1. Tomato Paste
BEAUTY BENEFIT: Healthy skin cells
WHAT THE SCIENCE SAYS: Here’s a beautiful reason to ladle out tomato based soups and sauces all summer long: When subjects in a British Journal of Dermatology–published study consumed a daily dose of tomato paste containing 16 milligrams of the antioxidant lycopene, doctors noticed an improvement in the overall health of their skin cells.
YOUR HEALTHY HABIT: It doesn’t take much to reap the rewards of the red fruit, as one cup of tomato paste contains a whopping 75 milligrams of lycopene. Not too keen on tomatoes? Work watermelon and grapefruit into your warm weather diet, as both are Let There Be also rich sources.
See also6 Snappy Plants for Your Best Health.
BEAUTY BENEFIT: Lower skin cancer risk
WHAT THE SCIENCE SAYS: Too much java can give you the jitters, but coffee could keep you safer from skin cancer, according to a January 2015 report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers studied nearly 450,000 individuals over the course of 10 years, discovering that those who drank the most coffee each day (four or more cups) had a lower risk of malignant melanoma than those who drank less or abstained entirely. The caffeine may help fend off the dangerous effects of ultraviolet-B radiation on skin cells, said lead study author Erikka Loftfield.
YOUR HEALTHY HABIT: If you’re a coffee drinker, buy organic whenever possible. But there’s no reason to start guzzling the stuff if you’re not used to it. To protect your skin, focus on pouring on sunscreen rather than pouring coffee.
See alsoCoffee vs. Tea.
BEAUTY BENEFIT: Minimized eye wrinkles
WHAT THE SCIENCE SAYS: This Brazilian plant has gotten plenty of hot press thanks to its stimulating seeds that contain twice as much caffeine as coffee pods, but guarana may have other body benefits, too. A study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that a face-care formula containing guarana extract helped achieve “a significant reduction in crow’s feet wrinkles and wrinkles under the eyes.”
YOUR HEALTHY HABIT: Online skincare retailers swisse.com and olivewayshop.com now carry products containing guarana extract.
BEAUTY BENEFIT: Clearer skin
WHAT THE SCIENCE SAYS: “There are scientifically plausible reasons to believe that nutrition can affect acne,” reports a study in Dermatoendocrinology that examines the role of diet and skin health. Among the findings: omega-3 fatty acids “could have important implications for both acne and our overall health” because of they way they reduce inflammation.
YOUR HEALTHY HABIT: Add more omega-3 fatty acids to your daily diet through fatty fish or fish oil supplements. Look for products with at least 2,085 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and 348 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the amounts found to reduce inflammation in a 2011 Ohio State University College of Medicine study among medical students.
5. Vitamin A
BEAUTY BENEFIT: Improvement of fine wrinkles and increased collagen production
WHAT THE SCIENCE SAYS: Vitamin A can fend off the wrinkles from Father Time, a study published in JAMA Dermatology shows. But not just any vitamin A – it’s retinol, the topical application, that seems to have the most effective results. After 24 weeks of applying topical retinol lotion to their skin, participants experienced an improvement in fine wrinkles, thanks to the way it boosted water retention and increased collagen production. “Topical retinol is a promising and safe treatment to increase the dermal matrix of aged skin and improve clinical features associated with atrophic wrinkled skin,” wrote the study authors.
YOUR HEALTHY HABIT: Look for a lotion with 0.4% retinol, the solution tested in JAMA Dermatology, and apply it three times per week to finely wrinkled skin.
6. Coconut Oil
BEAUTY BENEFIT: Stronger, healthier hair
WHAT THE SCIENCE SAYS: Quick, which is better for your hair: mineral oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil? If you guessed the latter, you’re not nuts; you’re onto something. As the Journal of Cosmetic Science reports, coconut oil does the best job of penetrating the hair shaft because of its low molecular weight and structure. “The findings clearly indicate the strong impact that coconut oil application has to hair," wrote the study authors. “Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.”
YOUR HEALTHY HABIT: Apply coconut oil before and after you shampoo.