If you’re out sunning your booty all the time, you’ll want to have a post-sun skin care routine. You’ll need to have somebody rub real aloe vera on your buns. Another thing you’ll want to do is eat some collagen.
Today we’re gonna talk about keeping those cheeks hydrated and plump. Up top and down below. We’re gonna boost your skin moisture content, reduce transepidermal water loss, increase skin elasticity, and most important – jack that skin collagen up, WAY UP, so you can sun your buns all day everyday without a worry in the world.
The Short Version
How do you rebuild skin collagen that has been broken down from sun exposure?
Answer: eat collagen.
Boom. You can click out. That’s all you actually need to know.
But if you’re nerdy and want to know the science, buckle-up we’re going in.
You get out in the sun…
Problem: for some reason… our biology… has us express enzymes in response to UV exposure called matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and these MMPs break down skin collagen.
I don’t know why, but that’s how things are.
If you want to really, REALLY, get out in the sun and get the D and NOT incur the negative side effect of photoaging, then here’s what you do:
Step 1 – Reduce MMP Expression
There’s a lot of things you can eat that will effectively reduce MMP expression. Here’s a page of studies about MMP inhibitors.
What you mainly want to eat are antioxidants. Fortunately, it seems antioxidants can be found in just about any healthy fruit, vegetable, or berry – but carotenoids especially have been found to inhibit MMP expression. Carotenoids are literally just orange and red plant foods – it’s the carotenoids themselves that give these foods their color. Carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, bell peppers – just look for orange and red.
There are two superstar carotenoids found to especially protect us from the sun: lycopene and astaxanthin.
Lycopene is mainly found in tomatoes and this randomized control trial study found a lycopene supplement to be effective for completely inhibiting expression of MMP1 in humans.
Astaxanthin is actually a seafood carotenoid found in orange marine creatures – krill, shrimp, lobster. It’s also what gives salmon meat, for example, it’s orange color. Here’s a list of five studies documenting astaxanthin’s powerful effect for both preventing and healing photoaging in people.
Two different randomized placebo-control trials, here and here, even found that simply consuming an astaxanthin supplement is effective for reducing existing facial skin wrinkles in humans.
In addition to the astaxanthin found in seafood, fish oil has also been found to provide almost miraculous photoprotective benefits including increasing sunburn threshold, inhibiting skin cancer, reducing MMP expression, and promoting skin repair by increasing ceramide production (the glue that holds your skin cells together).
Another powerful photoprotective food is aloe vera. Orally-consumed aloe vera has been found to reduce MMP expression and even actively increase collagen production in people.
Green tea also provides a small MMP-inhibiting effect.
Given that all these studies demonstrate consuming these healthy foods can massively reduce, even eliminate, MMP expression – it looks like MMP expression could partially be a glitch in people’s biology resulting from malnourishment due to our low-quality modern diets. If MMP expression can be nearly eliminated just by eating these healthy foods, then photoaging could largely be just a long-term symptom of nutritional deficiencies and not entirely the result of sun exposure.
So remember, the most important step for reducing post-sun exposure skin collagen breakdown is to reduce MMP expression by eating the photoprotective foods listed here.
Step 2 – Replenish Lost Collagen
Here is a page of 13 studies testing the effects of dietary animal collagen on photoaging.
The results are amazing. You eat collagen and your body sends it right to where it needs to go in your skin.
All the studies have the same findings – increased skin collagen density, reduced wrinkles, improved skin hydration, improved skin elasticity, and even reduced sunburn.
These benefits can start to be significantly observed after only a few months of use and the effects are long-lasting even after ceasing collagen consumption.
Bulletproof collagen is the best I’ve found.
Put it in coffee, smoothies, or literally any beverage.
There’s no taste and it instantly dissolves into coffee adding a nice creamy texture.
Did some other photoaging articles recently
How chocolate increases UV tolerance, how green tea massively inhibits skin cancer, and The NudeSpots Ultimate Guide to Photoaging. You should check those out. They’re awesome.
Until next time,