Protecting ourselves from skin cancer starts with wearing sunscreen year-round, limiting sun exposure between 10 am and 4 pm, and checking regularly for odd or changing moles and freckles. But we can do more. Here are a few unexpected ways to decrease our odds for skin cancer.

  • First: Take a shower at night. Microscopic particles from smog accumulate on exposed skin. They contain DNA-damaging toxins, so letting them sit may raise your risk for skin cancer. That’s why dermatologists at the Yale School of Medicine suggest that when you get home at night, wash your exposed skin with a mild cleanser, including your face, arms, and the tops of your flip-flop feet.
  • Also: Maintain a healthy weight. Several studies suggest a link between obesity and skin cancer. That’s because overweight people often have high blood sugar levels which can cause chronic inflammation in the skin.
  • Another way to decrease your risk of skin cancer: Drink pomegranate juice, and eat blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. They’re packed with the antioxidants that fight against skin-damaging free radicals created by UV rays.
  • Also: Eat more curry. The spice that makes curry yellow is turmeric, which studies say slows the development of skin cancer.
  • Finally: Watch your alcohol intake. According to the journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, alcohol depletes the protective pigments that shield our skin from UV rays.

You can use these tips year-round to protect yourself and your family from the dangers of skin cancer.