As much as we try to deny it, there really is no safe way to tan. However, I can appreciate that sometimes we are all guilty of compromising health for beauty, myself included (I mean, who actually enjoys being 24 different shades of brown from head to toe?). A common misconception is that those with darker coloured skin are more protected from the sun’s harmful effects, but that is 100% fake news my friends…
We all depend on a fragile balance between protecting our skin from UV radiation and getting enough Vitamin D from sunlight. Without Vitamin D, children and adults can develop bone mineralisation problems such as Rickets and Osteomalacia respectively, leading to bone weakness and abnormalities. Interestingly, in the UK more of us take Vitamin D supplements than not due to our lack of sun exposure (which the body relies on to generate Vitamin D).
The problem is, when the sun does decide to emerge from its cave, we are so desperate to replenish our depleting Vitamin D that we forget about the sun’s detrimental effects. Those aforementioned UV rays…
Although the short-term effects of sun exposure include a youthful, bronzed skin complexion, in the long-term sun exposure actually accelerates most of the skin changes we associate with ageing. To name a few:
- Telangiectasis (dilation of blood vessels underneath the skin)
- Elastosis (breakdown of collagen and elastin)
Of course, the worst effect of repeated sun exposure is skin cancer. This is one of the most prevalent forms of cancers and happens when the sun’s ultra-violet rays penetrate the skin and cause permanent damage to the cells. There are two main types of UV rays that lead to this:
- UVA rays are able to cause genetic damage to cells, causing mutations and resisting immune responses.
- UVB rays penetrate into the top layer of the skin (called the epidermis) and are responsible for sunburn – a HUGE risk factor for skin cancer, specifically melanoma.
Since England has decided to bless us with a summer this year, I’ve been looking into new ways to protect myself from those dreaded UV rays. As a keen advocate of sun protection, I was really interested when Sunsafe Rx got in touch! They are nutritional supplements containing natural ingredients which have been clinically proven to promote our bodies’ defence against the aging-related and photocarcinogenic effects of sun exposure.
Of course, the inner scientist in me had to do a little research first to investigate a little deeper… and I was surprised to find that many of the ingredients in the Sunsafe Rx supplements are continuously highlighted in leading research studies focusing on UV-induced skin damage. Some such ingredients are:
- Polypodium Leucotomos Lead extract
- Green Tea extract
- Grape seed extract
- Beta-carotene, Alpha-carotene and Gamma-carotene
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
What interested me most is that by eating these tablets, I avoid the oily, pasty, complexion I get with sunscreen, yet still get both skincare and nutritional benefits! All I do is pop a tablet at the start of each day (preferably 1 hour or so before sun exposure) and bob’s your uncle!* I will definitely be taking these with me on holiday and can’t recommend them enough!
If you have any questions about Sunsafe Rx and want to find out more, here’s their website!
*One thing I will add is that unfortunately the Sunsafe Rx capsules themselves are not vegetarian however one way I go around this is by emptying the contents of the capsules into a glass of orange juice!