Life is full of little surprises and secrets, and herein lays yet one more.  Nearly half a century into the massive dissemination of sunscreen products to protect us from harmful ultraviolet rays, there is virtually NO evidence of a reduction in skin cancer rates.  In fact, some studies suggest that the incidence of such maladies is increasing.  Ugh.

 

Now, no one likes an all doom and gloom article, so hang in there.  While sunscreens may be disappointing, alas, there is some good news.  A recent clinical study out of Australia constituting the highest level of scientific evidence (double blind, randomized, controlled, human trial) demonstrated a remarkable reduction in recurrent skin cancers in patients taking regular daily doses of Vitamin B3 (niacinamide).  This is big!

 

Yes, while all that greasy sunscreen hasn’t shown much benefit, a simple vitamin did!   So what’s going on?

 

One factor regarding the disappointing outcomes with sunscreens is likely to be the reality that most of us just don’t use them correctly, which unfortunately would require slopping it on so thick and so often that we would look and feel like ghosts.  So, most of us put it on too thinly, or not often enough, or use a sunscreen with inadequate broad-spectrum protection.  In the end, rays just DO GET through.

 

How come a simple vitamin works better than sunscreens?

 

Vitamin B3 is one of many molecules that appear to protect cells from the inside.  In other words, while sunscreens may reduce damaging rays reaching delicate cellular structures, Vitamin B3 is an example of the next line of defense, which protects cells from the rays that get through.  And Vitamin B3 has been used successfully in skin conditions both in the oral and topical form.

 

Thus begins a new chapter in skin care: photoprotection (sun protection) from the inside out.  And the list of useful friends is long and encouraging.  In addition to B3, did you know, for example, that caffeine (yes, that stuff in your coffee mug), is photoprotective?  What about melatonin, Vitamins A, C, and E, ferulic acid, resveratrol, and many more?  The answer is “YES!”  These are photoprotective molecules that work on the inside. 

 

Can you get these molecules in a lotion or do I need a salad bowl full of pills?

 

Yup. It comes in a lotion!  These are the molecules that make up Alon Labs products. And Alon Labs continues to study new product upgrades with even more photoprotective agents (currently testing ashwagandha, Biotin, and Vitamin D3). 

 

This is the future of skin care and protection. 

 

If you want to look young and protect yourself against the harmful rays of the sun, go ahead, put sunscreen ON your skin.  But before you do, go ahead and apply photoprotective lotion that goes IN your skin. 

 

 

 

**A combination of many protective layers is best.  Use hats and good clothing.  Enjoy your coffee.  Even consider taking Vitamin B3 supplements.  But before you go outdoors, put on a photoprotective lotion that goes inside your skin, and then apply your sunscreen that goes on your skin.  It all helps.  Now go and enjoy your hike!