Can You Use Tomatoes for Skin Care?
Can You Use Tomatoes for Skin Care?

The internet is full of natural skin care products. Some people claim that tomatoes can be used as a natural remedy for various skin concerns. But should you rub tomato on your skin?  Tomatoes are healthy, after all. They contain antioxidants and vitamin C, which may help strengthen your immune system.

They’re also a dietary source of:

  • potassium
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin B
  • magnesium

But there’s little scientific evidence to support the claim that you can get these or other benefits from applying tomatoes to your skin.

Read on to learn more about the claims and what science says (or doesn’t say).

Potential benefits of tomato on skin

Some people claim that it can offer benefits for various skin concerns, such as uneven skin tone or signs of aging. Here are a few possible benefits of incorporating tomatoes into your skin care routine.

May help protect against skin cancer

Sun exposure is a risk factor for nonmelanoma skin cancers, which include basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a carotenoid found in different types of fruits. This naturally occurring compound gives tomatoes their red color.

According to researchers, lycopene also has a powerful anticancer effect, though studies have revolved around dietary lycopene.

There’s little to no evidence to support anticancer effects from topical application.

In one animal study, hairless, healthy mice were fed either tangerine or red tomato powder for 35 weeks. They were then exposed to UVB light three times a week. The control group ate the same diet, but weren’t exposed to the light.

Researchers found that the mice fed the tomato diet had fewer incidents of tumors. This suggests that tomatoes may also prevent skin cancer development in humans.

But more research is needed to understand if there are anticancer effects when lycopene is topically applied in humans.

May reduce risk of sunburns

Tomatoes aren’t a substitute for sunscreen, but the lycopene in the fruit may have a photo-protective effect. Eating tomatoes may offer some protection from UV light-induced erythema or sunburn.

A study from 2006 found that after 10 to 12 weeks of ingesting lycopene or tomato products rich in lycopene, people demonstrated decreased sensitivity to UV radiation. It’s unclear if you can get those same benefits from applying tomatoes topically to your skin, though.

Read more: Can You Use Tomatoes for Skin Care?

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