A new study from Australia has revealed that using sunscreen every day may help protect against ageing skin.
Although the benefits of sunscreen are well know when it comes to preventing sunburns and lowering skin cancer risks, researchers said rigorous studies were lacking on how sunscreen use affects the signs of skin ageing, or photoageing.
Dr. Adele Green from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and her colleagues analyzed data from 903 adults younger than 55 over a 4 year period.
Half of them were told to put a broad spectrum sunscreen (which protects against both UVA and UVB rays) of SPF 15 or greater on their head, neck, arms and hands every morning, after bathing, and every time they spent a few hours in the sun or sweated profusely. The others used sunscreen according to their own discretion.
Researchers calculated the daily sunscreen group showed 24 percent less skin ageing than those in the discretionary group by study’s end. Most of those in the daily sunscreen group ended up using it at least three to four times per week. Sunscreen’s anti-ageing properties were observed in all participants who used it daily, regardless of age, meaning adults up to 55 were also protected.
Green says that she hopes the new study convinces more people to wear sunscreen.
“It has been a source of frustration for us that for some sections of the community, the sun-safe message does not seem to be getting through,” said Green. “We now know that protecting yourself from skin cancer by using sunscreen has the added bonus of keeping you looking young.”
Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation from the sun is thought to be responsible for ageing and wrinkling of the skin, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, while ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are the main culprit behind sunburn. Both increase your risk for skin cancers including deadly melanoma.