Lemon, celery and other elements that affect skin aging

On a summer afternoon, hot sun, barbecue with friends by the pool, and a lime caipirinha may seem like a great way to relax and cool off. But what many people don’t realize is that this combination can actually be harmful to your skin. The book of life—DNA—is not immutable, and life itself damages it and reduces the cells’ ability to survive. This is the origin of natural aging, and it can be accelerated by elements such as the sun and lemon.

Our genome has 3.3 billion letters, stored in 23 chromosomes. This extensive text contains the recipe for “cooking” each of the pieces of our cells, and integrating them into a complex system. But DNA can be altered by mutations that “subvert” the original text. These mutations can be caused by cellular activity, such as breathing, and can lead to cross-linking of DNA helices. This permanent damage can block tissue regeneration and cause accelerated aging.

There are plenty of cases of patients who were admitted to the hospital for having combined exposure to the Sun with fruits such as grapefruit. These foods contain toxins known as furocoumarins, which, under sunlight, induce the formation of cross-links in DNA. This can lead to acute photodermatosis, inflammation, blistering, and even skin cancer. Other sources of skin problems include wild plants such as Chenopodium, medicinal plants such as Plantago, contact with fig leaves, and the use of cosmetic essential oils.

In order to protect our skin and reduce the risk of accelerated aging, it is important to seek the guidance of real experts and not follow the advice of digital influencers. The European Commission has already limited the content of furocoumarins in sunscreens and tanning products, and essence manufacturers are producing toxin-free essences with specific treatments that preserve the aroma. It is also important to remember that “natural” is not always synonymous with “healthy”, and that some natural products must be chemically treated to be safe to use.