For those of you out there on the neverending search for the next miracle product that will keep your skin smooth and taut through the years, we’ve got bad news: There is no fountain of youth. If there was, GPS probably would’ve found it by now. But research out of hot hot Australia says that using sunscreen regularly could slow the aging of your skin.
This doesn’t mean a splash here and a dab there — we’re talking pretty much every day, slathering on the screen on your face, hands and anywhere you want to stay smooth. Because even if you’re not on a beach in say, Australia, if your daily routine takes you outside, ultraviolet rays can find you, notes the Associated Press, even through car windows.
Those rays build up and result in damage, but sunscreen fights off UVA and can help. Researchers in the study, which was backed by Australia’s government, made casts out of participants’ hands to catalog the fine lines and wrinkles there that are signs of sun-caused aging.
After 4.5 years, those in the study (published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine) who used sunscreen regularly had younger looking hands, with 24% less skin aging than the people who only used it some of the time. It doesn’t seem to matter if you’re young or middle-aged, as both groups had skin-saving effects.
“These are meaningful cosmetic benefits,” lead scientist Dr. Adele Green of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research told the AP. As an added, and pretty huge benefit, she says less sun-caused aging decreases the risk of skin cancer in the long term.
Women are in luck as many moisturizers and cosmetics now include sunscreen, but everyone can benefit from sun protection on any exposed skin on a daily basis.
Looking good and preventing cancer is the kind of twofer that should make even the most skeptical bargain-hunter happy in the long run.
Sunscreen slows skin aging, if used often enough [Associated Press]