I don’t usually review dietary supplements because I don’t think it’s my place to recommend to people things that can significantly impact their health. However, for this particular product, I will make an exception. The Heliocare supplements are not basic multi-vitamin pills whose contents you will only pee out; they offer scientifically proven results. A disclaimer: please consult any dietary supplements with your doctor or a pharmacist to avoid possible interactions with your medicines or other adverse reactions.
The Heliocare Ultra includes Polypodium Leucotomos, vitamins C & E, Lutein, and Lycopene to protect against UV rays’ oxidative stress. There is also a version with vitamin D, which I prefer considering my sun avoidance habits. I think it is safe to say that a bit of vitamin D will be good for me. The main ingredient in the product is Polypodium Leucotomos, more specifically an extract from the plant coming from the family of ferns. It scavenges free radicals, helps the organism to cope with the stress caused by the sun’s rays, and prevents depletion of Langerhans cells (simply saying they are cells in our skin that stop harmful microbes from entering the body). Moreover, the extract is known to reduce sunburn cells, protect DNA in the skin, preserve skin’s tissue structures, and inhibit inflammation as well as reddening of the skin caused by the sun. In essence, it isn’t a sunscreen in any form; it’s a supplement that helps the skin to deal with the injury caused by UV rays, so no, you cannot skip sunscreen and skin-protecting clothing if you go out in the sun.
Polypodium Leucotomos extract has been widely studied in Europe for decades now. Oddly enough, mainly in Spain and only Spanish companies seem to make products with the plant where you can find in the form of over the counter supplements such as the one from Heliocare and Isdin (the Sunisdin Capsule) and prescription drugs. The latter variety is not used for sun damage repair but for treating various conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and even multiple sclerosis. The supplements can help alleviate melasma, hyperpigmentation, and polymorphic light eruption. Thus, there are a lot of health issues for which this plant extract can be helpful.
I started using this product for the first time last year. First, I must say that it works, I didn’t develop any tan, maybe except for the back of my neck, and my skin was never red after sun exposure. Compared to summers before the one last year, my skin definitely maintained more of my natural skin tone; I didn’t tan on my face at all, which sometimes happens in summer. Also, it seldom happens that my arms become red if I wear long-sleeve cotton or linen shirts with nothing underneath, and last year, I did not experience that at all.
This year, I solely use it on days when I know I will be exposed to the sun for a prolonged time. Ingesting the supplement daily, especially as I used the higher Ultra dose, not the regular one, put a strain on my gastric system last summer. It made my stomach upset on several occasions and possibly contributed to my issues with heartburns. Admittedly, it was also quite costly, as the supplement isn’t the cheapest. So this year, I take it only when I need it. I would approve loading of the supplement, as Heliocare do, a week or two before intense periods of sun exposure like beach or skiing holidays. Technically, you start taking the supplement before going on a holiday, and you continue during the holiday. On a daily basis, the low dose Heliocare (360°) supplement once a day should be enough, but I am not sure for how long one can safely take it, as there is no clear information about that.
Overall, Polypodium Leucotomos extract is a unique ingredient with many health-benefiting properties. I would suggest taking the Heliocare Oral (either the standard version called 360° or the Ultra version) or the Sunisdin Capsules if you are sensitive to solar radiation or struggle with skin conditions such as melasma. You may find Polypodium Leucotomos extract helpful in aiding your skin with handling sun damage and preventing the worsening of your existing skin ailments. In addition, the supplements from both brands contain other elements, which can benefit the skin’s overall health. The Heliocare Ultra is an effective product backed by scientific research – just Google it, and you will find loads of articles about it. Once again, as with any other dietary supplement, please consult your doctor or pharmacist prior to taking products with Polypodium Leucotomos extract. Also, please buy your nutritional supplements from trusted sources such as pharmacies or well-known shops to ensure that you get genuine products.
The Heliocare Ultra D Capsules dietary supplement is available from pharmacies and Heliocare’s stockists worldwide.