May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month . . . the perfect time to plan your personal strategy to protect skin from the sun all year long.

But, let’s first recap the basics: don’t sunbathe; wear sunscreen (aim for SPF 30) on all exposed areas of skin (all year long); protect eyes with sunglasses and hats; check your body regularly for strange, new marks; and visit your dermatologist for a full body check every year.

But smart skin protection goes way beyond sunscreen, because what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it. 

Here’s why: studies show that a diet rich in antioxidants from food and supplements could add an inner protection against sunburn and wrinkles at a cellular level.

Eat these every day: 

  • Carrots and other foods that are red, yellow and orange (red peppers, tomatoes) contain cartenoids, which help reduce sunburn
  • Salmon and walnuts contain oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help guard against sunburn and inflammation
  • Dark, leafy greens, like kale, chard, and spinach, are the best ways to get two key antioxidants–lutein and zeaxanthin
  • Green tea is chock full of antioxidants called EGCGs which help genetic damage of cells exposed to sun’s rays
  • Citrus Fruits include limonene which has shown to substantially lower the risk of skin cancer

Take these every day: 

  • Heliocare contains polypodium leucotomos extract (PLE) (I take 240 mg/day (1 capsule)), a potent antioxidant that specifically targets skin, mops up free radicals produced by the sun, and helps boost skin’s resistance to dangerous UV rays. Heliocare
  • Vitamin D3 (I take 5,000 IU/day) can have a protective effect against sunburn and skin cancer
  • Vitamin C (I take about 2,000 mg/day) is a potent anti-inflammatory, and strengthens the immune system

Having gone through Mohs surgery (a delicate procedure to remove basal cell carcinoma) once, I now do everything possible to avoid contracting skin cancer again. Bonus? My skin has never looked better!

Want another great tip for defending your skin . . . especially if you’re over 45? Check this out . . .

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