Can supplements help protect you from sun damage?
While getting sun exposure is a good thing in many respects, it also increases the likelihood of sun damage and premature aging of skin. Another very real concern is skin cancer. But these risks may be significantly reduced if we protect ourselves from excessive UV radiation during the peak hours of the day and by supporting the body from the inside out, in addition to our daily sunscreen.
Aside from daily use of a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen, you may boost your UV protection all year by taking an antioxidant supplement such as Heliocare ($60 for 60; available at various drug stores or pharmacies) or SunPill ($40 for 60; sunpill.com). New research from the University of Miami School of Medicine shows that the fern extract in these pills significantly reduced UVA-related DNA damage that leads to wrinkling and brown spots. For best results, pop one each day starting a week before you plan on fun in the sun. “This allows the antioxidants to build up in your system for maximum protection,” says Leslie Baumann, MD, a Miami Beach–based dermatologist.