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Harvard Study Finds Women Who Protect Their Skin From the Sun Look Up to 20 Years Younger

by kelly / March, 16 2016 01:30

There's no denying it - protecting your skin from the sun makes you look younger.

Up to 20 years younger as decreed by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) after a study from Harvard University's medical school was presented at their conference.

Harvard: Only Sun Protection Makes a Difference

The Harvard University study was done in partnership with Olay. In the study 200 women of different ages were surveyed - their lifestyle habits from sleep to exercise to water consumption to time in the sun were observed. Of all these habits, the study found that ONLY avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen affected skin health. Not drinking water, not sleeping more, not exercising.

While those are all undoubtedly healthy practices, when it comes to skin aging the study found sun protection to be the ONLY THING that made a difference.

Sun Exposure Ages Skin

In the study they discovered that women who loved being in the sun (and looked older) had more active CDKN2A genes in their skin and that CDKN2A activity is associated with skin cells being more "tired out".

According to Dr. Alexa Kimball, Professor of Dermatology at Harvard Medical School:

"These latest findings comparing UV exposed and UV protected skin across multiple decades show just how dramatic the extent of UV skin damage can be over a lifetime."

Sun Protection MUST Be a Daily Habit

Keeping skin youthful is not just about protecting your skin from the sun during summer vacation - it must be a daily habit. According to Dr Frauke Neuser, principal scientist at Olay:

"This research gives us a detailed picture of the effect of sun exposure on skin ageing and illustrate the importance of protection on a daily basis."

Incidental UV damage can occur everyday simply by being out in the sun running errands or even sitting next to a glass window.

Thankfully there is an easy, effective and affordable way to protect your skin everyday: wear sunblock or a moisturizer that offers broad spectrum SPF protection daily.

With the right suncare regimen, anyone can become an "exceptional skin ager" according to Dr. Kimball. Now that's some good news!

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