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Sun Protection

More than Sunscreen: Comprehensive Sun Protection

More than Sunscreen: Comprehensive Sun Protection

Most of us welcome the summer months. After all, a healthy dose of sunshine has been linked with better bone health, higher levels of the ‘happy hormone’ serotonin, and improved sleep quality. However, we can have too much of a good thing. A sensible approach to sun protection is essential to prevent premature skin ageing and other damaging effects from too much sun exposure.

Surprisingly, the International Agency for Research on Cancer has reported that sunscreens are linked with a higher risk of melanoma (1). A recent review has supported these findings, linking sunscreen use with increased risk of moles and malignant melanoma (2). The agency suggests that this could be partly because those who wear sunscreen do so in order th48at they can spend longer in the sun. The protective effect of sunscreen is then outweighed by overexposure to the sun, meaning the idea of sun protection for the individual is compromised. The Working Group concluded that sunscreens do indeed protect against skin cancer, but only if consumers use it sensibly, and as only one part of their sun protection strategy:

“Use of sunscreens should be one part of a comprehensive sun avoidance strategy that includes moving into shade when the sun is near zenith and the use of protective clothing.”

Clearly, staying out of direct sunlight when the sun is at its strongest – between the hours of 10am and 2pm – is a sensible measure. Covering up with a light linen shirt and a wide brimmed hat can also offer good sun protection whilst allowing the wearer to stay cool and comfortable.

Recent studies have also investigated ways of protecting the skin from the inside – especially with nutrients that help to protect the skin from free radical damage, increase natural resistance to UVA and UVB light and fight inflammation. Here are three top supplements for inside-out protection:

1. Lycopene

Naturally present in tomatoes, red peppers and grapefruit, lycopene is a carotenoid that neutralises the harmful effects of UV light. Human studies have found that lycopene offers protection against sun damage: women supplementing just 16mg lycopene each day experienced significant sun protection (3). Eating plenty of tomato-based meals can provide a good amount of lycopene each day. Some multivitamin formulas are also fortified with lycopene for additional antioxidant benefits.

2. Astaxanthin

Even more potent than lycopene, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with multiple health benefits. It is produced by microalgae, serving as a protective shield against UV radiation at times when water is sparse and sunlight is strong.

Known as the ‘King of Antioxidants’, astaxanthin is hundreds of times more powerful than other antioxidants such as vitamin E when it comes to quenching oxidative damage from sunlight. Lab studies have confirmed that astaxanthin offers protection from UVA damage, and preliminary human trials have shown that just three weeks of supplementation with 4mg astaxanthin resulted in significant sun protection (4,5).

Omega-3

When your skin is at risk of sun damage, a bodily process called ‘p53 expression’ is triggered to protect it. When this process goes awry, this can result in melanoma. Omega-3 oils appear to protect the skin by regulating this process. Several studies support the sun protection benefits of omega-3 supplementation. People with higher levels of omega-3 in their blood show less sun damage, and 4g of omega-3 daily has been found to reduce sunburn and reduce damaging p53 in the skin (6,7).

One final consideration when using sunscreen is that these protective sun creams also block synthesis of vitamin D. This might be a particular concern for those of us who are careful to use sunscreen regularly – especially as many of us spend a lot of time indoors, and are based in the UK where UV light is not as strong. When using a sunscreen of SPF15 or above, or if regularly using cosmetics and moisturizers with added UV protection, it may be wise to supplement vitamin D in order to ensure sufficient levels throughout the year.

Topical sunscreens are certainly a sensible measure to protect the skin, but the Cancer Research Agency agrees that it is only part of the story. Adding a healthy diet rich in protective antioxidants and skin-healthy nutrients will also help to ensure that your skin is protected from the inside out.

References
1. Vainio H, et al. Cancer-preventive effects of sunscreens are uncertain. Scandinavian Journal of Work and Environmental Health 2000;26(6):529-531
2. Autier P. Sunscreen abuse for intentional sun exposure. Br J Dermatol. 2009;161 Suppl 3:40-5
3. Stahl W et al (2001) Dietary tomato paste protects against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans. J Nutr 131(5):1449-51.
4. Lyons NM and O’Brien NM (2002) Modulatory effects of an algal extract containing astaxanthin on UVA-irradiated cells in culture. Journal of Dermatological Science 30(1):73-84
5. Clinical Trial Indicates Sun Protection from BioAstin Supplement. http://www.cyanotech.com/pdfs/bioastin/batl33.pdf
6. van der Pol JC et al (2011) Serum omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and cutaneous p53 expression in an Australian population. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 20(3):530-6.
7. Rhodes LE et al (2003) Effect of eicosapentaenoic acid, an omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, on UVR-related cancer risk in humans. An assessment of early genotoxic markers. Carcinogenesis 24(5):919-925

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Natural sun protection from lavera

Whether you are off to a sunnier climate for a much deserved summer holiday or simply taking advantage of the good weather with time in the garden, a bbq or trip to the coast, it is vital to protect your self from the sun.  Many of us have fallen into the habit of reaching for the mainstream sun care brands we know and trust when we are in the supermarket or shopping for our holiday necessities. However, as discussed previously in the bodykind blog, many of these products are packed full of nasty chemicals and synthetic ingredients that may do us more harm than good.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel though with an array of quality natural sun care products on the market to choose from.

Lavera Natural Sun Care
lavera, is a brand committed to ethics, organic and natural ingredients and quality products for a variety of skin types

Our latest beauty arrival at bodykind, lavera, is a brand committed to ethics, organic and natural ingredients and quality products for a variety of skin types.  Their range of sun protection includes products for all the family in factors 10 – 20.  Sun sprays, milks, lip balms, after suns and self tanning products that are packed full of natural and organic ingredients to give your skin the support it needs.  This award winning chemical free sun range contains no harsh ingredients and provides high-level sun care and protection for every situation.

Waterproof and 100% natural it is perfect for holidays when nipping in and out of the pool or the sea. The minerals reflect penetrating sunlight as soon as the product is applied, so it is instantly effective and doesn’t require time to develop. UVA and UVB sun rays are reflected which helps to protect the skin against sunburn and skin damage.

lavera Sun Sensitive Organic Mineral After Sun Lotion soothes and protects your skin should you have stayed out in the sun that little bit too long.  Containing naturally soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, lavera after suns use the power of shea butter and jojoba oil to moisturise and Organic rose, lavender and green tea essences to cool the skin after sun bathing.

If you want to give your skin the attractive glow that comes with sunbathing but without any of the harmful effects of the sun’s powerful rays, why not try lavera Sun Sensitive Organic Mineral Self Tanning Lotion.  Developed from organic macadamia nut oil and organic jojoba oil, it’s easy to apply to the face and the body and provides a gradual tan to the skin.

Why natural is best…

Natural sun creams work by reflecting UV radiation off the skin like a mirror.  They protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays, without the risk of your body absorbing chemicals which are often present in many mainstream products.  Keep an eye open for the most popular natural certifications such as Soil Association, NaTrue, BDIH and EcoCert.  These certifications require a product to meet certain minimum organic and natural standards.

Natural sun care products often contain an array of natural extracts like hemp and coconut oil, shea butter, carrot seed oil and aloe vera, all of which have natural sun protection.  Natural antioxidants from extracts of acai, grape seed and green tea help to protect skin from sunburn and reduce harmful free radical damage and many incorporate gentle, natural botanicals to soothe and moisturise.  Natural materials also help with cell repair – and don’t interfere with the body’s absorption of vitamin D.

Written by Mike Pye

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A little taster about our new beauty brand lavera

lavera is one of the leading natural and organic cosmetics brands in the UK and Germany, and we’re proud to be able to supply their products here at bodykind. They have core values on the naturalness of products, skin compatibility and effectiveness and they’re at the forefront of innovations in the natural and organic market. We thought we’d give you a little insight as to who lavera are and where they have come from, along with their guarantee’s to ensure you know you are using a quality product.

The problem of sensitive skin is not uncommon, we all know someone who is constantly changing and checking their cosmetic range because a product “just doesn’t agree” with them.  Fed up with suffering from the pain of sensitive skin and being unable to find a conventional product to relieve this condition, Thomas Haase decided to find his own solution.

Lavera Natural Beauty
lavera is latin for 'the truth' and the company truly believes in the advantages of organic skincare.

Frustrated with many mainstream cosmetics containing synthetic ingredients, in 1987 in Germany, Thomas Haase founded lavera, a 100% natural and organic skincare range that was allergy tested and for sensitive skin types. 25 years later and the company have maintained an untouchable reputation as a trusted brand around the globe.

From make-up to moisturisers the lavera brand stays true to producing products that do not contain harmful synthetic ingredients such as parabens, petroleum ingredients or synthetic colours and fragrances.

lavera guarantee their products are:

– 100% free from synthetic colourants, perfumes, preservatives and mineral oil products

– 100% pure vegetable oils, active plant agents and essences

– 100% skin mild emulsifiers and surfactants

– Produced according to either BDIH or NaTrue guidelines for natural cosmetics

– Against animal testing

The truly natural range has numerous product certifications, including the NaTrue Certification for organic, ecological and natural properties.  This certificate is aimed to safeguard the highest possible standards for natural cosmetics and their ingredients; a sentiment lavera is dedicated to.  The NaTrue label is your guarantee that the product you are buying is as natural as it can be.

lavera is latin for “the truth” and the company truly believes in the advantages of organic skincare.  lavera’s high quality products have been tested independently over the last 20 years in Germany and have won more than 150 awards in the highest category from the OKEO-Test magazine, (A German Consumer Magazine, similar to Which? Magazine in the UK) – more than any other natural manufacturer.  If you love your skin, you will love lavera!

The lavera range is all encompassing, containing beautiful natural beauty products in a range of categories including the luxury male grooming ‘Men Care’ range, the ‘Organic Basis‘ range specifically designed for those with sensitive skin types and ‘Baby and Child’ especially formulated to be gentle to your little ones’ sensitive skin.  The range also includes organic ‘Trend’ make-up, ‘Sun Sensitive‘ sun care products, ‘Neutral‘ unscented, frangrance-free skin protection for easily irritated skin and the organic ‘Faces’ natural face care range for each skin type.

Here are some comments we’ve received about lavera:

“lavera is great brand, it’s great quality and at an affordable price”

“The After Sun Shimmer makes my skin look glowing and in great condition”

“I wouldn’t use anything else on my baby’s delicate skin”

“lavera beauty products, with their natural ingredients are the perfect choice for those with sensitive skin, it’s fantastic to finally find a range that is both gentle to my skin and organic”


Written by Emma at lavera and Haseena at bodykind

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