The “benefits” of applying tomatoes topically can be found all over the Internet. Everything from anti-wrinkle creams to eye serums contain tomato extract. And with more and more new products claiming to strengthen, lift, and brighten, the confusion surrounding tomato extract will continue to grow.
What we do know is that tomatoes contain lycopene, the carotenoid responsible for their vibrant, red color. We also know that lycopene, along with vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E are all powerful antioxidants designed to provide healing health benefits when ingested.
Millions purchase over-the-counter lycopene each year to aid in the prevention of heart disease, human papilloma virus (HPV), and both breast and prostate cancer. So can the health benefits of this miraculous fruit prove beneficial when applied topically?
That’s the question the beauty industry doesn’t want you to ask.
When beauty products are formulated, many of them contain some form of antioxidant, even if it’s a minuscule amount. However, not all antioxidants are created equal. That’s the case with tomato extract. Tomatoes work great with lettuce – but not so great with skin. Due to their acidic content, the extract of tomato, when applied topically, can cause skin sensitivity and irritation, thus damaging healthy skin cells below the surface. In addition, tomato extract is a weak antioxidant source when applied topically. It must be combined with other powerful antioxidants such as vitamin E to display the full benefits of an antioxidant.
With thousands of other antioxidants on the market proven to heal, smooth, protect and brighten, why put your beautiful skin at risk?
Facts to Know
- The extract of tomato, which is commonly used in cosmetics, is a weak antioxidant source.
- Tomato extract is an antioxidant but to offer greater antioxidant protection must be combined with other antioxidants.
- Antioxidants are proven to prevent free radical damage, aid in healthy cellular function, and strengthen skin.
- Tomatoes contain both vitamin C and vitamin E.
- Ingesting tomatoes may aid in the prevention of heart disease and certain forms of cancer.
Alternative Antioxidants to Use
- Bearberry extract
- Black tea, Green tea, Red tea
- Burdock root
- Retinol (vitamin A)
- Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
- Vitamin C (ascorbic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, L-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, retinyl ascorbate, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate)
If applying tomatoes topically attracts you, keep this in mind. Eating tomatoes alone, on salads, or in a sandwich will not only enable you to enjoy the fruit, it will also provide their numerous health benefits. Best of all, ingesting tomatoes will also maximize your internal antioxidant protection, reduce irritation, and reduce your chances of getting certain cancers.