Ask the Dietitian: The Secret To Conquering Sun Damage

  • By RenewAlliance, Inc.
  • 30 Jun, 2017
We all live for the summer months! Nothing is better than going to the lake, beach, or hanging out at the pool with your family and friends on a long, hot summer day. While this is therapeutic to the mind and spirit, it may not always be so great for your skin. And we all know that we’re supposed to wear sunscreen on the regular to help protect our skin from the sun’s damaging rays, but maintaining coverage and reapplying sunscreen is sometimes a task that escapes us while we are having fun. Unconsciously, we may end up with a sunburn, which is a clear indicator of immediate skin damage. This damage accumulates over time, and accelerates the skin aging in all of us, resulting in dark/sun spots (hyperpigmentation), and contributes to other subcutaneous skin structure breakdown that leads to lines, wrinkles, and sagging skin. Which is a major bummer for our beauty goals.

So yes, we know sunscreen is a must. But what else can we do to help protect and heal the effects of summer skin mishaps? Starting from the inside and working out, nutrition can play a role to help heal and repair skin integrity, as well as appearance. In addition to an overall balanced diet, the two key nutritional components to help you achieve healthier skin are collagen and antioxidants .


Collagen is a very important structural protein in our bodies, found in tendons and ligaments, cartilage, bones, blood vessels, and of course skin. In the skin, it is the major protein found in the matrix, with elastin and hyaluronic acid. Which basically means it is a key component to making your skin looking young by maintaining its structure and shape over time.

The collagen family consists of over 28 types of collagen, and different types are put to work in our bodies in different ways. When it comes to skin, when we are young it is made of 80% type I collagen and about 15% type III collagen. As we age, in our adult years we begin to lose the natural ability to replenish collagen by about 1.5% per year, and the collagen we maintain becomes thicker and shorter, ultimately decreasing the structure and elasticity of the skin. And sun damage only further exacerbates this process, contributing to premature aged skin.

The good news is we can give our bodies a little extra help when it comes to collagen replenishment to support our skin. By adding a supplement of high quality, hydrolyzed collagen, containing mostly type I with some type III collagens, you can provide your body with some of the most important building blocks to help maintain the health of your skin matrix, even after a week of sunning in the Caribbean. Taut Premium Collagen fits this bill, with 13,000mg of high quality marine hydrolyzed collagen, 90% of which is type I and the remaining is type III. 


When it comes to summer skin health, antioxidants are your first line of defense inside the body as they assist to fight the harmful effects of free radicals caused by sun exposure and other environmental factors from summer fun. Studies estimate that of all the free radicals found in the skin, 80% of these are directly caused by UV rays, or sun exposure. Therefore, our skin needs all the help it can get to help combat the negative effects of free radicals to not only help in preventing serious conditions such as skin cancer, but also to help prevent premature aging. This is yet another reason why eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is so important, to ensure a diet rich in a variety of antioxidants.

In addition to a healthy, plant-based diet, supplements can certainly be beneficial in supporting antioxidant activity in the skin, especially those rich in flavanols and polyphenols. The latest new product that is now available is Masquelier’s® French Pine Bark Extract + Original OPCs, rich in flavanols and polyphenols. It is a powerhouse antioxidant supplement that not only supports skin health by protecting collagen fibers from free radical damage, but also protect your blood vessels and improve circulation.

Formula for Skin Success in the Summer Months

This summer, get out there and enjoy the sun and warmth, but make sure you are taking care of your skin at the same time! Never skimp on sunscreen (and reapplying as needed), make fruits and vegetables the base of all meals, and supplement your diet with a powerful collagen and antioxidant supplement for the ultimate skin protection plan. And if that sounds complicated, it doesn’t have to be! The latest unique summer package, the ANTIOXY FOXY KIT , provides 24 bottles of Taut Premium Collagen, plus 50 capsules of Masquelier’s® French Pine Bark Extract. So all you need to remember is sunscreen and a balanced diet – let the Antioxy Foxy Kit take care of the rest!


1.    Sibilla et al. An overview of the beneficial effects of hydrolysed collagen as a nutraceutical on skin properties: scientific background and clinical studies. 2015; 829-42.

2.    Oikarinen A. The aging of skin: chronoaging versus photoaging. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed 1990;7(1):3-4.

3.    Uitto J. Understanding premature skin aging. N Eng J Med 1997;337(20): 1463-5.

4.    Poljsak B, Dahmane R. Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging. Dermatology and Research Practice. 2012 Feb 29. doi:   10.1155/2012/135206

Monica Amburn - Nutritionist/Dietitian
About the author:   Monica Amburn   , MS, RD, LDN  
Monica is a nutritionist with a passion for providing trustworthy nutrition information that can be easily implemented into everyday life. A registered dietitian/nutritionist since 2004, Monica received her bachelor’s degree in foods & nutrition with a minor in dance (yes, dance), from Radford University in Virginia. She later received her master’s degree in nutrition & dietetics from the University of North Florida, and now works as the Senior Director of Health & Wellness for healthyAisles® in the supermarket industry. While she is a Virginia mountain girl at heart, she now lives in central Florida, where she spends her free time ballroom dancing, doing yoga, cooking, dressing her pug in silly outfits, and blogging at   .

If you have a nutrition question, just ask Monica. Email    to ask her a question.   It's like having your very own nutritionist.  We may even feature your question to benefit others.

Note: If you would not like your name to be shown, please let us know and we will keep your question as Anonymous.

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By RenewAlliance, Inc. 18 Jan, 2018

If you’ve searched for anti-aging solutions at any point in the last few years, you’ve likely come across some sort of collagen product promising smoother, firmer skin. Like kale was the powerhouse health staple in the early 2000s, collagen is the new “it” ingredient—particularly in the skincare world. That’s because collagen is to skin like calcium is to your bones or vitamin C is for immunity. Why? A whopping 75% to 80% of our skin is made up of collagen , and it lays the groundwork for youthful, uplifted, firm and bouncy skin.

But here’s the thing—consuming any food source or supplement containing collagen won’t bestow the results you can see and feel. People are flocking toward bone broth and collagen powders without considering one crucial factor: the collagen’s ability to actually reach the skin and effect visible change once it’s consumed. You see, collagen molecules in their natural state are too large to be digested and absorbed—and they’re certainly not getting to the skin.

In simple terms, your body can’t deliver regular collagen to where it needs to be. What you need to look for is a very specific type of collagen with excellent bioavailability; in other words, you need collagen that actually enters your body’s circulation system so it can effectively work its magic.

By RenewAlliance, Inc. 04 Jan, 2018

Most of us take sleep for granted as sleeping is a basic human need, like breathing, eating, or drinking water.  You've probably heard it a thousand times, from your mom to your doctor, why it's important to have quality sleep as it will affect the way you look, feel, and perform throughout the day. 

Getting sufficient sleep is vital to your health and well-being, as the body works to repair and restore itself while you sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, you secrete fewer hormones and slow down the body’s repair  processes. Unfortunately, many of us lead busy, over scheduled lives and don't get the amount of sleep time we need each night. We probably won't even notice the difference until the signs of aging shows up on our skin, hair and body.

Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to cancer, diabetes, obesity, immune deficiency and most recently, it has been scientifically proven that can also result in premature aging.

To understand how and why lack of sleep has such a significant impact on our body, it's important to understand what happens when we sleep.

By Dr. Aron Choi 30 Nov, 2017

I grew up just outside of San Francisco. We lived in a nice cul-de-sac of newly constructed homes. I remember being in 3rd grade moving away from our smaller, older home in the Sunset district known for its side-by-side houses and fog.

To me, the other families around us seemed to be normal and happy—young families creating lives together.

Two girls who went to the same elementary school as my brothers and I lived a few houses away with their parents. From the outside, their lives seemed perfectly happy. They went to school just like us. Their parents would wave to us as we drove by and would stop by if we were outside and talk with my parents.

Then it all changed. We would hear arguing once in a while. Then the arguing became more frequent and more intense. Eventually, we stopped seeing the father doing normal household chores like taking out the garbage or washing the cars. Word spread that the parents had separated and gotten divorced.

Overnight, their mother looked like she had aged 10 years. What was once jet black hair had gone gray. What was once a youthful glow in her skin became a shade of drab.

How did she age so quickly? How was this possible? This was one of my first memories seeing stress drain the youth out of someone’s appearance.

Now that we got that out of the way, what causes this rapid aging?

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