According to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, people instructed to apply sunscreen daily showed 24 percent less skin aging over four years than those told to use sunscreen as they normally would.
The anti-aging properties of sunscreen were witnessed in all daily-use participants, no matter what age they were.
“This is a good news study because for young and middle-aged adults, it’s never too late to take care of your skin,” said Adele Green, PhD, lead study author and lab head at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia.
This particular study covered more than 900 adults younger than 55 living in Australia. All study participants were given a sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher. Half were told to wear sunscreen daily, while the others were instructed to use it like normal. By the end of the study, 77 percent of those told to use sunscreen daily were using it at least three to four days a week, compared to 33 percent of the control group.
Skin aging was measured by calculating photoaging, which refers to the negative effects on the skin from long-term exposure to sunlight. Photoaging is linked to coarser and looser skin, increased wrinkling and dryness, elevated visible small blood vessels and whiteheads or blackheads on facial skin.
Those who did not use sunscreen daily had a higher risk of actinic keratoses, or thick patches of skin, and skin cancer.
“This is great fodder for us to encourage people to use sunscreen,” said Jeffrey Dover, a dermatologist in Chestnut Hill, Mass. “I will quote this paper every day.”
The results have a double significance since the reduced skin damage from UV rays also translates to a lower risk of skin cancer.
At home, look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Note that even products labeled “waterproof” or “sweatproof” only for 40 minutes while swimming or sweating. Greenville Dermatology’s retail store carries a wide selection of broad-spectrum sunscreens that are ideal for everyday use. Stop by today or call (864) 242-5872 to make an appointment with a dermatologist.