A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine shows sunscreen may prevent skin aging and possibly help reverse it. Up until now there has been little evidence to support the theory that sunscreen could delay aging. Photoaging is linked to coarse and loose skin, increased wrinkling and visible small blood vessels. It also can contribute to white and black heads on the face.
Researchers compared 900 men and women all under the age of 55 in Australia. Half of the group was told to apply SPF 15+ sunscreen every morning to the head, neck, arms and hands. They were also told to apply it after any heavy sweating, swimming, or spending more than a couple of hours outdoors. The other half was told to use the sunscreen at their discretion. In addition to the sunscreen, they were all randomly chosen to take either a B-carotene supplement, which could possibly protect against photoaging, or a placebo supplement.
At the beginning of this study, 58 percent of the participants had an average amount of photoaging, which dropped to 49 percent by the end of the study. Participants applying sunscreen everyday were less likely to show signs of aging by 24 percent compared to individuals using the sunscreen at their discretion.
There was no difference in the skin of the participants who took the carotene and those who took the placebo, but authors said they couldn’t rule out a small increase or decrease in skin aging as a result of the supplement.
For more ways to protect your skin, check out these New Ways to Protect Yourself From the Sun.