection arsenal, in addition to my other favorite sun protective foods and mineral sunscreens. Astaxanthin (as-ta-zan-thin) is a mega powerful antioxidant to have in your diet for UV defense. The antioxidant levels of this deep red carotenoid pigment are actually among the most potent found in nature. While it doesn’t block UV rays, astaxanthin helps protect against UV-induced cell death, meaning that less damage accumulates in your skin whenever you’re exposed to the sun. One study show that after taking 4mg of astaxanthin every day for two weeks, about 20% more UV exposure was needed to create skin redness.

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Regardless of the season, astaxanthin supports youthful skin tone, texture, elasticity, and moisture levels. It neutralizes free radicals, protecting from oxidative damage that speeds up aging, and provides excellent nutrition for healthy eye and vision function.

You’ll find astaxanthin in wild sockeye salmon, shrimp, red trout, lobster, and crab, many of which feed on astaxanthin-packed microalgae. The whole food astaxanthin supplement I’ve been using from Pure Synergy contains organic red freshwater algae to deliver 6mg of astaxanthin in each capsule. (60 of these whole food capsules are $30.) It’s one I’ll be taking all summer long as I soak up the healing benefits of the sun!

To celebrate the arrival of summer, I’ve partnered with Pure Synergy to give away a bottle of this SuperPure Astaxanthin and a signed copy of Eat Pretty Every Day, which has a page of beauty inspiration for every day of the summer (and the rest of the year!). Leave a comment on this post or like and comment on my Instagram or Facebook posts by the end of the day on Sunday, June 23rd to enter to win this pair of summer essentials. [GIVEAWAY CLOSED]

Summer-Ready, from the Inside Out

Got summer on your mind? I certainly did when I shared some of my favorite beauty nutrition-focused summer beauty prep tips with Anthropologie. Check out my summer-ready tips for inspiration, and don't miss the accompanying lineup of beautifying recipes (including a peek at a favorite recipe from Eat Pretty Every Day) to get your beautiful self ready for the season ahead. 

Here's what you'll find:

Eat Pretty: A Summer Detox Guide

Spring Detox Recipes

Many thanks to the incomparable Anthropologie for sharing my pre-summer inspiration, and letting me play dress up at their offices! Here's an outtake from our shoot:

PS THIS is the lovely jumpsuit I got to wear from the Anthro collection.

Images courtesy Anthropologie.

A Spoonful of Sun Protection

At this point in the summer season, you should be filling your plate with colorful veggies that not only energize and hydrate your body, but enhance your skin's sun protection as well. That's right— if you haven't heard the news yet, you can eat your way to an greater level of sun defense!

One of the most effective phytochemicals for summer beauty, lycopene, significantly boosts the skin's natural defenses against UV damage. Tomatoes are a rich source of lycopene, and the current tomato harvest is a signal to get eating to support your beauty. Below, you'll find one of my favorite sun protective summer beauty recipes— a gazpacho that I created for an Eat Pretty beauty food dinner with Whole Foods Market. Enjoy!

Tomato, Basil & Fennel Gazpacho

Cool fennel balances the spiciness of avocado and Italian basil in this light & creamy gazpacho. The addition of olive oil and avocado provides healthy, plant-based fats to allow for absorption of the many fat soluble beauty nutrients in this dish!

Makes about nine 1-cup servings

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs organic tomatoes
  • 2 large bulbs fennel, cored
  • 1 large organic cucumber, peeled
  • 2 jalapeños, seeds and membranes removed
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed Italian purple basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 avocado, diced

Directions

Cut tomatoes, fennel, cucumbers and jalapeños into large chunks. In a high-powered blender or food processor, combine chopped vegetables until liquefied. Add basil, oil, vinegar and spices and blend until smooth. Transfer to a refrigerator to chill, about 1 hour. Serve topped with diced avocado.

5 Everyday Dishes with Natural UV Defense

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It’s August, and by now you’ve likely worked your way through a few tubes of natural sunscreen.

But if you really want to get smart about protecting your beauty from sun damage this year, you’ll pack your diet with a few major nutrients that amp up your skin’s natural ability to defend against UV damage, promote healing and reduce the negative effects of the sun.

For natural sun protection from the inside, go for lycopene, beta carotene, vitamins C + E (they’re a power couple when eaten together), and omega 3s. If you think it takes work to get these nutrients in your diet, think again. The following 5 dishes—all common summer foods— deliver a major dose of sun-protective sustenance. They’ll give you extra sun defense (though don’t ditch your sunscreen) that will boost your anti-aging power all summer long.

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Survive the Summer with a Homemade After-Sun Face Mist

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You've gotta love green tea. Not only is it a major wrinkle-blocker, it helps you burn calories while it defends against sun damage and other forms of skin aging.

Drinking green tea (2 cups daily is the recommended dose), as well as applying it topically is a great boost for your summer sun defense. The antioxidant-rich polyphenols in green tea fight free radical damage that causes age spots, sagging skin, wrinkles and other forms of sun damage—what could be your biggest summer beauty headache. A new British Journal of  Nutrition study actually found that supplementing with green tea catechins (some of their most powerful plant chemicals) can make us more resistant to UV damage and the signs of aging that come with it. Green tea catechins also reduce redness and inflammation,  a product of too much sun exposure, so green tea can be your natural after sun savior as well.

For an easy, soothing, healing green tea recipe to use on your skin after a day, or an hour, in the sun, make this homemade facial mist and store it in the refrigerator (up to 3 weeks). It's a science-backed skin refresher. While you're at it, make yourself a cup of green tea to sip fresh!

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