We’ve already talked about how we should be applying sunscreen today (in lotion form please!), but now it’s time to delve a little bit more into why. Yes, we all want to protect ourselves from skin cancer and dark spots and wrinkles, but according to a new study, year round use of sunscreen can significantly slow the aging of skin.
Australian researchers have found that when adults regularly use broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects both UVA and UVB rays, they are less likely to show increased wrinkling over a four-and-a-half year period than adults who use sunscreen less often.
"We weren't surprised by the findings, but we now have the science to back it up," says Adele Green, a senior scientist at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and lead author of the randomized, controlled trial.
The only previous scientific evidence for the beneficial effects of sunscreen on wrinkling was performed using hairless mice. But to conduct this study, the researchers randomly assigned 903 adults from ages 25-55 to either use a broad-spectrum sunscreen everyday with frequent reapplications or to use sunscreen at their own discretion.
The adults using daily sunscreen were 24 percent less likely to show increased aging, regardless of sex, age, skin color, occupation, skin cancer history, weight and smoking. The sunscreen used in the study has a sun protection factor, or SPF, of 15. Anything stronger might have had only a marginal additional effect. A sunscreen with an SPF of 15 blocks about 94 percent of UVB rays, which are responsible for sunburn, while one with an SPF of 40 filters about 97.5 percent.
Need any more reasons to start using sunscreen?
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