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Sunscreen Prevents Skin Aging New Research Shows

by Will / November, 20 2013 01:00
Truck driver whose left side of his face had increased sun exposure
A truck driver whose left side had increased sun exposure through the driver's side window © New England Journal of Medicine

Research shows that sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer and now there's also proof that consistent regular use wards off skin aging. So it's not just us shouting all the time about the importance of sunblock - even though we do love to do it - there is real research supporting the health benefits of sunscreen.

So you know all those anti-aging serums out there? Turns out what we all really need is a bottle of good old sunblock.

Australia: A Suncare Leader

The research is out of Austraila, a country that researches the effects of sun exposure a lot, which makes sense seeing as Australia is known to consistently have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. In fact, according to Cancer Council Australia

...the incidence of skin cancer is one of the highest in the world, two to three times the rates in Canada, the US and the UK.

Research Results: Sunblock Is Anti-Aging

This quote from the study sums it up well:

Results: The daily sunscreen group showed no detectable increase in skin aging after 4.5 years. Skin aging from baseline to the end of the trial was 24% less in the daily sunscreen group than in the discretionary sunscreen group (relative odds, 0.76 [95% CI, 0.59 to 0.98]). β-Carotene supplementation had no overall effect on skin aging, although contrasting associations were seen in subgroups with different severity of aging at baseline.

4.5 years and no skin aging, that's pretty incredible. It certainly makes using sunscreen every day a great idea. Of course, we recommend Block Island Organics sunscreen for its non-toxic mineral formula.

Research Methodology: 900+ Adults Tested

Time for some of the finer points. The study involved 903 fair skinned adults under the age of 55. The subjects were then split into four groups to study the effects of consistent sunscreen use as well as β-carotene. At the outset researchers examined the state of the subjects skin. Then one group used SPF 15+ sunscreen on their head, neck, arms and hands every morning and after bathing, sweating excessively or several hours of sun exposure.  Another group was asked to use sunscreen at their discretion. These groups were further split into either taking a β-Carotene supplement or taking a placebo. 4.5 years later, they re-evaluated the subjects skin and that's how they got the aforementioned results.

Full Research Details

If you're interested in more specifics, here are a couple of links for you:

Additional Suncare Facts

Pretty compelling stuff and for more evidence why sunscreen is great, check out our post on some other recent research: "New Research Shows Sunscreen Prevents Skin Cancer and Saves Superhero Gene" and our suncare smarts articles.

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