With summer right around the corner, it’s time to begin thinking about protecting your skin. While the days of lying on theskin cancer prevention tea beach slowly roasting in a layer of baby oil may be over, light summer clothes and longer days still make us more vulnerable to the sun’s rays – and at greater risk for developing skin cancer. This is especially true if, like me, you’re fair skinned – or as my friends so politely put it “pale enough to glow in the dark”.

I just read some good news, though. The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology has just reported that drinking tea can lower your risk of both squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma – the two most common forms of skin cancer. In studying nearly 2,200 adults, researchers found that those who were regular tea drinkers were 20% to 30% less likely to develop these cancers.

The effect is most likely linked to the rich presence of antioxidants found in tea leaves. In particular, researchers are looking at the antioxidant EGCG, which had previously been shown to protect UV exposed skin from burning. It’s been a good day – I’ve just found another reason to enjoy a nice tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day!

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