Lycopene for Skin
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Junk food, unhealthy lifestyle, environmental pollutants, and the ever-increasing use of cosmetic products are some of the factors responsible for increasing skin problems among people of all age groups.
While you really can't escape the hazards of the environment it is also not easy to discontinue the use of cosmetic products all of a sudden. Adopting healthy eating habits and bringing lifestyle modifications are also quite difficult. So what else can be done to avoid different skin problems?
Well, lycopene can be the perfect answer to your problem. It is a natural nutrient with numerous health benefits and can take care of your skin efficiently.
Follow the article below to know more lycopene and how consuming it daily can benefit your skin.
Lycopene is an organic pigment belonging to the family of carotenoids. It is found in many fruits and vegetables and is responsible for their characteristic red or pink color.
Lycopene is also an antioxidant and protects your cells against the damage caused by free radicals. Naturally, it is present in almost all foods that have red, pink, or orange color however its richest source is a tomato.
Some of the common foods that contain a good amount of lycopene are:
- Red oranges
- Pink grapefruit
- Sweet red peppers
Although the above-mentioned foods have a significant amount of lycopene in them they are not enough to provide you with desired results in a short period of time.
For that, it is recommended that you take lycopene in the form of supplements as they contain enough quantity of lycopene to help you achieve your goals in a respectable amount of time.
SKIN BENEFITS OF LYCOPENE
Lycopene works wonders for your skin. It protects your skin against oxidative stress, acts as anti-aging, promotes skin healing, and prevents collagen from being damaged.
Below is a detailed description of different skin benefits provided by lycopene:
Aging is one of the major skincare concerns for most people. Lycopene is an antioxidant and can help you fight the signs of aging particularly photoaging as it provides protection against damage caused by UV rays.
Lycopene has a unique molecular design that serves two main functions. Firstly it is responsible for the characteristic red color that lycopene exhibits and secondly it blocks the UV light.
When UV rays hit your skin they can deplete an important substance in your skin known as proliferating cell nuclear antigen or PCNA.
PCNA plays a vital role in DNA synthesis and repair and when it is depleted you skin may begin to show signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. Lycopene consumption provides protection against UV rays and reverses the reduction of PCNA by ultraviolet rays.
Although lycopene consumption provides significant protection against damage by harmful UV rays and exhibits anti-aging effects it is recommended to always use sunscreen even if you’re regularly taking lycopene.
FIGHTS FREE RADICAL DAMAGE
The metabolic processes occurring in your body regularly produce free radicals which can damage your skin by interfering with the thickness, strength, and fluidity of cell membranes.
Cell membranes are responsible for the absorption of nutrients, removal of waste products, and preventing the entry of toxins in the cells. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure the integrity of cell membranes to avoid different skin problems.
Lycopene is a free radical scavenger and decreases the levels of free radicals in your body. As a result, it minimizes the damage occurring to cell membranes and ensures that your skin is well protected from the harms of free radicals.
ENHANCES CELL-TO-CELL COMMUNICATION
Your cell communicates with each other by means of gap junctions which are responsible for directly connecting the cytoplasm of cells. Through these junctions, different molecules can pass freely between different cells.
Gap junctions are present in all types of tissues found in your body and are particularly important for the skin as it heavily relies on intercellular communication.
Regular consumption of lycopene supplements can promote cell-to-cell communication that facilitates different cellular functions. Consequently, your skin texture is visibly improved and you look more youthful.
Collagen plays an important role in the overall appearance of your skin. It maintains the firmness of your skin and prevents sagginess.
When you grow older the natural production of collagen takes a dip and there is an enzyme known as collagenase that can break down the peptide bonds present in the collagen fibers of your skin.
This breaking down of peptide bonds in collagen fibers of your skin results in the gradual loss of collagen integrity. Eventually, your skin becomes saggy and may also have wrinkles.
Lycopene supplementation has the potential to down-regulate collagenase enzyme and protect collagen fibers from breaking down. As a result, your skin appears to be more firm and young.
Apart from the above-mentioned skin benefits lycopene is also beneficial for your eyes as it prevents the formation of cataracts. Its antioxidant properties may also protect your brain against age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Not to forget regular lycopene consumption can also strengthen your bones.
RECOMMENDED DOSAGE AND SIDE EFFECTS
The typical dose of lycopene for adults ranges between 15 and 45 mg per day. Within this limit, lycopene consumption doesn't cause any immediate or delayed side effects.
However, taking large quantities of lycopene for a long duration can result in a benign skin condition known as lycopenodermia.
In this condition, there is a visible orange or yellow discoloration of the skin which can be reversed within a few days to weeks upon discontinuation of lycopene supplementation.
Although lycopene supplements are considered safe to use it should be consumed with great care in the following circumstances:
- Pregnancy – During pregnancy women should be extra careful about what they consume. Because eating or drinking anything inappropriate can harm the baby. Consumption of lycopene supplements during pregnancy can result in pre-term labor and low birth weight babies. Hence, it is advised not to take lycopene supplements during pregnancy unless prescribed by your doctor.
- Breastfeeding – Lycopene can be transferred to the baby via breast milk and there is not enough information available regarding its safety in lactating women. Therefore, it is better that you stay on the safer side and do not consume lycopene while you’re breastfeeding your child. If you wish to do so then seek guidance from your physician or child’s pediatrician.
- Surgery – Lycopene supplements can interfere with the process of blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding during and after the surgery. Always inform your surgeon about lycopene supplementation and stop consuming them at least two weeks prior to the scheduled surgery.
INTERACTIONS WITH THERAPEUTIC DRUGS
Lycopene has the ability to interact with different medicines and can interfere with their mechanism of action. This interaction can also increase the risk of side effects caused by different drugs.
Two of the most common interactions of lycopene with therapeutic drugs are described below:
LYCOPENE AND LIPASE INHIBITORS
Lycopene is a fat-soluble pigment that requires fat to get itself absorbed in the body and lipase inhibitors are drugs that decrease the absorption of fats in the body.
Consuming lycopene and lipase inhibitors simultaneously can result in the decreased uptake of lycopene as there will be less amount of fat available to facilitate the absorption of lycopene.
LYCOPENE AND ANTIPLATELET DRUGS
As the name indicates antiplatelet drugs inhibit platelet aggregation and as a result, slow down the process of blood clotting. Lycopene is also known to negatively affect the body’s ability to clot the blood.
Using lycopene supplements and antiplatelet medications together can suppress blood clotting to an undesirable extent and increases the risk of bruising and bleeding.
Due to these interactions between lycopene and medicinal drugs, it is advised that you consult your doctor about your ongoing medications before starting lycopene supplements on daily basis.
Skin problems are becoming increasingly common mainly due to environmental pollutants and unhealthy lifestyle choices of people.
Although the best way to achieve flawless and youthful skin would be to eat and live healthily it is not a piece of cake for everyone. But you don’t need to worry as lycopene supplements are here to save the day.
Lycopene is a plant-based nutrient that has antioxidant properties. It protects your skin against free radical damage and promotes skin repair and healing.
It can also enhance communication between cells and protect collagen in your skin. All these effects of lycopene help you achieve your skincare goals quite efficiently and that too in a short span of time.
It is recommended that you speak with your healthcare provider before starting lycopene supplements especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications for any underlying health conditions.
Here you can check out Vorst’s Premium Supplement Super Lycopene 30mg 60 Capsules.