Did you know that the right foods could do more for your skin than any sunscreen?
Bear in mind that while chronic, long-term sun exposure has been linked with skin cancer, slathering on high SPF sunscreen is not necessarily the antidote.
Especially when the sunscreen itself poses a toxic threat to the body.
Most sunscreens on the market contain vitamin A retinyl palmitate. This is because vitamin A is an antioxidant, which can slow down the aging of skin tissue.
Using a chemical sunscreen may do more harm than good when it comes to preventing sun damage and skin cancer. Harsh chemical ingredients in sunscreen like oxybenzone can quickly penetrate the skin to cause allergic reactions and even hormone disruption!
The FDA found that when vitamin A is added to sunscreen in the presence of sunlight, it actually speeds up the development of skin tumors and lesions. (1) The year-long study found that those who received vitamin A cream developed tumors and lesions 21 percent sooner than the control group.
If the added vitamin A isn’t enough to worry about, consider the long list of chemicals found in most sunscreens.
Of these chemicals, oxybenzone is the most common. It is found in 65 percent of all non-mineral sunscreens on the market.
Oxybenzone penetrates the skin in relatively large amounts. Studies have found that oxybenzone may cause allergic reactions and that it disrupts hormone function. Because oxybenzone potentially disrupts hormone balance, many experts warn against its use on children.
The most current research on skin cancer and exposure to sunlight tells us that diet has a lot to do with how well we manage sun exposure.
A diet that is full of foods that contain sugar is more likely to contribute to the formation of AGEs (advanced glycation end-products). AGEs on their own promote the breakdown and aging of connective tissue and vasculature in the body.
According to the Journal of Oncology and the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, one study showed that UVA rays are far more toxic to skin that has an excessive buildup of AGEs. (2)(3)
This means that we can do our body and our skin a favor by limiting the amount of sugar that we consume on a daily basis.
Besides sugars in sweets, sugars are also found in grains, breads, pastas, cereals, and potatoes. Much of the processed food on market shelves contains hidden sugars.
One way to curb a craving for carbohydrates or sugar: Eat fermented foods and drink probiotic beverages. These foods naturally keep disease-causing bacteria at bay while promoting an appetite for nutrient dense foods.
Studies show that dietary antioxidants and specifically omega-3 fatty acids have been found to halt the progression of cancer and to protect against the development of skin cancer. (4)(5)(6)
In the standard American diet, many foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids have been displaced by omega-6 fatty acids.
This means vegetable, canola, corn, and soy oil. These oils are ubiquitous in restaurants and used frequently in prepared convenience food. Cattle, hens, and other animals of agriculture and industrial farms typically eat a corn-based diet, which increases the amount of omega-6 fats that they offer.
This summer, make sure that your diet is full of these antioxidant-rich foods and healthy fats to protect yourself from harmful sun damage:
Eating the right foods could benefit your skin even more than slathering on sunscreen for a day at the beach. In fact, most chemical sunscreens on the market will do more harm than good when they are absorbed into your skin. While long-term sun exposure can lead to skin cancer, using a high SPF sunscreen with toxic ingredients could actually accelerate the development of skin lesions and tumors.
On top of that, how your skin reacts to the sun has much to do with your diet. Make it your top priority to avoid these unhealthy food groups that promote sun damage this summer:
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