I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
So, friends, it turns out that antioxidant-rich tomatoes aren't just delicious to eat. (And by the way, anyone who insists this superfood is gross hasn't had a garden-fresh tomato). These bad boys are loaded up with all kinds of goodies that will make your skin glow, and who can argue with glowing skin?
Benefits of Eating Tomatoes
Before I get into their topical benefits, let's first dive into the good things they can do for your visage when you ingest them.
"Tomatoes are a great source of antioxidants such as lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, and E, and therefore are great for the skin and our other internal organs," notes Dr. Gillian Palette, a board-certified nurse practitioner specializing in cosmetic dermatology and esthetics.
Most people are already familiar with the role vitamins A, C and E play, but lycopene is potently good, as well, and cooked red tomatoes happen to be one of the best sources.
"Lycopene is best known for protecting and healing the skin, from within, from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun," explains Dr. Palette. She even goes so far as to say that "eating tomatoes and using an SPF of greater than 30 is integral in the anti-aging pursuit."
If that's not a winning argument in favor of eating my favorite fruit...
Benefits of Topically Applied Tomatoes
While tomatoes aren't a super-common ingredient to find in skincare items or DIY recipes, that doesn't speak any less of them when it comes to topical applications.
- Tomatoes are high in vitamin A, which is a key ingredient in retinols and, of course, Retin-A. Retinols act as a skin exfoliant, aiding in the reduction of hyperpigmentation and fine lines.
- "Tomatoes contain vitamins A, C and K, which can help treat acne and blemished skin by drying the lesions, increasing healthy skin turnover and evening skin tone," adds Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, a board-certified dermatologist based in Beverly Hills.
- Tomatoes can hydrate and protect the skin, especially when used in conjunction with other ingredients. Dr. Palette suggests a DIY salve consisting of mashed tomatoes, honey and avocados to help really nourish and hydrate.
- Dr. Shainhouse also says that "tomatoes act as an astringent and can reduce the appearance of large pores and oily skin."
A Couple Tomato-y Products
This wouldn't be a proper article if I didn't leave you with a few suggestions.
This is slightly different that your typical sheet mask. Instead of the white sheet, it's a super jiggly, rubber-like mask (technically referred to as a fermented hydrogel mask with lactobacillus) divided into an upper and lower section that aims to lift, revitalize and tone the skin.
I found it to be a fun product (hey, I like jiggly things) to use, but it was also intensely moisturizing and seemed to brighten my skin, as well. It's a #treatyourself product at $9.
Next up: Lush's Volcano Foot Mask, which sends your feet into tingle mode pretty much the second you lather up. It costs $14 for 4.4 oz, but I suggest leveling up to the 11oz. jar because it's a better bargain, and you'll want to use it. In addition to tomato, it contains pumice, papaya, lemon juice and potatoes. The tomatoes work as a natural foot deodorizer.
I've used this product a couple times already and it's definitely effective. It nixes any funk and makes my feet super soft. I apply it before showering and then rinse off with a pumice stone for extra exfoliation.
- Have you ever used tomato in a DIY recipe?
- Why is there so much tomato eating hate in the world?