The Eight Best Nutrients to Protect Yourself Against UV Damage
It’s not just what you put on your skin that protects against damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays — what you put in your body counts too.
There are many nutrients that can help prevent UV damage from the sun, but none take the place of judicious use of a broad spectrum sunscreen such as ZO® Skin Health’s Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen SPF 50. That said, these eight nutrients can, and do, play a role in a comprehensive skin protection program.
Heliocare supplements contain Polypodium leucotomos fern, an antioxidant that, when taken orally once per day, helps protect your skin from sun damage.
Nicotinamide (Vitamin B3)
Studies tell us that that supplements of Vitamin B3 can reduce skin cancer risk. Researchers think that nicotinamide boosts DNA repair in response to UV exposure.
Green tea is loaded with polyphenols including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which may protect against the development of skin cancer. Consider swapping your AM cup of Joe for a mug of healthful green tea or delicious matcha.
Vitamin D is called the sunshine vitamin because our bodies produce it in response to unprotected sun exposure, but you don’t have to bake to get the D you need. Supplements can help keep your blood levels where they ought to be, which is important because low vitamin D is linked to a laundry list of diseases and conditions.
Omega-3s are powerful anti-inflammatory agents, and they may reduce UV-induced inflammation too. Eating fatty fish such as mackerel or salmon at least twice a week is your best bet. If you don’t eat enough fish, consider supplements. Your whole body – including your skin – will thank you.
Lycopene, the nutrient that gives tomatoes their rich, red color, also protects our skin from UV exposure and acts like a natural sunscreen. Don’t slather it on your skin though. Instead, include more tomatoes in your diet or take a supplement containing lycopene.
This antioxidant powerhouse may help stave off sun damage in addition to its other healthful properties. (P.S: Vitamin C is also helpful as a topical. This is why Vitamins C is included in ZO® SKIN HEALTH C-Bright Serum 10% Vitamin C)
Vitamin E is a building block of collagen, the protein that gives skin the supple elastic properties of youth and can be found in abundance in almonds spinach, sweet potatoes and avocadoes.
Renowned dermatologist Zein Obagi, MD encourages eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. This type of diet is shown to have many positive effects on health and wellness and may help our bodies fight off UV damage, but food or supplements should never replace sun protective behaviors such as wearing sunscreen, avoiding the sun when it is strongest and seeing your dermatologist each year for a clinical skin cancer exam. Always tell your doctor about any supplements that you are taking as they may interact with prescription or over-the-counter medications.
Locate a ZO skincare specialist near you at https://zoskinhealth.com/zo-near-you