Spot Check

On the importance of preventative skin checks, light therapy and skincare tips.

#preventativecare #selfcare #hw #careforyourskin #cancerprevention

Red light has taken front and center in the biohacking. That soothing red light cuts inflammation, promotes relaxation and syncs your circadian rhythms that can aid feel-good moods, skin protection with melanin production, better sleep, and weight management. 

Recently, a full-body skin check turned into a biopsy with the results no one wants to hear - "skin cancer." Naturally, this stunned me as I consider myself diligent with the sunblock. This prompted me to look further into other factors that contribute to skin cancer, and what I can do to protect against it:

  • Engage with red light, the early sun, before 10 AM - exposing the skin for 10 minutes to help promote melatonin (your skin's natural protector against UV-induced damage). I also purchased a red light lamp for those cold and cloudy days. My favorite and doctor recommended, is the Photon Infrared Therapy Light by saunaspace.

  • Limit exposure to blue light from screens, especially first thing in the morning and after the sun goes down. This interrupts your circadian rhythms and sleep patterns for renewal, and limits melatonin production.

  • Drinking alcohol and eating citrus foods can increase your risk of photosensitivity, making your skin more prone to sunburn and UV damage. I'll skip the margarita in the summer sun!

  • In functional nutrition, foods rich in beta carotene, lycopene, polyphenols, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C and E can protect the skin. Think carrots, watermelon, matcha, leafy greens, and salmon.

  • Limit fried food (or cut out completely) - it's like slathering carcinogenic oil all over your body from the inside out - causing mass inflammation to the body.

  • Try an astaxanthin supplement, shown to protect the skin against sunburn due to its high content in carotenoids. Astaxanthin is a keto-carotenoid that is naturally occurring in algae. A little goes a long way, and you may want to talk to your doctor to see if it is right for you.  

  • Wear physical sunblock rich with zinc. If you are worried about the white film it may leave on the skin, opt for a tinted zinc sunblock. If you want a little help choosing a safe and healthy sunblock, check out the Environmental Working Groups' sunscreen guide.

Get a full-body check, recommended once a year - most insurances cover it and it could save your life! Need a dermatologist?

Written by Ashley Bissonnette-Murphy


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