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Beyond Sunscreen: Protect Your Skin Against UV Rays With This Inside-Out Approach

Why stop at topical sunscreens when you can protect your skin from the inside-out?

Oral supplements are tricky to navigate because while they are packed with loads of potentially skin-loving active ingredients, it is difficult to prove that whatever you’re ingesting is being delivered to your skin after passing through the body’s digestive tract.

Case in point: collagen supplements. Essentially large protein molecules, the collagen content in these supplements, when orally consumed, get broken down into tiny molecules called amino acids. These amino acids are basically building blocks of all protein molecules, and as a result, will be distributed by the body according to where they’re needed the most. For example, amino acids are also responsible for repairing muscle tissues, which in turn helps the heart beat and enables us to remain mobile. As a result, it’s difficult to guarantee that the body will prioritise firming your skin over muscular health.

Similarly, when it comes to supplements that claim to reduce dark spots and even out skin tone, they work by fundamentally providing your body with powerful antioxidants, which then minimise cellular inflammation and in turn, regulate melanin production. Plus, it is also important to bear in mind that the body produces melanin uncontrollably as a defence mechanism against UV rays. And since melanin protects the skin from photo-damage, it explains why people with darker skin tones tend to burn less when exposed to the sun because the higher level of melanin that naturally exist in their skin is a line of defence. But if you are naturally extremely fair, you do not have this inbuilt line of defence and to protect itself, your skin starts sending signals to make melanin excessively and you end up with pigmentation and uneven skin tone.

Here, the antioxidants-packed supplements you can take to equip your skin with powerful antioxidants to fight against harmful UV rays.

Heliocare Purewhite Radiance Max 240, price upon request
This product is known for its patented ingredient, Fernblock, which is the first ingredient with demonstrated ability to neutralise free radicals and decrease the onset of hyperpigmentation. This powerful version features an additional dose of Fernblock plus White Tech Complexion, a blend of L-Cysteine, vitamin C, Vitamin b3 and pomegranate extract to help kickstart the production of the body’s natural antioxidant that blocks the proliferation of melanin. Sold here.  Eu Yan Sang Spot Whitening Capsules, $48 for 60 capsules
Harnessing the traditional know-how of ancient Chinese medicine, each of these capsules are made with herbs that are known to regulate the functions of the body’s internal organs. According to traditional Chinese medicine, normalising the functions of the liver, kidneys and spleen meant that blood circulation all over the body will be boosted. As a result, this will increase the amount of nutrients skin cells receive, thereby reducing dark spots and uneven skin tone and creating a brighter and plumper complexion. AFC Collagen White Beauty, $48.90 for 270 capsules
Formulated with the brand’s proprietary MCP-EX Marine Collagen Peptides from Japan, as well as powerful antioxidants such as Glutathione, Yeast Extract, L-Cysteine and vitamin C, each capsule is packed with ingredients that work hand in hand to undo cellular damage, counter free radicals and support healthy skin renewal. Over time, skin looks smoother and more luminous. Crystal Tomato, price upon request
Widely raved about, Crystal Tomato is another popular oral supplement that promises brighter and plumper skin. And it does so with a unique type of non-genetically modified white tomatoes, which contain Crystal Tomato Carotenoids that not only help you achieve a more radiant complexion, but also helps maintain skin quality. But what makes Crystal Tomato Carotenoids different from other carotenoids found in other oral supplements? According to a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, while carotenoids are found throughout the body, Crystal Tomato Carotenoids have the highest accumulation factor in the skin. On top of that, Crystal Tomato also contains L-Cysteine, which supports the body’s natural production of Glutathione, a potent antioxidant, to maintain skin health and radiance. Kinohimitsu ProWhite, $69.90 for 30 sachets
Formulated to improve skin tone and boost your body’s immune system, each sachet contains powerful antioxidants such as Glutathione, Camu Camu and Maqui Berry extracts. When ingested, your body receives a boost in antioxidants to minimise free radical damage for healthier, clearer skin. Sato Hakubi White C Tablets, $49.90 for 180 capsules
Enhance skin clarity from the inside-out with these tablets. A synergistic blend of L-Cysteine and Vitamin C goes into each tablet for a two-pronged approach to improving skin’s brightness and evenness. Vitamin C gives your body a boost in antioxidants to help fight UV damage while L-Cysteine helps your body make Glutathione, another powerful antioxidant, so you’re guaranteed complete protection.