Fun in the summer sun can result in not-so-fun summer sunburns. As summer nears and we indulge in outside activities, it is important to remember to protect our skin from the sun’s potentially damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV exposure can cause more than just sunburn. Skin cancer, premature aging and ocular damage have been increasingly attributed to excessive time in the sun. Additionally, individuals with fair skin or those taking certain prescription drugs can be more susceptible to UV damage. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends following the “ABCs” to prevent sunburn. “A” stands for AVOID the sun in the middle of the day, “B” stands for BLOCK the sun’s rays by using an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, and “C” stands for COVER up using protective clothing such as long sleeves and a hat. To further expand on these recommendations, Nature’s Sunshine Products offers the “D” component of protection. The additional “D” stands for DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS clinically proven to protect your skin from within.
Two recently published studies indicate that carotenoids from tomatoes (lycopene, phytofluene and phytoene) may help protect the skin from UV-induced damage. Both studies examined the photoprotective effects of synthetic lycopene and a tomato extract containing lycopene, phytofluene and phytoene as dietary supplements. After 12 weeks of supplementation, researchers noted a significant increase in both serum and skin carotenoids. At weeks 0, 4 and 12, skin reddening was induced in all groups with a solar light stimulator, and the skin was examined before the reddening and 24 hours afterward. At each exposure time, the reddening lessened over 12 weeks, indicating a preventive effect. At 12 weeks, the synthetic lycopene group saw a 25 percent reduction in the reddening intensity. The tomato extract group saw a 38 percent reduction.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two other carotenoids that have received attention for their photoprotective effects. One study demonstrated an oral combination of the two carotenoids to provide more than a four-fold increase in sunburn protection when compared to placebo. Researchers commented that in addition to these findings, the oral combination also protected the skin from increased free radical production, and it increased skin surface lipids, skin hydration and skin elasticity.
For those who sunburn easily due to fair skin, superoxide dimutase (SOD) supplementation may reduce redness significantly. In one study, volunteers were separated into three groups based on the complexion of their skin. UV-induced reddening of the skin was done at the beginning of the study, and again each week for four weeks. Volunteers were blindly given either an SOD supplement or placebo. Skin redness and videocapillaroscopy were used to assess inflammation. Individuals with the fairest skin complexion endured a 7.6 percent longer light exposure before damage occurred when taking SOD than the placebo group. The two darker skin complexion groups both saw less than a 1 percent difference between the SOD and the placebo group. These nutrients are available through Nature’s Sunshine Products. Carotenoid Blend (Stock no. 4073-3) provides a potent combination of UV-protecting ingredients, including lycopene, phytofluene, phytoene, lutein, zeaxanthin and more. SOD with Gliadin (Stock no. 1893-8) is also available for individuals with fair complexions. Protecting your skin from within is an important step in maintaining healthy skin and enjoying your summer, but not the only one. Remember to also use Natria Sunscreen SPF 30 (Stock no. 6018-2) topically. And for year-round skin and whole-body protection and maintenance, enjoy the great taste of Thai-Go (Stock no. 4095-1) daily. Thai-Go is a rich source of xanthones, bioflavonoids and powerful antioxidants.