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Most of us are aware that we should protect our skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, but applying sunscreen lotions, especially on squirmy and impatient children, can be a hassle, not to mention messy. The future of sun protection is looking much brighter with the addition of sunscreen pills to the vast array of skin care products.
Sunscreen pills that offer sole and complete protection from UV rays are not yet available to the public. However, there are sunscreen pills now on the market that are intended for use in addition to lotions and creams. These sunscreen pills offer much more protection, because the majority of sunscreen users fail to use traditional sunscreen products properly. The consequences of neglecting to apply sunscreen lotion evenly or as often as necessary are thought to be neutralized with the use of sunscreen pills.
The sunscreen pills that are currently available on the market are designed to protect the skin from sun damage from the inside out. The biggest concern for sun damage is that deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is damaged by exposure to UV rays. When DNA is damaged, cells can potentially begin to grow abnormally, resulting in skin caner. Sunscreen pills do not screen or block UV rays as lotions do, but they strengthen and prevent the skin’s DNA from sun damage at the cellular level.
Sunscreen pills are generally composed of vitamins, organic chemicals and antioxidants that are found in many foods. However, maintaining a daily diet that consists of all the ingredients available in sunscreen pills is difficult. These ingredients are conveniently concentrated in sunscreen pills and often include the vitamins A, C, D and E; selenium, which is a photoelectric chemical; para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), a type of folic acid that absorbs ultraviolet light; and antioxidants found in green tea, carrots, beets and pomegranate that are proven to help fight cancer. Each brand of sunscreen pills contains its own combination and concentrations of various ingredients.
Sunscreen pills are not intended to replace sunscreen lotions or creams, because their effectiveness when used alone has not been proven. Many people who have tried sunscreen pills believe that they are beneficial in preventing sun burns, which are a sign of skin damage. There is no doubt that taking sunscreen pills daily as a dietary supplement prevents at least some damage, and the ingredients that they contain are healthful for many body systems other than the skin.
A pill made from a Central American fern extract may have the ability to protect against UV rays. Those pills are apparently sold over the counter in some countries and are used for skin conditions such as psoriasis.
Scientists believe that using these pills in addition to sunscreen would provide a more powerful protection against sunburn, and ultimately against skin cancer. More research is needed to confirm the efficacy of these pills.