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]

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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