sunscreen

  1. Omega-3 fatty acids can protect skin from UV rays

    Something fishy in skin protection

    It can protect the heart, brain, and even your gums. And now, here's one more trick fish oil can pull off: It can help prevent skin cancer by giving your immune system the power to fight the damage caused by UV rays.

    In a new study, 79 volunteers were given either 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids or a placebo and then exposed to the equivalent of midday summer sun via a light machine that resembled UV rays.

    Fish oil actually doubled the level of immune system protection when compared to the placebo, according to the study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    Of course, taking fish oil isn't license to spend a day roasting on the beach. In fact, that double protection was there after 8 minutes and 15 minutes of sun exposure -- but it was gone in 30 minutes.

    Yes, there are some things even omega-3 fatty acids can't do.

    That's why in addition to taking a quality omega-3 supplement each day, it's essential to take common-sense steps when it comes to sun safety.

    The best UV ray protection is shade, followed by a hat and clothing, especially clothing with built-in UV ray protection. But of course, many people want to go outside in a T-shirt, tank top, or swimsuit -- and in those cases, you'll want to use sunscreen.

    Don't get whatever's on sale, as many common sunscreens contain ingredients that are even more dangerous than too much sun exposure.

    Retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A commonly found in sunscreen, may actually cause cancer when exposed to sunlight. It's crazy to think that something this dangerous is actually used in sunscreen... but it is.

    In addition, avoid anything with oxybenzone, an endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to developmental and reproductive problems, organ toxicity, cellular damage, allergies, and more.

    And steer clear of anything that contains nanoparticles.

  2. The secret to avoiding skin cancer

    I’m sure you’ve heard it said about a million times by now: The best way to avoid skin cancer is to stay out of the sun -- and don’t forget to slather on the sunscreen when you do dare to step outside.

    But no matter how many times you hear it, it’s still not true.

    Simply put, you don’t have to live like a vampire to avoid the deadliest form of skin cancer. In fact, the latest research shows that the best way to slash your melanoma risk has nothing to do with the sun at all.

    It’s a simple vitamin -- and you might want to go check the label of your multi right now.

    If the form of vitamin A used in yours is retinol, you’re golden -- because a new study finds that people who get this form of A have a 60 percent lower risk of melanoma. And those who got the most A of all -- 1,200 mcg a day -- were 74 percent less likely to suffer melanoma, according to the study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

    The "catch" here is that vitamin A from food -- like liver (calf or chicken), kale, spinach or carrots -- didn’t make a bit of difference. The vitamin A precursors such as beta-carotene and lycopene used in many multivitamins didn’t make the cut either.

    Only the retinol form of A, and only from supplements -- or what the drug industry refers to as "the ‘s’ word" -- did the trick.

    The new study might fly in the face of what the mainstream has been saying about lowering your melanoma risk, but the research has shown for years now that the sun isn’t the real cause of most of these cancers.

    And one of the biggest risk factors of all might be completely out of your control: genetics.

    In other words, blame your ancestors -- not the sun. And if you have a history of the disease in your family, you might want to make an A supplement your top priority.

    Just don’t overdo it, since it’s possible to get too much of a good thing-- and too much vitamin A can cause liver damage, hair loss, and skin conditions.

    The level used in the study (1,200 mcg a day) is more than what’s recommended by federal guidelines, but perfectly safe for most people.

  3. Kids skip sunscreen

    It's hard to think of sunburn when you're battling sub-zero February temperatures every day -- but summer will be here soon enough. And when it arrives, you can bet that two things will happen: You'll hear a lot of mainstream noise about the supposed importance of wearing sunblock... and kids will get sunburned anyway.
  4. Step into the sun

    Despite what you've heard, the only protection from the sun your skin really needs is a little common sense.
  5. Hidden dangers in sunscreen

    Here's some bitter irony for you: A key ingredient in many sunscreens can actually cause the very cancers they're supposed to prevent.

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