Sun damage can be reduced and skin health can be encouraged by several nutrients. Nutrients that have been shown to benefit skin health include: vitamins, fish oil, flavonoids, zinc and selenium. I will be discussing minerals that can be beneficial for protecting your skin from sun damage in this blog, as zinc and selenium both play vital roles in protecting our skin from sun damage.
Selenium protects the skin from UV ray damage and deficiency of this mineral can increase risk for hair loss and skin conditions, including skin cancer. Topical applications or oral consumption of slenomethionine (a form of selenium) can be used to improve selenium status. It does penetrate the skin readily, so it is not used for sun screen. However, its use for protection from sun damage is beneficial.
Zinc is one of my favorite nutrients found in sun screen and products for wound healing. Mineral oxides, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, provide protection from sun damage by reflecting and absorbing UV rays. Zinc oxide is a mineral that does not penetrate the skin. However, in individuals with healthy skin, small particles of zinc oxide, called nanoparticles, can be absorbed.
When choosing a mineral based product for sun screen, it may be helpful to choose one that contains particles of mineral oxides that do not penetrate the skin. Particles that do not penetrate the skin stay on the surface and protect from sun damage. Particles that penetrate the skin no longer provide protection as a sun screen once they are absorbed. These particles that penetrate the skin are called nanoparticles. Most sun screens that contain non-penetrable minerals will state on the label “non-nano”. So this is what to look for when shopping for a good mineral based sun screen. I also recommend purchasing a product that is organic and has minimal ingredients to avoid harmful chemicals that are often found in sun screen products.
You can protect your skin from sun damage by limiting sun exposure as well. However, it is beneficial to get at least 15 minutes of unprotected sun exposure per day. Especially in Minnesota.
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I provide individualized natural health care options for the whole family and I offer a complimentary 10 minute consultation to learn more about how my services may be beneficial for you. If you are interested in my services, please contact me. I would be happy to make individualized recommendations based on your health care needs.