During the summer, we lather up and cover ourselves with sunscreen. After all, you want to protect your skin from UV damage, prevent aging, wrinkles, sunburn and yes, even cancer. But many sunscreens contain chemicals that aren’t so great for your skin. So, along with safer sunscreens, it’s a good idea to eat these three foods to protect skin from sun damage, too.

Unfortunately, many of the same sunscreens we massage into our skin actually contain endocrine disrupting chemicals. And for women, this is a health threat. That’s because chemicals like oxybenone and octinoxate can act like the hormone, estrogen, and disrupt the reproductive system, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). 

So, to protect not only your skin but your endocrine and reproductive systems, too, you boost your skin’s protective shield from the inside out. In fact, there are three specific foods that provide essential nutrients to help protect your skin.  

The good news is these foods are probably something you already have at home. And if not, they’re easy to get a hold of at grocery stores. 

3 foods to protect skin

Dark Chocolate

According to this 2009 study, dark chocolate, rich in flavanols, can help to protect the skin from harmful UV effects. 


According to research from John Hopkins University, broccoli, or to be specific, extract of broccoli sprouts, can reduce skin cell damage caused by UV radiation. 

Olive Oil

A study published in the journal Carcinogenesis found that topical application of olive oil helped to reduce UV ray-induced skin cancer. This may be due to the high Vitamin E and antioxidant content in good quality olive oil. Not only can you look for olive oil in natural sunscreens, but you can also drizzle it on your meals to boost your skin’s defense mechanisms, too.

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When it comes to washing you face, the sky’s the limit. There’s an endless array of facial cleansers to lather onto your skin. Thanks to a Japanese beauty trend, women are now scaling back on fancy creams and switching over to fizzy, bubbly water. If you’re not sure about splashing carbonated water onto your face, keep reading. 

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