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One of the major concerns I have about natural and organic “anti-aging” skin care is that the majority of visible signs of aging still comes predominantly from UV rays. But many proponents of natural and organic skin care actively advocate against UVA/UVB filters like avobenzone, oxybenzone, and Parsol 1789, stating that these are “chemicals.” Some even don’t like physical blockers titanium oxide and zinc oxide, which leaves us with no good topical sunscreen options at all for those who want to go “all-natural”.
One way to help supplement sunscreen may be with the use of Heliocare, which contains Polypodium leucotomos extract derived from a tropical, fern-like plant.
Clinical studies on Heliocare demonstrate that Polypodium leucotomos extract prevents acute sunburn, helps regulate pigmentation, and prevents Langerhans cell depletion upon UV exposure. One study even says that the extract flat-out “decreases UV-induced damage of human skin” when taken orally and in similar doses to Heliocare (Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 2004).
Still, even those who want to go all-natural with their skin care may want to use Heliocare in conjunction with a more traditional sunscreen. As Mayo Clinic dermatologist Lawrence Gibson, M.D. cautions, “This supplement is meant to be used in conjunction with — and not in place of — other sun protection measures, such as wearing sunscreen or protective clothing when outside.” That said, you wear sunscreen and sun-protective clothing already, I have not read any reason not to go the extra mile and take Heliocare.
Further, Heliocare may help anti-aging in another way as well: By fighting free radicals in a unique way. According to renowned NYC dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe, M.D., “While it’s not a substitute for a sunscreen, it can dramatically boost your skin’s protection against all forms of free radicals, including UV radiation. Our traditional sunscreens simply don’t protect effectively against all of those different sources of free radicals, which is where Heliocare comes in.”
For me personally, after having a baby in February, I’ve noticed my skin has more sunspots than ever before. The safety of Polypodium leucotomos extract hasn’t been established for those pregnant or breastfeeding as of yet (DermNet NZ), but once I’m through breastfeeding in August, I’ll be sure to pick up Heliocare and give it a whirl, if for no other reason than to provide some insurance in my anti-aging skin care regimen. Until then, I’ll be treating my hyperpigmentation with top-notch products (more on that in future posts!), and I do recommend this product to all FutureDerm readers!