In a recent article on sun protection, Prevention Magazine reported that apart from applying sunscreen lotion and wearing protective clothing, there are certain herbs you can take orally that will help protect your skin from harmful UV rays from the inside out.
French Maritime Pine Bark – this tree extract is sold as Pycnogenol – the extract has been shown to inhibit inflammation caused by UV exposure and protect against sunburns. Pycnogenol does more than that – it is widely considered a ‘super antioxidant’ that helps fight cell-damaging free radicals that can contribute to oxidative stress, which can contribute to the premature aging of cells among other things. Pycogenol is available at healthfood stores or online. Click here to read our article on Pycogenol and its affects on the skin.
Green Tea – Green tea is well known for its antioxidant qualities at the cellular level, but did you know that drinking just 3 cups of green tea a day increases the ability of blood cells to protect themselves against damage caused by UV exposure.
Polypodium Leucotomos – Also known as Calaguala and sold under various brand names, this antioxidant-rich fern has been shown to raise the threshold of sun exposure. During a decade of clinical trials, the extract has shown remarkable effectiveness in shielding skin against aging effects of ultraviolet exposure, allowing you to remain in the sun longer without burning. Suggested dose is one capsule a day. This product can be found in healthfood stores or online.
Taking herbal supplements is not a substitute or replacement for sunscreen. In order to protect your skin from the damage caused by harmful UV rays, sunscreen should be worn anytime you plan to be outside. The related articles below discuss more about sunscreen protection and how to treat sun damaged skin.
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Resource: Prevention Magazine, February 2013