How to boost your summer tan with foods and natural remedies

You may have heard that carotenoids, such as beta-carotene can help with tanning. That’s correct, but why?  

Carotenoids are pigments found in some fruits, vegetables, and other foods. These pigments have a high antioxidant capacity and most are precursors of vitamin A. This means that once they get absorbed inside the body, they are transformed into vitamin A which is just essential for a healthy body and skin. Besides their health benefits, carotenoids have this fascinating capacity to absorb UV light, so we get tanned.  

Carotenoid-rich Foods

Type of carotenoidFood Sources
AstaxanthinSalmon, shrimps, microalgae  
Beta-CaroteneCarrots, mango, sweet potato, apricot, kale, arugula, collard, spinach, broccoli, cantaloupe 
Lutein Dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, egg yolk, summer squash, pumpkin, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, pistachios, lettuce
LycopeneTomatoes, watermelon, guava, papaya, apricots, grapefruits 
Others Paprika

One thing you should know is that carotenoids are fat-soluble. Indeed, they get distributed throughout the body by passing through the lymphatic system (as all fat does during digestion). This means that combining carotenoid-rich foods with some healthy fat increases the body’s absorption of carotenoids—green light to all the healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocado, seeds and nuts. 

However, the distribution of carotenoids inside the body is not homogeneous and this is also why certain body areas tend to get tanner than others. Moreover, carotenoid levels in the skin are also affected by stress factors. Life stressors, such as smoking, poor sleep, and poor diet, all have a negative impact on carotenoid levels.  

But don’t forget the sunscreen… 

Exposure to UV radiations can lead to the formation of ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species), including the formation of free radicals. This is to say that unhealthy sun exposure leads to photoaging which is the loss of skin elasticity, wrinkling, irregular pigmentation, and dryness. This derives from the degradation of skin protein and increases skin fragility and susceptibility to diseases. My point here is that sunscreen may help prevent all this. So don’t forget to apply mineral SPF minimum 30 at least every 2 hours.

Oh and face sunscreen is mandatory every day of the year! 

And for a long-lasting tan…Scrub!

The common opinion that skin exfoliating will remove your tan is false. In fact, weekly scrubbing helps prolong the tan making it homogenous and glowy. 

After exfoliation, your tanned skin may appear lighter. That’s normal. The truth is that what you think is removed tan is actually just the superficial layer of dead cells, smog and dust.

Read my post “How to tone up the body: two things you should add to your night routine” to find out what scrub works best based on your skin type and other tips on how to get a glowy, toned body.  

Leave a Comment

Sign up to my newsletter!

Stay up-to-date with all new content and products.