Scientific report after scientific report have found that there are two main ways to keeping one’s skin young, smooth, and youthful: avoid the sun and protect your skin from the sun when you must be beneath its rays.
The great news about this recurring finding is that it shows us that it is nearly never too late to start staying out of the sun and protecting your skin from that big ball of fire in the sky. A recent study out of Australia, where, let’s face it, the people know a thing or two about the sun, tracked mostly fair-skinned 900 women and men aged 54 and younger and their sunscreen use for four and a half years. The researchers found that daily use of sunscreen significantly retarded the aging process of the participants’ skin. They reported that even middle-aged users were able to drastically slow this aging process through this regular use of sunscreen.
“The study has shown that up to middle age, it’s not too late to make a difference,” said study co-author Adele Green, lab head and senior research fellow with the Queensland Institute of Medical Research at Royal Brisbane Hospital. “This has been one of those beauty tips you often hear quoted, but for the first time we can back it with science. Protecting yourself from skin cancer by using sunscreen regularly has the added bonus of keeping you looking younger.”
The 900 participants were divided into two groups. One was instructed to apply SPF 15 sunscreen to their necks, faces, arms, and hands each morning and after being in water, sweating heavily, or being outside for two or three hours. The other group was simply asked to use sunscreen when and if they wished to. Some of the subjects were smokers and some worked outside.
Though sunscreen helped both groups, the first group, with its regimented use earned the greatest benefits.