The health benefits of eating tomatoes are undisputed. But what about the skincare benefits of tomatoes?
This superfruit is chocked full of antioxidants, beta carotene, lycopene, vitamin A, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, magnesium and potassium. This sounds like a great combination when eating, but can any of these provide benefits to our skin when applied topically? Research into the skincare benefits of tomatoes suggests the answer is yes and no.
Skin Benefits Of Tomatoes
Shrinks Pores and Reduces Acne
Claims have been made that applying tomato juice or paste to your skin can shrink pores and clear up acne. In theory, this is true, in practice unlikely. Tomatoes contain a small amount of salicylic acid, the same salicylic acid you will find in acne washes. Unfortunately, it probably is not a useful means to shrink pores.
Prevent Signs Of Aging
You know those anti-oxidants we talked about? They do in fact help fight signs of aging. Further, the complex of abundant B vitamins is essential to cell repair. That lycopene and vitamin C…..those can help to reduce hyperpigmentation and sun damage. The claim that tomatoes can reduce the signs of aging seems to hold water.
Provides Sun Protection
There is some evidence that eating tomatoes and applying tomato products to your skin could help prevent damage from UV rays. However, don’t throw out that sunblock just yet. There does not seem to be enough lycopene to prevent serious skin damage. It is best to use a tomato product in conjunction with traditional sunscreens.
The high acid content in tomatoes is effective in breaking down oils. However, before you rub this tasty fruit (or vegetable depending on what camp you are in) all over your face, keep in mind it is staining and the high acidity could be irritating to your skin. Dilution would work best.
While lycopene eats up the free radicals, Vitamin C is busy stimulating collagen. The lack of collagen is the main reason for the loss of elasticity and the gain of wrinkles. It stands to reason that this dynamic duo would smooth the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Tomato powder in skincare products is also an exfoliant further smoothing skin.
We know that eating vitamin C rich foods helps aid in healing. The addition of that vitamin C to skincare products could have a similar effect. The jury is still out on this one, but I don’t see myself pouring tomato juice over an open wound anyway, it sounds painful.
Skincare Benefits of Tomatoes: The Verdict
While it appears some claims made about the skin benefits of topically applying tomatoes are unfounded, others seem promising. Just remember that the high acid content can be irritating to sensitive skin. Adding tomato powder or juice to a carrier, such as soaps, lotions, or gels will give you the benefits of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants without the irritation.