The author presents an insightful review of the benefits of systemic photoprotection through orally ingested nutrients, advocating a need for a greater level of protection against free-radicals. Vitamin C is discussed in relation to its role in immune function, collagen synthesis and antioxidant properties as well as foods with high content. The author substantiates these claims with reference to in vivo tests on human skin and biochemical in vitro investigations, as well as evidence supporting the synergistic effects of vitamin C with E, which concludes that oral combined supplementation effectively increases photoprotection and decreases erythema-induced blood flow to damaged areas of skin. The literature surrounding the photoprotective properties of carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin are explored and the author indicates that in addition to beta-carotene protecting against sunburn, it is recommended that a minimum of 10-week supplementation is required. The role of probiotics is briefly mentioned in relation to skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis owing to the change in cutaneous immune function, advocates that UV exposure induces significant change in cutaneous immune functions, with skin disorders, advocating the role of nutritional support in the form of specific probiotics. The protective and anti-inflammatory benefits of vitamin B3 and omega-3 fatty acids are conveyed. A useful and well-referenced review paper to guide aesthetic nurses with regard to the evidence supporting oral supplementation of some of the more commonly used nutrients to provide added photo protection.

Oral photoprotection: reducing damage from ultraviolet light and inflammation.
Pearson K.
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Anna Baker

BJN Aesthetic Nurse of the Year 2016.

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