You hear it all the time – slather on the sunscreen before you leave the house. You might be delusional and think you are immune to the sun’s harmful rays, but skin cancer is very real. And, using sunscreen is very beneficial for another reason near and dear to most women. It keeps us looking younger. Now it has been proven sunscreen stops wrinkles dead in their tracks.
A new Australian study has found the daily use of sunscreen significantly slows the aging of skin caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays..
‘This has been one of those beauty tips you often hear quoted, but for the first time we can back it with science,’ Queensland Institute of Medical Research senior scientist and lead author of the trial Adele Green said.
The study found that adults who regularly applied broad spectrum sunscreen – which protects against both ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays – over a four-and-a-half year period had no detectable aging of the skin.
They also had 24 per cent less skin aging than people who used sunscreen less frequently, according to study.
The randomized, controlled trial, published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine, is the first study of its kind. Previously, the only scientific evidence for the beneficial effects of sun screen on wrinkling was in hairless mice.
The researchers randomly assigned 903 adults, ages 25-55, to use SPF15+ every day on their face, arms and hands with frequent reapplication or to use sunscreen at their discretion.
Silicone impressions, or molds, were taken from the backs of all participants’ hands at the start and end of the trial to grade the damage over the four-and-a-half years of the study.
The adults were all aged under 55 to ensure the changes noted were primarily due to photo-aging rather than chronological aging.
The researchers found those using daily sunscreen were 24 per cent less likely to show increased wrinkling over the period.
Regardless of sex, age, skin color, occupation, skin cancer history, weight and smoking, everyone benefited from daily sunscreen use. ‘And the study has shown that up to middle age, it’s not too late to make a difference,’ Green said.
Any sunscreen stronger than SPF15+ might have had only a marginal additional effect, according to Green as SPF15+ blocks about 94 percent of ultraviolet B rays, which are responsible for sunburn, while one with an SPF of 40 filters about 97.5 percent.
And don’t forget this important warning. Apply sunscreen well and reapply often.
Previous research suggested that sunscreen could lull sun-worshipers into a false sense of safety, and see them staying out longer in the sun.
‘The sunscreen has to be applied thick enough and in all areas to be effective,’ Dr. Thomas Ruenger, a professor of dermatology at Boston University, told NBC News.
Ruenger recommends using a broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 20 or 30 and reapplying every two hours and after sweating or bathing.
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