A new study from Australia finds that consistent, long-term use of sunscreen can help protect and keep skin youthful
In terms of skincare, sunscreen might be the biggest bargain around. Not only has long-term use been shown to decrease the rate of skin cancer but a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that daily application can help slow aging as well.
Researchers at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Australia analyzed data from 903 adults 55 and younger over a four-year period. Participants had casts made of the top of their hands to measure fine lines and wrinkles that signal sun-caused aging. Those who used sunscreen regularly had younger-looking hands, with 24 percent less skin aging than individuals who slathered it on only some of the time.
Dermatologists have always recommended year-round sunscreen use — especially for the face, hands, neck, and upper chest. “I’m fond of telling people that if they start using sunscreen on a regular basis and [nothing] else, over time they’ll see an improvement in the appearance of their skin,” observes Dr. Richard Glogau, a clinical professor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco. And it should be applied daily, not just when going outside or to the pool.
So although it’s never too late – in the study, both young adults and the middle-aged experienced skin-saving effects — the sooner you begin using it, the better.
Woman applying sunscreen by moodboardphotography on Flickr.