Sunscreen and Anti-aging

woman applying sunscreen

If you’re like most of us, sunscreen reminds you of family trips to the beach.  You remember squeezing the gooey liquid into your hands and hastily applying it all over your body.  “Is it all rubbed in?” you would embarrassingly ask your friends before jumping into the pool, only to reapply after toweling off.  

Over the past few years, research has come out to prove how wearing sunscreen everyday can drastically reduce the effects of aging. An Australian study from 2013 proved that regular sunscreen protects against “photoaging” – spotting, wrinkling, and loss of elasticity caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays.

There are two type of harmful rays that affect the skin.  The sun produces UV-A and UV-B rays.  Back in the 90s, before serious research into skin cancer, most sunscreens only protected against UV-A rays.  People applied “sun-tan lotions” that provided little to no protection.

The study’s leader, Dr. Adele Green, says that “Skin surface patterns reflect the severity of the sun’s damage to the deeper skin, especially to the elastic fibers and collagen.”  Not only does regular sunscreen use protect against skin cancer, but it provides cosmetic benefits.

So, yes, wear sunscreen!  Sunscreen is your best defense against the cosmetic signs of aging.  With such rapid developments in the skincare market, you can find products without the tart smell or putrid slime reminiscent of your childhood summers.  

However, not all products are perfect.  Almost all sunscreens are made with artificial chemicals.  You’ll want to purchase products that are free of oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate (a type of vitamin A).  Also, while high SPFs are appealing, it’s actually better to stick with one 50 or below.  

It’s easy to defend your skin against wrinkles and spots with an light layer of sunscreen.  You can even apply a light sunscreen before applying foundation and makeup, and it becomes an easy step in your morning routine.  And always ensure that your sunscreens covers both UV-A and UV-B rays!  

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