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The best natural ways to protect your hair and skin this summer

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There's nothing like sunbathing on a beach or swimming in a pool to give you that summer holiday feeling, but it's essential to protect yourself from the sun and water or you could risk damaging your skin and hair. Nutritionist Sarah Flower has shared her top tips exclusively with HELLO! Online on the foods and nutrients to nourish your skin and hair, as well as how to reduce the effects of post-summer holiday damage…


spa© Photo: iStock

There are natural ways to help protect your skin and hair from the sun

Drink plenty of water

Our skin and body needs water in order to detoxify and process essential nutrients. It also helps to plump up the skin, helping to reduce signs of ageing. Nothing beats the impact of drinking lots of water, limiting caffeine and alcohol, and eating plenty of hydrating foods such as cucumber, melon, fruits and green leafy vegetables.

Up your Iron levels

Women are especially prone to low Iron levels, so make sure you eat plenty of red meat, nuts, spinach and wholegrains. Adequate Iron levels will help to nourish your hair - although you will also need to ensure you have plenty of Vitamin C to help absorb the Iron as well as assisting with hair formation and the production of Collagen in the blood vessels supplying the hair follicles. 

sewafood© Photo: iStock

You could try incorporating more seafood into your diet

Add more seafood into your diet

Astaxanthinis found in lobster, crab, salmon and krill oil, and is a great antioxidant which also helps to lubricate the skin, improve elasticity, and reduce pigmentation and dark circles under the eyes. It also boosts skin cell regeneration, helping to repair and renew your complexion.


Boost your Collagen levels

Wrinkles and fine lines are usually a result of a dehydrated skin, as well as a breakdown of Collagen. Collagen and Elastin make the skin firm, but the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause us to produce an abnormal level of Elastin, and as the body tries to repair this, it causes scar tissue which creates more wrinkles. Sun exposure also causes pigmentation which can often appear as brown spots on the skin.  

water© Photo: iStock

Drink plenty of water to keep your skin hydrated

Reduce Sugar

Limiting or cutting out sugar altogether can really improve problematic skin and hair, as well as increasing energy and reducing your waistline. Sugar produces Advanced Glycation End products, which cause Glycated Collagen, ageing the skin and making it less flexible and producing wrinkles. More Glycated Collagen is produced from fructose, so try to avoid fruit concentrates and smoothies. 

Choose colourful vegetables

Carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash contain Beta Carotene, an antioxidant which helps fight off free radicals from UV damage. Beta Carotene also helps your skin to heal faster and it can help sustain your natural tan. Lutein, which is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale, caN also help protect the skin from damage, as well as increasing hydration and skin elasticity.

Make sure you get enough Vitamin C and E

Both these vitamins play an essential role in the formation of Collagen. Eating plenty of nutrient and antioxidant rich foods such as berries, citrus fruits, nuts and avocados, can also protect from the damaging effects of the sun.

Take B-Vitamins

A good Multi-B Vitamin helps with hair formation, supports adrenal function and balances stress hormones. Max Hair Collagen from Medicare contains a range of B Vitamins, Selenium and Zinc, which all work to support hair health and formation, and reduce hair loss. 

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