Pomegranates are a potent source of anti-aging and antioxidant benefits for your skin. The secret to their potency lies in the fact that they contain ellagic acid, the most important of the polyphenols, a group of antioxidants that mainly affect your skin. But what you may not know is that when it comes to sun protection, pomegranates pack a powerful punch.
Dr. Howard Murad has proven through an independent study that taking pomegranate extract internally before using sunscreen increases SPF by 25% (The Cellulite Solution, Dr. Murad, p. 64). What I love about the idea of using pomegranates to boost sunscreen is that there’s a double benefit: we can increase our sun protection factor while reaping the rewards of the pomegranates’ powerful antioxidant, anti-aging action (something basic sunscreen does not provide). In fact, a study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry shows that pomegranate juice has 3 times the antioxidant activity of green tea or red wine (Murad, p. 64).
Further, using pomegranate to boost your sunscreen also means fewer chemicals on your body and in the environment. For example, when I was in Hawaii recently, I noticed that many locals wore rash guards, aka ‘rashies’ (swim tops that surfers wear) for sun protection while swimming, and it seemed like a smart way to reduce the use of chemical/mineral sunscreen by using a physical barrier to block the sun. Like rash guards, pomegranates provide another great non-chemical/mineral alternative to sunscreen, and its better for you and the environment. If you use mineral sunblock like I do, then you know it can be very chalky and a real pain to blend, so if you have taken a pomegranate supplement and plan to wear a hat/other protective gear, then you don’t have to slather it on so thickly, (but still please use sunscreen for skin safety, the pomegranate just provides an extra level of protection). Another advantage of taking an internal pomegranate supplement to add to your SPF is that it won’t wash off. Dr. Murad’s supplement is called Murad Pomphenol Sunguard, I haven’t used it yet, but I’m really looking forward to trying it this summer and I’ll post my results when I do.
So the next time you head out into the sun, unleash the power of pomegranates to supercharge your sunscreen and deliver antioxidant power to your skin!