Staple Pantry Item The Next Big Thing In Beauty Circles
We know an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but beauty experts claim a tomato a day will keep wrinkles at bay.
Age-defying antioxidant Lycopene, found in tomatoes, is being heralded as the new must-have beauty fix.
And one Kiwi woman is turning the staple pantry item into a unique business idea.
Lycopene is a naturally occurring pigment which turns the fruit red, and the highest levels are found in processed or cooked tomatoes used in ketchup, paste, soup and juice.
But rather than slathering tomato paste on your face - although she says that's not the worst idea - beauty businesswoman Stephanie Evans has incorporated the key ingredient into her skin care range - aptly a pink hue - launching this month.
Evans, founder of Oasis Beauty in Oxford North Canterbury became fascinated with the benefits of lycopenes after attending an antiaging conference in Europe.
There, Newcastle University Professor of Molecular Dermatology Mark Birch-Machin championed the benefits of lycopenes, recommending consuming tomato paste daily.
Studies by Birch-Machin found significant improvement in the skin's ability to protect itself against ultraviolet light among tomato paste eaters.
Evans set about creating an anti-ageing and skin repair formulation, called Solar Serum®, based on lycopene.
Evans started making skin care because she wanted a product that worked, and didn't cost the earth.
"I, like most women, care about anti-ageing and want my skin to be the best it can be, so I'm excited that we can create something so effective from incredible ingredients like tomatoes," she says.
"It has taken two years but we have finally created something that is really lovely, it feels wonderful going on and most importantly it's effective."
'Solar Serum' contains Lycocelle® which is the company's own proprietary blend of lycopene, rosehip and cucumber. Aptly, the serum is blush pink.
Birch-Machin's research found eating tomatos had a 'protective effect' on mitochondria, thus contributing to improved skin with potential antiaging effects.
He said eating tomatoes will not make you invincible in the sun but it may be a useful addition to sun protection along with sunscreen, shade and clothing.
The Department of Dermatology, at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York has also conducted tests on the topical use of lycopenes and found the application of lycopene repaired damage to the skin caused by the sun and provided protection to the skin from UV damage.