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September 07, 2015

Tomaytoes, tomahtoes, whatever you prefer to call them, are more than a key to great flavor. They’re also packed with a wide array of nutrients that are great for your skin and—believe it or not—can make you look younger.

Feeling a little skeptical, we spoke to Dr. Karin Hermoni, Car-O-Blend Category Manager at Lycored, to get the full scoop. “Tomatoes contain high levels of the plant pigments called carotenoids, such as lycopene, that gives tomatoes its red color and is known for its many health benefits, as well as phytoene and phytofluene that absorb light in the UV range,” she tells InStyle. “When we eat these ingredients we are actually getting inside-out protection that helps our skin all year round.”

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While the shiny red fruit should never replace your topical sunscreen methods, a tomato-rich diet can help to prevent sun damage and painful sunburns on a day you forgot to lather up. Plus, the expert also notes that “tomato lycopene can reduce the level of proteins involved in skin aging,” helping to keep fine lines and wrinkles from showing up on your complexion.

Though the best way to reap the benefits of tomatoes is to actually eat them (Hermoni suggests cooking them with a bit of oil), there are a number of products, including Eminence Tomato Lycopene Masque ($48; buynaturalskincare.com) and Yes to Tomatoes Blemish Clearing Facial Towelettes ($6; ulta.com), that boast the skin-boosting ingredient if you’re not exactly a tomato lover.

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