Despite all that we've learned about sun protection in the last 50 years, the incidence of skin cancer still seems to be rising. You don't need anybody to tell you again to wear sunscreen and limit your sun exposure. But there is another strategy to tell you about that could help you protect your skin more effectively. First, though, let me tell you why I'm concerned about skin cancer rates — and why you should be too.
Research recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings utilized data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a research tool that gathers data from medical records in Minnesota and Wisconsin, to assess skin cancer rates. Specifically, they were looking at basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma diagnoses. While these forms of skin cancer are generally less aggressive than melanoma, they still can be dangerous. And, unfortunately, according to the records from 2000 to 2010 that the researchers examined, they're on the rise.
In fact, squamous cell carcinoma diagnoses increased a whopping 263% over that time period, while basal cell carcinoma diagnoses increased 145%. Women between the ages of 30 and 49 experienced the biggest jump in basal cell carcinomas. While women in the 40-59 and 70-79 ranges had the biggest squamous cell cancer increases.
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The researchers strongly urge people to use sunscreen every day their skin is exposed to the sun — even if that just means driving a car on a cloudy day. UV rays can penetrate even clouds and car windows, and reflecting off snow or water can intensify them, making us vulnerable even in winter and when it's overcast.
But we all already know to wear sunscreen and be careful in the sun. Is there anything else we can do to protect ourselves? Yes! Believe it or not, vitamin C is a powerful skin protector. UV rays damage our skin by causing oxidative stress. Because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it can help stop free radicals before they harm us.
You know that you can get vitamin C from your diet. But when it comes to skin protection, you want vitamin C right on the front lines. Fortunately, you can apply it topically. This is a particularly good idea because vitamin C not only has antioxidant effects, it also helps promote the production of collagen and elastin. So by applying a topical vitamin C product, such as the Système 41 Rejuvenating Vitamin C Serum
, you'll not only protect your skin from UV radiation, but actually make it stronger and smoother in the process. Vitamin C doesn't replace sunscreen, but it can help you from becoming a statistic if you use the two in conjunction.
To your health, naturally,