Tips for Protecting Skin from the Sun

Photo credit: Moyo Studio/Royalty-free/Getty Images

The risk of developing melanoma increases with exposure to UV rays regardless of a client's skintone or color. Jennifer Herrmann, M.D., FAAD, of Moy Fincher Chipps Facial Plastics and Dermatology (multiple locations in CA) is here with tips on how to protect all skin from sun and UV damage.

1. Optimize Nutrition:

Maximize your intake of foods high in antioxidants by eating a variety of brightly colored fruits, vegetables, nuts, flax, and fatty fish like salmon. These aid in repairing and preventing sun damage. It’s also important to avoid excessive grilling and heating of food which forms unhealthy byproducts and breaks down nutrients, respectively. Finally, minimize highly inflammatory and processed foods, especially those containing highly refined sugars, trans fats, and processed meats, which add to damage.  

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2. Supplement Smarter:

Take 500mg twice daily of nicotinamide (niacinamide), a from of vitamin B3 that aids in DNA repair, decreases inflammation, and reduces rates of skin cancer. Supplemental antioxidants can also help protect the skin from UV like polypodium leucotomos, resveratrol, coffee berry, and melatonin. Vitamin D in healthy amounts also aids in immunity, anti-inflammatory, may help prevent cancers.

3. Use a Topical Reparative Cream: 

Topical creams like DNA renewal products containing DNA repair enzymes are specifically designed to penetrate the skin’s barrier and directly aid in DNA repair caused by the sun. Although we have these enzymes naturally in the skin, they decline with age and they become overwhelmed when faced with excess sun.

4. Physically Remove the Damage:

Lasers can be used to physically remove sun damaged skin. Fractionated erbium and CO2 lasers are able to do this most efficiently and have the ability to penetrate to the lower levels of the skin to remove damaged skin cells that over time can turn into pre- and skin cancers.

5. External Protection:

Sunscreens and sun protective clothing are still important, but they are much better in combination with the strategies mentioned above. DNA Renewal Sheer Defense Sunscreen has an SPF of 50+ and offers long-lasting protection against UVA and UVB rays along with DNA Repair Enzymes and a medium tint that works to hide, prevent, and repair sun damage with an one formula. It’s important to choose a sunscreen that is broad spectrum and has an SPF of at least 30 and remember to reapply it after sweating or swimming. 

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