Solar Nutricosmetics: Everything You Need to Know

You've probably heard of solar nutricosmetics. We'll show you what it is and how effective it is according to scientists.
Solar Nutricosmetics: Everything You Need to Know
Diego Pereira

Reviewed and approved by el médico Diego Pereira.

Last update: 24 February, 2023

Nutricosmetics has established itself as the latest trend in the beauty industry. It encompasses a series of products and ingredients that act as nutritional supplements to care for the natural beauty of the skin, nails and hair. Experts vouch for its benefits, and there are many variants available today. Today we’re going to talk to you about solar nutricosmetics.

A part of the care focuses on protection from the sun’s rays. Although solar nutricosmetics doesn’t completely eliminate dependency on sunscreens, it does establish itself as an alternative to enhance its effects. Advertising campaigns may exaggerate its benefits a bit, but the truth is that the right supplement can go a long way.

Characteristics of solar nutricosmetics

The dangers of vitamin overdose are varied.
People can turn to solar nutricosmetics when they prefer modern and “easier” methods of achieving a tan.

Nutricosmetics is made up of a series of supplements and nutrients that provide certain benefits to skin health. In the specific case of solar nutricosmetics, it includes supplements and nutrients that protect the skin’s surface from the consequences of sun exposure. It does it in two ways:

  • Giving a tan-like appearance to stop people from having to tan naturally or using tanning beds.
  • Enhancing the effects of sunscreen to minimize skin damage as a result of prolonged exposure to the sun.

You’ll receive different benefits according to the components integrated in the solar nutricosmetics therapy that you choose. Indeed, there isn’t just one solar nutricosmetics therapy –  there are many. As the specialists point out, the groups most used in products and supplements of this type are carotenoids and polyphenols.

In the first group are beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin and astaxanthin. In the second group, anthocyanins, catechins, flavonoids, tannins, and procyanidins. Experts also warn that many supplements integrate compounds of marine origin, while others are also known to use mushroom extracts.

The first solar nutricosmetics supplements were based on beta-carotene. Its objective was to give a tanned appearance, so that people don’t have to tan with sunbeds or natural rays of the sun (UVA and UVB). The problem with these supplements was that, being made almost exclusively of beta-carotene, people’s skin became carrot-like in color.

Clinically this is known as hypercarotenosis, and, even though it isn’t dangerous, it isn’t a natural skin color at all. The concentrations of solar nutricosmetics have become more sophisticated over time, which has resulted in it being able to emulate a light tan of the skin with a more natural appearance. By achieving this, the consequences of sun exposure and tanning are minimized, such as wrinkles on the skin, burns, and spots.

How are solar nutricosmetics supplements used?

Solar nutricosmetics supplements are taken orally, although some products can be administered topically. Its dose varies according to the manufacturer, so you should review the package insert and follow the indications outlined therein. However, its effects are slow, so at least two weeks must elapse before you’ll notice the first benefits.

If you want to get a tanned appearance, then you need to take this time frame into account. It should also be remembered that its effects are moderate; the tan acquired in this way isn’t as intense as the tan you get through exposure to sunlight or the use of sunbeds. It doesn’t eliminate the use of sunscreen and is generally recommended from the age of 18.

It’s important to assess the real benefit of the products

Solar nutricosmetics could be effective.
Despite the effectiveness of solar nutricosmetics, other options with a better cost/benefit profile could be considered.

Although there’s some evidence that supports the efficacy of solar nutricosmetics, the truth is that its effects are much less than what advertising campaigns and manufacturers promise. These supplements are sold to make you believe they’re a kind of magic recipe to prevent aging, achieve skin rejuvenation, and eliminate wrinkles and spots.

Keep in mind that many of the components that are included in solar nutricosmetics supplements are acquired through the intake of fruits and vegetables. Similarly, the use of sunscreen is effective and sufficient to protect the skin from the elements of UV rays. For this reason, we advise you to adjust your expectations accordingly, especially considering that many of the supplements aren’t exactly affordable.

You should also bear in mind that many of the products of this type don’t have the proper sanitary regulation, and play with the ignorance of the buyers with many technical terms in order to convince them to buy them. If you want to use some of them, opt for those from more reputable manufacturers, and if you develop any side effects, simply stop using them.

  • Alves, A., Sousa, E., Kijjoa, A., & Pinto, M. Marine-derived compounds with potential use as cosmeceuticals and nutricosmetics. Molecules. 2020; 25(11): 2536.
  • Anunciato, T. P., & da Rocha Filho, P. A. Carotenoids and polyphenols in nutricosmetics, nutraceuticals, and cosmeceuticals. Journal of cosmetic dermatology. 2012; 11(1): 51-54.
  • Dini I, Laneri S. Nutricosmetics: A brief overview. Phytother Res. 2019 Dec;33(12):3054-3063.
  • Taofiq, O., González-Paramás, A. M., Martins, A., Barreiro, M. F., & Ferreira, I. C. Mushrooms extracts and compounds in cosmetics, cosmeceuticals and nutricosmetics—A review. Industrial Crops and Products. 2016; 90: 38-48.

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