It is no secret that excessive exposure to the sun’s rays causes serious damage to the skin. Oral sunscreens, however, are considered today as great allies, as they can contribute to a healthy and risk-free tanning.
Sold ready-made or manipulated after a medical prescription, the capsules provide substances (such as beta-carotene, for example) rich in antioxidant assets that enhance the use of traditional protectors, helping to prevent the development of skin diseases, combating stains and other harmful effects. of the sun.
Juliana Jordão, a doctor with a postgraduate degree in Dermatology, specializing in Lasertherapy and Photodermatology, explains that oral sunscreens are antioxidants, phytotherapics. “Most often composed of the active Polypodium leucotomos and/or pycnogenol. Because they are natural, they do not usually cause adverse effects and can be used without greater risks,” she says.
Dermatologist Michele Haikal reinforces that oral sunscreens are antioxidants that minimize and even reverse sun damage.
But anyway, how should they be used? Are they really useful? Can anyone take the capsules? Do they replace the use of the traditional protector? Below you can find these and other answers.
Do oral sunscreens really work?
Juliana answers yes. “Studies show that the regular use of antioxidants for this purpose reduces the incidence of mutations in DNA that can lead to the emergence of skin cancer, photoaging or even the emergence or worsening of spots such as melasma”, she highlights.
“Sun exposure leads to an increase in the production of free radicals in cells and a reduction in cellular immunity in the skin, which favors the emergence of mutations in DNA and, consequently, the emergence of skin cancer, aging, among other injuries. . Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and therefore protect our skin from the effects of the sun”, explains the dermatologist.
Michele reinforces that oral sunscreens work by correcting the free radicals that were generated by solar damage to the DNA of skin cells. “There are several and, for each patient, a formula is made according to several things. For example, beta-carotene is one of them, but we don’t prescribe it for those with altered liver function. It also has polypodium leucotomus, pyrroloquinoline quinone, vitamin E, pycnogenol, and several others,” she says.
How to use oral sunscreen
Juliana explains that the way of use depends on each product. “In the case of Polypodium leucotomos, for example, we suggest two pills in the morning throughout the year or at least during the summer. Topical sunscreen should be applied normally, every two hours, with a factor of at least 30”, she highlights.
Michele reinforces that this varies from patient to patient. “The prescription of antioxidants, whatever it is, is always individualized. It must be with medical advice and each one has their prescription ”, she says.
Below you can find the answers of the professionals to the main questions about the use of the product:
1. Does oral photoprotection replace the traditional protector?
“No. It is just one more tool that should be used for this protection. Topical sunscreen should be used in the same way,” warns Michele.
Juliana points out that they work in different places and with different mechanisms. “They are therefore complementary. The oral antioxidant acts in a systemic way, directly in the protection of cellular DNA. Topical sunscreen works by forming a chemical or physical barrier on the skin, reducing the penetration of ultraviolet radiation into the skin,” she explains.
2. Are there contraindications to the use of oral sunscreen?
Michele recalls that beta-carotene, for example, cannot be used by those with altered liver function.
Juliana points out that there may be contraindications in cases of allergy to one of the components of the formula. Exactly for this reason, the need to use oral sunscreen under the guidance of a doctor is reinforced.
3. Is it true that oral sunscreen prevents skin cancer?
Yes, according to Juliana. “It is one of the forms of prevention. But it is important to point out that its use is not an endorsement for sun exposure, since it reduces, but does not eliminate, cell damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Patients who have already suffered DNA damage in the past do not reverse this process, but the use of the antioxidant prevents further DNA damage,” she highlights.
Michele recalls that sunscreens repair the damage caused to cellular DNA, so it not only prevents skin cancer, but also aging and rejuvenates.
Oral sunscreens: how to buy?
Below you can see examples of oral sunscreens that are sold in pharmacies. But dermatologists warn: they must be prescribed by a doctor.
- Oral sunscreen 30 capsules for R$61 at Chá Verde Botica
- Helioral Fotoprotector capsules for R$91.30 at Panvel
- Polypodium Leucotomos in capsule for R$58.50 at Bioderm
- Beta-carotene capsules for R$52.70 at Natue
- Oral sunscreen for R$57 at Efficacy
- Pycnogenol in capsules for R$40.50 in Milligram
Michele explains that the correct thing is that the oral sunscreen is prescribed by the dermatologist. “Although there are many antioxidants on the shelves in pharmacies for sale, this must be done with a doctor’s prescription,” he says.
“The best ones still don’t have them in pharmacies anyway, so we always manipulate. Although blood pressure medication is sold over the counter, people would be harmed from taking blood pressure medication on their own, and this is easy to understand. Why then will they do this with antioxidants? It has to be properly prescribed by a good doctor, yes, who individualizes each patient’s prescription, who knows that patient A’s prescription is not suitable for patient B and vice versa”, emphasizes the dermatologist.
Now you know that oral sunscreen can be a great ally in your skin care and health in general. It does not, however, exclude the use of traditional sunscreen, as a complementary measure. Talk to your dermatologist and bet on the ideal product for you.
Journalist graduated in 2009 (58808/SP), freelance writer since 2013, totally adept at working from home. Communicative, always full of topics to talk about and inspiration to write. Responsible at work and outside of it; dedicated to commitments and the people with whom she lives; in love with family, dogs, home, the sea, moments of tranquility and also excitement.
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