Vitamin B3 (nicotinamide) may offer protection for those who are prone to certain skin cancers. Patients with squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma who took B3 were 23 percent less likely to have another Continue reading
While coconut oil has dragged itself out of the muck of vast misrepresentation over the past few years, it still rarely gets the appreciation it truly deserves. Not just a “good” saturated fat, coconut oil is an exceptional healing agent as well, with loads of useful health applications. Continue reading
Is coffee a health elixir or an addictive toxin? The evidence goes both ways. But a study from Rutgers University now casts another vote for the health benefits of coffee. It finds that in addition to drinking that morning cup, you may even want to bathe in some coffee as a way of preventing harmful sun damage or skin cancer. Continue reading
Cosmetics giant Neutrogena, whose parent company Johnson & Johnson has allowed the use of potentially cancer-causing chemicals in their products (and only announced in August 2012 that they would be removing them by the end of 2015), has taken on Continue reading
Scientists are reporting a possible link between the use of sunscreen containing a certain ingredient that mimics the effects of the female sex hormone estrogen and an increased risk of being diagnosed with endometriosis, a painful condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus. They describe the report, published in ACS’ journal Environmental Science & Technology, as the first to examine whether such a connection may exist.
Kurunthachalam Kannan and colleagues explain that some sunscreens and other personal care products contain benzophenone Continue reading
Discover How Sunlight Helps Heal Almost Every Known Health Condition–and How You Can
Bask in the Sun without the Risk of Overexposure
If you’re like most people, you probably think that getting a sufficient amount of safe sun exposure daily is not that important. Unfortunately, you’re mistaken. Insufficient sun exposure puts you at risk of serious medical problems, from bone fractures … to cognitive impairment … to cancer!
Vitamin D, which is known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is produced by the body in response to sunlight. The latest statistics show that 1/3 of all Americans are deficient in vitamin D. Continue reading
A team of scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine recently found that following a dermatologist’s advice to stay out of the sun may leave people with a deficiency in vitamin D.
Authors of the study said their findings highlight the fine balance between protecting one’s skin and getting adequate amounts of vitamin D, a nutrient which tends to be lacking in typical American diets but is essential to maintaining good health.
“It’s not as simple as telling everyone to wear sunscreen,” said dermatologist Eleni Linos, M.D., Ph.D. “We may instead need to begin tailoring our recommendations to the skin tones and lifestyles of individual patients. It’s clearly a very complex issue.” Continue reading
Ask somebody about sunscreen and you’re likely to receive an earful of disinformation from a person who has been repeatedly misinformed by health authorities and the mainstream media. Almost nothing you hear about sunscreen from traditional media channels is accurate. So here’s a quick guide to the 7 most important things you need to know about sunscreen, sunlight and vitamin D:
#1: The FDA refuses to allow natural sunscreen ingredients to be used in sunblock / sunscreen products
It’s true: If you create a truly natural sunscreen product using exotic botanicals with powerful sunscreen properties, you will never be able to market it as a “sunscreen” product. That’s because the FDA decides what can be used as sunscreen and what can’t, Continue reading
The debate about sunscreens rages on. Dermatologists advise slathering up every day. Nutritionists and holistic doctors advise sun exposure to get vitamin D. Some even say sunscreens cause cancer, and a disturbing study showed that people who used more commercial sunscreen had more melanoma.
Where is the truth? We might never know. Sunscreen manufacturers need to sell their product and natural sunscreen companies have little money for research. The FDA is mute and has never said that sunscreens prevent skin cancer. It is clear that commercial sunscreen ingredients (like oxybenzone and methoxycinnamate) are potent hormone disruptors and potential carcinogens. My advice is to never use these commercial sunscreens.
What should you do? Be judicious and safe. Get sun exposure. It is the best and most reliable source of vitamin D. But avoid sunburn, which damages the skin and may increase your risk of skin cancer. Avoid baking in the sun at midday, especially those first days of summer or your beach vacation. Gradually build your tan. Wear a hat to protect your face from sunburn.
If your kids are at camp or swimming Continue reading
Is it true that those who suffer from Multiple sclerosis (MS) just need a little sun? Researchers at the University of Oxford seem to think so. In 2006, a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested higher levels of vitamin D might decrease overall risk of developing MS. Now researchers at the University of Oxford are backing that study with further evidence while also suggesting a link between lack of sunlight and how the body responds when faced with an infection. The research concludes that MS is caused by several factors working in combination but clearly correlates to a lack of vitamin D.
Is it really as simple as soaking up some rays?
While the phenomenon of vitamin D deficiency is seen all over the world, countries in the northern hemisphere have been linked to significantly higher rates of MS. Scotland, for example, has one of the largest populations of MS sufferers, while the disease Continue reading
Companies often claim that their products can give you miraculous results, but don’t believe all the hype. Although nutritional supplements and cosmeceuticals (products that combine cosmetics and pharmaceutical ingredients) are tested for safety, their benefits aren’t necessarily confirmed in studies.
Even though a product may claim to contain useful antioxidants such as vitamin C or E, it’s often difficult to know exactly how much of these vitamins and antioxidants are in the bottle. Vitamins and antioxidants need to be in strong enough concentrations, and in the correct forms, to remain stable and to be effective. If you are thinking about using a vitamin or antioxidant for your skin, it’s best to ask your dermatologist for advice before buying it.
Lifestyle Solutions for Beauty and Skin Care
Don’t forget: Practicing healthy lifestyle habits is the most important step you can take to protect youthful skin.
“Staying out of the sun and wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen have been shown to reduce photo-aging and to have anticancer effects,” says Robin Ashinoff, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology and Mohs surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey.
Choose a sunscreen with a sun-protection factor (SPF) of at least 25 (30 or more in the summer), and one that protects against both ultraviolet A and B rays. Reapply the sunscreen at least every 90 minutes. Stay in the shade or indoors when the sun is at its strongest (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and avoid tanning beds. When you do go outside, wear sun-protective clothing and a hat with a wide brim all the way around. As part of your skin care regimen, use only moisturizers with an SPF of 15 or more to keep your skin hydrated and protected.
Diet is another potent way of practicing good skin care. Skin nutrition includes a diet low in saturated fat and rich in fruits and vegetables, which not only will help keep you healthier on the inside, but also may protect your skin from cancer. Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, help produce the skin’s natural oil barrier, critical in keeping skin hydrated, plumper, and younger looking. Load up on foods high in omega-3s and vitamins and antioxidants for the skin, including:
- Selenium — Brazil nuts, turkey, cod
- Vitamin B-2 — Milk, enriched grain products, eggs
- Vitamin B-6 — Chicken, fish, nuts
- Vitamin B-12 — Clams, liver, trout, fortified cereals
- Vitamin C — Citrus fruits, red peppers, broccoli
- Vitamin E — Sunflower oil, whole grains, nuts
- Omega-3s – Salmon and other cold-water fish, ground flaxseeds, walnuts
Get the vitamin D you need to protect your bones from dairy foods and supplements, rather than from spending hours sun worshipping. The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin D is 200 international units (IU) daily for adults 19 to 50 years, 400 IU/day for adults 51 to 70, and 600 IU/day after age 70. Although these are the current RDA levels, most research data show higher doses (1,000 to 2,000 IU/day) are safe and beneficial.
Finally, ditch the cigarettes. Smoking not only leads to wrinkles on your face, but research in the Archives of Dermatology finds that it also can lead to skin damage in areas (such as under the arm) that haven’t even been exposed to the sun.