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]

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.

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