We are excited to present The Education Collection – a collaboration between Bend Beauty and The Beyond Beauty Project. The Beyond Beauty Project is a movement to help improve our self esteem and confidence around body image and mental health. Our brands are incredibly aligned, and we are thrilled to share this partnership with you.

Bend Beauty products are Beyond Beauty Project approved and contain many powerful active ingredients to unlock your skin’s potential, and optimize your wellness routine.  

Sun protection is key to skin health. Your skin is your largest organ. Necessary to your survival, it provides a chemical and physical barrier that protects you from harm, including UV exposure (1). Like any other organ, your skin needs to be healthy to function correctly. The health and appearance of your skin depends on many internal and external factors. While sunscreen is key to skin health and longevity, we can further protect ourselves by choosing certain nutrients and supplements – read on to learn more.  

Reactive Oxygen Species and Skin Health 

Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are oxygen molecules produced by UV rays and pollution. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, its UV radiation causes a dramatic increase in the production of ROS. The sudden increase causes oxidative stress. The subsequent damaging effects of oxidative stress occur through many mechanisms that involve changes in protein and lipid structures, inflammation initiation, immune system suppression, DNA damage and activation of signaling pathways that affect gene expression and cell proliferation.  

All these fluctuations away from homeostasis can contribute to cancer initiation. Therefore, regulating ROS levels is critical to maintaining normal skin homeostasis and health (2).  

That’s a lot to take in – so let’s break it down. Cells produce various kinds of ROS when exposed to factors that contribute to their formation including UV light (3).  

Impact on Skin Structure and Function 

Repetitive skin exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation primarily produces wrinkles. Ultraviolet A (UVA) predominantly contributes to sagging skin called solar elastosis, which is one of the main markers of skin photo-ageing. It creates disorganized and non-functional elastic fiber deposits (4) and decreases hyaluronic acid levels (5). Over time, repeated UV exposure eventually causes so much damage to skin cells, in particular their mitochondria, that they can no longer function normally. They then undergo either: 

  • Cellular senescence which is irreversible growth arrest (i.e., the cell stops dividing, forever). That can happen in response to various cell stressors including oxidative stress, DNA damage, telomere erosion, and oncogenic activation  
  • Apoptosis which is programmed cell death. It happens when cells become damaged beyond repair and is one method the body uses to get rid of abnormal cells. 

Both are protective mechanisms to prevent cancer development. However, both processes can also be hampered, which leads to carcinogenesis.   

Protecting Your Skin from the Inside Out 

Macro and micro-nutrient status is well accepted to be important for skin health and appearance. These nutrients, as well as other beneficial bioactive substances, can come from various: 

  • Whole foods, including vegetables, berries, mushrooms, nuts and seafood 
  • Supplements, including specific vitamins, minerals, bioactive peptides, polysaccharides, polyphenols, carotenoids, and polyunsaturated fatty acids 

Their regular take may protect against sun damage based on various human clinical trials. 

So, what should you eat (and drink!) to increase your skin protection from within? 

Green tea 

  • Green tea is made by steeping leaves of Camellia sinensis in hot water. The resulting mixture contains polyphenols known collectively as catechins, that provide strong antioxidant protection for skin (6). The main catechins present in green tea are gallocatechin, epigallocatechin, and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). EGCG is the main component and mostly accounts for its photo-ageing protective effects in human skin (7) 
  • Green tea polyphenols infused with milk increase antioxidant and antioxidant enzyme levels, and reduce lipid peroxidation in skin, while notably improving skin integrity and texture, and reducing skin wrinkles and roughness in elderly subjects (8) 
  • Two years of treatment with green tea polyphenols significantly improved overall sun damage within 6 months, and redness and spider veins by 12 months (9) 


Cocoa products made from the dried and fermented fatty seeds of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, such as dark chocolate and cocoa drinks, are known to have many health benefits. They can improve blood pressure, insulin resistance, blood lipids, and cognitive/brain performance (10). Their rich supply of active ingredients includes several polyphenolic antioxidants, especially flavanols. The main flavanols are epicatechin, catechin, and procyanidins. 

Cocoa has great potential to prevent and treat skin diseases owing partly to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune modifying effects that can protect skin from the inside by neutralizing oxidative stress, a major factor in skin structure deterioration and premature skin ageing. It has shown promise for skin conditions, such as cancer, psoriasis, acne, and wound healing (11) and has potential to benefit atopic dermatitis (12, 13). Those effects are attributed primarily to its flavanol content that can increase photo-protection by inhibiting ultraviolet-induced DNA oxidation (14), enhance DNA repair, and improve microcirculation to supply nutrients that contribute to metabolism within, and maintenance of, the extracellular matrix (15). 

Skin associated R, PC, clinical studies confirm that cocoa products including cocoa powder:  

  • Decrease UV-induced inflammation (16, 17), TEWL (16), skin roughness (10, 16), scaling (16), and wrinkles (10)   
  • Increase skin microcirculation (16, 18), density, thickness, hydration (16) and elasticity (10). 


Did you know that plants produce color partly in order to protect themselves from harmful ultraviolet (UV) sun radiation? Well, those same intense and beautiful hues, found in many foods, can also protect you! 

One group of such pigments includes 600 types of naturally occurring anthocyanins. These water-soluble, deep blue- and purple-colored substances absorb blue-green light and UV rays. They are found in many foods including blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, purple grapes, beets, red cabbage, and red beans (19). 

Hundreds of scientific studies show that anthocyanins have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties (20) making them useful to protect health in general, but particularly suited to protecting skin from sun damage that contributes to skin aging and cancer (19). 

Bend Beauty Renew + Protect 

Bend Beauty’s foundational product is clinically proven to increase skin resistance to UV-induced sunburn. 

Their clinical trial was performed to assess the effect of Renew + Protect on “minimal erythemal dose” (MED) in skin as well as to assess its safe use. MED is used to describe the baseline at which skin begins to redden and consequently burn when exposed to UV light. Therefore, this trial’s objective was to determine how long skin can be exposed to UV damage before it begins to redden/burn. The trial used participants ranging in age from 19-65 with a Fitzpatrick skin type of I, II, or III. This describes skin types that are very fair to medium fair skin tone – the most common skin types to burn with UV-exposure. Participants were not previously taking Bend Beauty Renew + Protect, nor any other supplements that would interfere with the trial’s results. Participants were treated with a controlled UV light (the strength of which is similar to actual sunlight) on a small section of skin. The longer it takes for skin to redden, the greater the resistance to UV light. Measurements were taken at baseline (before taking Renew + Protect), after four weeks of taking Renew + Protect, and after eight weeks of taking Renew + Protect.    

The results of the clinical trial demonstrated that after four weeks of taking Renew + Protect, participants’ skin was 39% more resistant to UV burning. This is determined by the MED (minimal amount of time it takes for the skin to redden) being greater than at the time of the initial test. After 8 weeks of using Renew + Protect, participants’ skin was 84% more resistant to UV burning. The trial also discovered that skin’s resistance to UV decreased when participants stopped taking the product. This demonstrates that when taking Renew + Protect consistently and continuously, the skin is better able to resist UV damage. Treatment was well tolerated with no product associated with adverse events (AE) and only a few mild and expected side effects (please see clinical trial for further details). 

In some, sun protection is key to healthy skin – and while it’s very important to wear sunscreen daily, we can further minimize sun damage to our skin by choosing nutrients and supplements that protect us from the inside out.  

Shop Bend Beauty skin health and wellness supplements here, and check out Beyond Beauty Project here.


  1. Pérez-Sánchez A, Barrajón-Catalán E, Herranz-López M, Micol V. Nutraceuticals for Skin Care: A Comprehensive Review of Human Clinical Studies. Nutrients. 2018 Mar 24;10(4):403. doi: 10.3390/nu10040403. PMID: 29587342; PMCID: PMC5946188. Accessed online on November 9, 2020 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946188/ 
  1. Dunaway S, Odin R, Zhou L, Ji L, Zhang Y, Kadekaro AL. Natural Antioxidants: Multiple Mechanisms to Protect Skin From Solar Radiation. Front Pharmacol. 2018 Apr 24;9:392. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00392. PMID: 29740318; PMCID: PMC5928335. Accessed online on November 27, 2020 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29740318/ 
  1. Moldogazieva NT, Mokhosoev IM, Mel’nikova TI, Porozov YB, Terentiev AA. Oxidative Stress and Advanced Lipoxidation and Glycation End Products (ALEs and AGEs) in Aging and Age-Related Diseases. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019 Aug 14;2019:3085756. doi: 10.1155/2019/3085756. PMID: 31485289; PMCID: PMC6710759. Accessed online on November 11, 2020 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710759/ 
  1. Weihermann AC, Lorencini M, Brohem CA, de Carvalho CM. Elastin structure and its involvement in skin photoageing. Int J Cosmet Sci. 2017 Jun;39(3):241-247. doi: 10.1111/ics.12372. Epub 2016 Nov 11. Accessed online on October 20, 2019 at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/ics.12372 
  1. Marini A, Grether-Beck S, Jaenicke T, Weber M, Burki C, Formann P, Brenden H, Schonlau F, Krutmann J. Pycnogenol ® effects on skin elasticity and hydration coincide with increased gene expressions of collagen type I and hyaluronic acid synthase in women. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2012; 25: 86–92.  Accessed online on December 1, 2020 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih. Gov/22270036/ 
  1. Dunaway S, Odin R, Zhou L, Ji L, Zhang Y, Kadekaro AL. Natural Antioxidants: Multiple Mechanisms to Protect Skin From Solar Radiation. Front Pharmacol. 2018 Apr 24;9:392. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00392. PMID: 29740318; PMCID: PMC5928335. Accessed online on November 27, 2020 at https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29740318/ 
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  1. Mineharu Y, Koizumi A, Wada Y, Iso H, Watanabe Y, Date C, Yamamoto A, Kikuchi S, Inaba Y, Toyoshima H, Kondo T, Tamakoshi A; JACC study Group. Coffee, green tea, black tea and oolong tea consumption and risk of mortality from CVD in Japanese men and women. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2011 Mar;65(3):230-40. doi: 10.1136/jech.2009.097311. Epub 2009 Dec 8. PMID: 19996359. Accessed online on December 4, 2020 at https://pubmed. Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19996359/ 
  1. Yoon HS, Kim JR, Park GY, Kim JE, Lee DH, Lee KW, et al. Cocoa flavanol supplementation influences skin conditions of photo-aged women: A 24-week double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Journal of Nutrition 2016;146(1):46–50. Accessed online on December 21, 2019 at https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/146/1/46/4585665 
  1. Scapagnini G, Davinelli S, Di Renzo L, De Lorenzo A, Olarte HH, Micali G, Cicero AF, Gonzalez S. Cocoa bioactive compounds: significance and potential for the maintenance of skin health. Nutrients. 2014 Aug 11;6(8):3202-13. doi: 10.3390/nu6083202. Accessed online on December 15, 2019 at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4145303/ 
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  1. Kang H, Lee CH, Kim JR, Kwon JY, Son MJ, Kim JE, Lee KW. Theobroma cacao extract attenuates the development of Dermatophagoides farinae-induced atopic dermatitis-like symptoms in NC/Nga mice. Food Chem. 2017 Feb 1;216:19-26. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.07.141. Epub 2016 Jul 27. 
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  1. Williams S, Tamburic S, Lally C. Eating chocolate can significantly protect the skin from UV light. J Cosmet Dermatol 2009;8:169–73. Accessed online on December 21, 2019 at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1473-2165.2009.00448.x 
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  1. Rojo LE, Roopchand DE, Graf B, Cheng DM, Ribnicky D, Fridlender B, Raskin I. Role of Anthocyanins in Skin Aging and UV Induced Skin Damage. Anthocyanins in Health and Disease. Chapter 11, 2013:307-319. DOI: 10.1201/b15554-12 
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