Wellington: Forget sunscreens, the thing that can actually protect your skin from UV rays is broccoli juice, say scientists.
Scientists in the United States have been testing broccoli extract on human volunteers and mice, which showed their skin was protected against sunburn.
Broccoli contains sulforaphane, an antioxidant, which helps stop sunburn and tumour development.
Additionally, scientists in New Zealand have also suggested that extract from totara and manuka trees could act in a similar way to broccoli.
Previously, a study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism revealed test rats exposed to sunscreen ingredients suffered hormonal imbalances.
Skin care specialist Kelly Curtis said mineral products had developed significantly since the "peanut butter-like" zinc available 30 years ago.
"People see that it``s got titanium oxide or zinc and it brings back memories of that thick, coloured stuff from the 1980s," the New Zealand Herald quoted Dalton Kelly of the Cancer Society, as saying.
But the products really have improved and by using physical blockers rather than chemical sunscreens, you are minimising the amount of chemicals going into your body."
Kelly is concerned people who buy new products with a high SPF rating may fall into a false sense of security.
"The problem is, people put it on and think they are set for the day. They treat it like a shield of armour. But they still need to be re-applying it regularly, especially if they go for a swim," added Kelly.