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Emerging Supplement Heliocare® Increases SPF Protection

Emerging Supplement Heliocare® Increases SPF Protection

Do you burn easily? You’re not alone: Utah is one of the top three states for melanoma cases (an aggressive type of skin cancer). There are three main reasons for this: Utah is higher in elevation than most of the country, we have a year-round outdoor culture, and many fair-skinned people call Utah home. Each of these are risk factors for sunburns and skin cancer.

Sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 is the #1 way to protect skin from sun damage, but there’s a new product on the market that can provide extra protection. Dermatologist Lori Ramirez shares an emerging discovery in sun protection called Heliocare® (also called Fernblock®).

What is Heliocare®?

Heliocare®is a dietary supplement that contains Polypodium leucotomos, an extract derived from fern plants native to Central and South America. Studies have shown that taking the supplement can help skin protect itself from the burning and the aging effects of the sun by guarding against free radicals that are released during sun exposure.

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How much sun protection does Heliocare® provide?

“Once ingested, Heliocare® provides four hours of 3 to 7 SPF protection, meaning it would take three to seven times longer to sunburn when compared to no protection,” says Dr. Ramirez. Additionally, Heliocare® guards against the sun’s effect of darkening skin pigment, which is helpful for people with melasma and other conditions that cause dark patches of skin.

How should Heliocare® be taken?

You can protect yourself against burning, pigmentation, and basal/squamous cell skin cancers by taking Heliocare® twice daily during daylight hours. “Always use these supplements in addition to zinc- or titanium-based sunscreen and protective clothing—never rely on them for complete protection,” says Dr. Ramirez.

What are some other sun protection tips people may not know?

SPF 30+ sunscreen is paramount, but there are a few other ways to reduce the harmful effects of the sun, from anti-aging to skin cancer.

Add an antioxidant serum into your skincare routine. Looking to prevent wrinkles and laxity caused by the sun? Antioxidants are the secret ingredient. “Antioxidants neutralize the free-radical damage that sun exposure causes and they can also help defend skin from other sources of free radicals, such as high-energy visible (HEV) light and blue light from your cell phone,” says Dr. Ramirez.

Try a tinted sunscreen. “I like that these can be used in place of foundation and have a nice blurring effect and slightly increased sun protection,” Dr. Ramirez says.

Sensitive skin or watery eyes? Look for mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium oxide. These types of sunscreen don’t contain chemical agents and are generally less irritating to the skin than spray sunscreens.

Image of Dr. Lori Ramirez for Heliocare article

Dr. Lori Ramirez is a Dermatologist with Fellowship Training in Melanoma. She is located in Pleasant View, Utah and is accepting new patients. Learn more about her or schedule a visit here.