A new study by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently found that a single day of sunscreen wear could be enough for some of the chemicals in the product to enter the bloodstream.1 So, what can you do to keep your skin protected from everyday damaging sun exposure?
Nothing ages skin faster than exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Most people feel strongly about sunscreen. And yes, they wear sunscreen most days.2
We don’t necessarily want to disrupt that, however, the FDA studied the effects of sunscreen on healthy people, showing that significant amounts of sunscreen ingredients—avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene—ended up in their bloodstreams.
But, before you freak out about not being able to protect against photoaging, premature aging of the skin caused by repeated exposure to the sun, and of course skin cancer, let’s consider other natural alternatives.
There is a natural compound that clinical studies suggest protect your skin from photoaging without the chemicals risks from sunscreens and it does it from the inside!
It is a reddish pigment that belongs to carotenoids, called Astaxanthin, and one of the most potent antioxidants available. When orally ingested, it helps keep ultraviolet rays from damaging your skin and increasing cancer risk. This natural antioxidant works as an internal sunscreen, reducing inflammation and inhibiting UVA damage to skin cells.
Carotenoids are critical to the photosynthetic process and protect organisms from damage by light and oxygen. By consuming organisms that contain these pigments, you gain a similar protective benefit.
One of the benefits of astaxanthin that has piqued the interest of researchers is its ability to help protect your skin from the sun, reducing the signs of aging.
Sunburns are a type of inflammation and when you already have sources of inflammation in the body, it is more likely to burn. Taking astaxanthin regularly, can lower levels of inflammation in general and prevent sunburn.
While most people love the warm glow of sunlight on their skin, these rays are quite damaging. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages skin DNA, suppresses a vital tumor-suppressor gene, and inhibits immune cells. If left unchecked, this onslaught causes skin to age faster and boosts the risk of skin cancer.3-7
Astaxanthin offers an ideal alternative to topical sunscreens. Because it is taken orally, it protects all skin areas evenly—and it won’t wash or rub off. It’s sunblock in a pill.
Unlike sunscreens applied to the skin, astaxanthin is a rich antioxidant that inhibits oxidative stress and inflammation—while also protecting skin cells against DNA damage caused by ultra-violet radiation.8
Everyday exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun causes cumulative DNA damage that massively accelerates photoaging of the skin and increases the risk of skin cancer.
Research shows that sunscreens work but the chemicals they contain can end up in your bloodstream. Scientific studies have substantiated the skin protective effects of astaxanthin, an all natural substance that has numerous health benefits. Taken orally, it has protective effects against UV-induced damage to skin cells and supports DNA repair—two key mechanisms that lower cancer risk and help prevent premature skin aging.
- Available at: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2733085
- Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/skin-disorders/sunlight-and-skin-damage/overview-of-sunlight-and-skin-damage.
- Yiasemides E, Sivapirabu G, Halliday GM, et al. Oral nicotinamide protects against ultraviolet radiation-induced immunosuppression in humans. Carcinogenesis. 2009;30(1):101-5.
- Nazarali S, Kuzel P. Vitamin B Derivative (Nicotinamide)Appears to Reduce Skin Cancer Risk. Skin Therapy Lett. 2017;22(5):1-4.
- Anna B, Blazej Z, Jacqueline G, et al. Mechanism of UV-related carcinogenesis and its contribution to nevi/melanoma. Expert Rev Dermatol. 2007;2(4):451-69.
- Lane DP. Cancer. p53, guardian of the genome. Nature. 1992;358(6381):15-6.
- Available at: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/gene/TP53.
- Zattra E, Coleman C, Arad S, et al. Polypodium leucotomos extract decreases UV-induced Cox-2 expression and inflammation, enhances DNA repair, and decreases mutagenesis in hairless mice. Am J Pathol. 2009;175(5):1952-61.