Skin Cancer, Sun Damage and Topical Vitamin C

Chronic exposure to the sun leads to dry, thickened, spotted skin and eventually to thinning of the skin with capillary fragility resulting in purpuric areas with the slightest bruising of the skin.  It can also cause the formation of precancers, also called actinic keratosis, raised, scaly lesions in the sun exposed skin. AK can be associated with other skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma, so at least annual skin checks with a dermatologist are recommended for early diagnosis.

Hair is an excellent “sunscreen” and should be used to cover the ears and forehead whenever possible, not pulled back or tucked under a hat.   For those without the benefit of hair, a large-brimmed hat should be worn each time you go outside. 

There are several supplements that have shown benefit when taken orally including Astaxanthin 12 mg a day and Heliocare 2 capsules 2 hours before sun exposure.  In addition, eating salmon, crab or lobster which contain the red pigment, Astaxanthin, is also beneficial in protecting the skin.

Finally, topical, freshly-constituted, Vitamin C by Malibu Wellness, applied in the morning, prevents sunburn, sun damage and the development of actinic keratosis.  Purchase here:  A bottle of Malibu Wellness topical vitamin C, when it’s first mixed, contains 12% Vitamin C activity.  This will last a month before it begins to turn yellow. At this point, the activity of the vitamin C has deteriorated and a new bottle will need to be mixed.

Other topical vitamin C products on the market 1have been pre-mixed by the manufacturer, so by the time it’s purchased, there is effectively no vitamin C activity remaining since it has only a 30 day shelf life.

A note here: if the Vitamin C serum is kept in a warm or hot environment, the activity will deteriorate in a few days, so it’s advisable to keep at room temperature.