Lycopene is a red carotenoid pigment and phytochemical found in many plants such as berries, carrots and watermelon. Carotenoid pigments are compounds that can generally be converted into vitamin A, which stimulates skin growth and repair. Phytochemicals are naturally occurring plant compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Lycopene has many benefits to the skin and the body due to the potent nature of the compound and the many different ways it can prevent aging of the skin and hair.
Lycopene cannot be synthesised in the body, so your daily requirements need to be met through your diet. Red fruits and vegetables tend to be high in this potent nutrient, with the redder the fruit meaning more lycopene. Lycopene is particularly effective at combatting skin damage and brightening the skin due to its ability to protect the skin from UV rays. When lycopene is absorbed in the diet, it circulates in the blood and is stored in the skin and other organs. Here it can act as an antioxidant and can also react with UV rays to prevent cell damage.