Tomatoes are best known for their high level of lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. According to Szep Elet’s Szilvia Hickman, it helps to prevent and repair damage to DNA, which can lead to the development of cancer. “Lycopene also stimulates production of antioxidant enzymes, inhibits signals that promote tumor progression, and promotes programmed death of cancerous cells,” she says. And if that isn’t enough, it can also help prevent sunburn and long-term sun damage while calming and hydrating the skin pre- and post-sun exposure. When added to skincare products, it even helps to protect against ultraviolet (UV) radiation and revitalizes and regenerates skin cells.
“With its many skin benefits, lycopene helps to maintain skin density and firmness, helps in the synthesis of procollagen, and protects hyaluronic acid against decomposition,” says Hickman. Tomatoes also contain several other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit the skin. Here’s a look at some of these ingredients and their impact:
- Beta-Carotene: Delays skin aging, reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, protects from UV rays
- Selenium: Strengthens skin
- Vitamin A: Reduces wrinkles and fades brown spots
- Vitamin C: Smoothes and firms skin
- Vitamin K: Lightens dark circles
- Zinc: Heals and rejuvenates skin and prevents clogged pores
Thanks to these ingredients, tomatoes are ideal for anti-pollution, decontamination, and anti-aging services as well as pre- and post-sun treatments, notes Hickman. Tomatoes also contain naturally occurring acids, so Rhonda Allison recommends using them in enzyme and peel formulas.