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STUDY: Daily sunscreen prevents the development of wrinkles

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 4th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Even if you don't fear skin cancer, there's a new, salient reason to apply sunscreen to your face and hands daily. Doctors have found that the regular application of sunscreen helps stop the development of wrinkles as well.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "There 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 study Adele Green says.

"Protecting yourself from skin cancer by using sunscreen regularly has the added bonus of keeping you looking younger."

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, the study found. They also had 24 percent less skin aging than people who used sunscreen less frequently.

The study is the first of its kind. The only scientific evidence for the beneficial effects of sun screen previously was the wrinkling found 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 reapplications or to use sunscreen at their discretion.

Silicone impressions were then 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 younger than 55 ensured that the changes noted were primarily due to photo-aging rather than chronological aging.

Researchers found those using daily sunscreen were 24 percent less likely to show increased wrinkling over the period.

These statistics proved true regardless of sex, age, skin color, occupation, skin cancer history, weight and smoking. Everyone was found to have 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.

"The more important issue is applying the sunscreen well and reapplying it often," Green says.

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