The fountain of youth for your skin comes from the tube. Tomato paste is high in the super antioxidant lycopene. This protects your skin very effectively against damage and premature skin aging. At the same time, the slow-aging miracle is easily available. Anti-aging promises aside, the trick with the tomato paste still convinced me...
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Slow aging thanks to tomato paste
Diet is extremely important when it comes to slowing down skin aging . Micronutrients such as antioxidants play a key role here. And some foods are loaded with it. Tomato paste is one of those things. It is particularly rich in lycopene. That works twice as well. 1. it protects the skin from damage and 2. it improves natural cell regeneration. This keeps the skin firm, elastic and fresh for longer.
☝️ When you're into skincare, you stumble across all sorts of tips. Many of these are downright harmful. A healthy skepticism is therefore absolutely desirable. Before something is allowed into the FIVE skin care tips , it goes through a thorough fact check. The importance of antioxidants is well documented by studies. Tomato paste is also recommended by dermatologists as an excellent source 1 .
What is lycopene?
Lycopene is considered a highly effective antioxidant. And you need a constant supply of these substances. They protect your cells from oxidative stress . This is what happens when free radicals take over. They then attack healthy cells. This damages your skin in several ways:
- Free radicals kill healthy cells.
- Oxidative stress impedes skin regeneration.
- It breaks down bulking proteins like keratin, elastin and collagen.
These and other consequences of oxidative stress accelerate skin aging. The article Antioxidants, Free Radicals and What They Do for Your Skin covers this in detail . Many antioxidants, which are as effective as possible, stop this destructive chain reaction. And this is where the tomato paste comes in.
What is lycopene in?
Lycopene is a form of carotenoids. This is the reddish plant pigment that is found in many fruits. As an antioxidant, however, lycopene has a much stronger effect than its relatives. It is said to have a cell protection effect that is around 10 times higher than, for example, beta-carotene 2 . There are some fruits that are particularly rich in lycopene. This includes:
- Pink grapefruit
- And tomatoes
Tomato paste is particularly rich in lycopene
100 g tomato paste contains around 62 mg lycopene. This highly concentrated power is more than 12 times that of fresh tomatoes. In addition, the lycopene in tomato paste has a much better bioavailability for the skin. The body can use a lot of what you eat from it right away. So it works in a pretty direct way. The good thing is that you don't have to eat huge amounts. Just one tablespoon of tomato paste a day covers your needs.
☝️ By the way : Lycopene even gets its name from the tomato. Its botanical name is Solanum lycopersicum .
Lycopene likes it hot and greasy
Would a fresh tomato salad do the trick too, you might be wondering? With fresh tomatoes, however, the bioavailability is significantly lower. Lycopene is not only very heat stable. The body absorbs it even better when heated . Of course, tomato soup or pasta sauce also works accordingly. Tomato paste comes in handy because it's so easy to take a tablespoon a day. Pasta al Pomodoro doesn't have to be 365 times a year after all.
It is important to combine tomato paste with vegetable oil . Lycopene is fat-soluble. So the body needs oil at the same time in order to be able to absorb it. Luckily, that's just as easy to get. Just add a few drops of cooking oil to the tomato paste. If you use flaxseed oil, you also get a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. They are indispensable so that your skin cells (others too, of course) can regenerate and protect themselves. More on this under Beautiful skin thanks to omega-3: Is it also vegan?
🌟 Your slow-aging super combo: A tablespoon of tomato paste with some linseed oil every day.
Slow aging for the skin
There are many anti-aging products that promise an immediate effect. Anything that cushions reduces wrinkles for the moment. Lycopene does not provide such short-term effects. It's a marathon drug , not a sprinter. This antioxidant protects your skin in the long term and promotes its regeneration.
The skin stores lycopene along with other radical scavengers in the stratum corneum. This works in a similar way to fruit. They also store antioxidants in their shells. In the top layer of skin , they effectively protect against external influences such as UV radiation and environmental toxins. They prevent healthy skin cells from dying off prematurely. And it creates optimal conditions for skin renewal. This slows down the appearance of signs of aging. Because skin aging is nothing more than a lack of regeneration.
Study proves the effectiveness of lycopene in the skin
Antioxidants that you ingest through food make their way to the stratum corneum . They migrate through your body to the outer layer of skin. In one study 3 , subjects received a diet particularly rich in natural antioxidants. After a short time, the amount of radical scavengers in the skin increased. They could better protect themselves from oxidation and from the formation of new free radicals. Eating more antioxidants has been shown to reduce oxidative stress on your skin.
In addition, studies show that different carotenoids promote each other . For example, the level of beta-carotene in the skin increased in people who consumed more lycopene. So make sure you have a good supply of various antioxidants. A balanced diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is ideal.
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Conclusion: How to protect your skin with lycopene
If you regularly consume a healthy amount of antioxidants such as lycopene, you can be more effective in preventing your skin from premature aging. This also applies to skin diseases that are associated with free radicals. These nutrients also have a positive effect on other parts of your body. After all, their effect is not limited to skin cells.
With these tips you can use the power of lycopene for yourself:
- You can easily cover your daily requirement of lycopene with a tablespoon of tomato paste and a little oil.
- The best way to get antioxidants is from fruits and vegetables. This gives you a natural spectrum of different radical scavengers.
- Eat a diet high in antioxidants from a young age. It's never too early to start this form of skin care.
Remember, slow aging is a game of time. But let's be honest: juicy little fruits, delicious tomato pasta - you can only win in this game. So stay tuned and eat yourself up!
1 Yael Adler: Up close. Droemer Knaur, Munich: 2016
3 Annette Friedrich: Influence of carotenoids taken orally on the antioxidant status of the skin, the skin's protective function against free radicals and on the skin's lipid profile (dissertation). Submitted to the Medical Faculty Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 2015