A recent research has provided with strong evidence that use of sunscreen almost daily could slow down aging of skin.

UV rays which give rise to wrinkles as well as other aging signs could gather up damage anytime that you are in sun and they can even come through your car windows.

One unique study is used by researchers in Australia to measure if sunscreens do help during the onslaught. The participants made casts of the outer side of hands for measuring wrinkles and fine lines which give an indication of sun-caused aging.

The research showed that even though you are middle-aged already, it is not late to start applying some sunscreen, and not only at the pool or beach. This study of nine hundred people below 55 compared the ones who were assigned randomly to use the sunscreen daily with those who applied it when, according to them, it was necessary.

Use of sunscreen daily was tough, some participants cheated a bit. But when four and a half years elapsed, the ones who regularly used the sunscreen had their hands looking younger, with 24% skin aging less than the ones who applied it for some time only.

The study concluded that both the middle-aged and young adults underwent skin-saving effects. The study was financed by the Australian government then published on Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine journal.

A lead scientist at Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Dr Adele Green, said that those were significant cosmetic benefits. Further she said that more importantly, in long term, reduced un-caused aging reduces skin cancer risks.

Use of year-round sunscreen has been urged by dermatologists, especially for the skin on face, women’s upper chest and neck and the hands, which is constantly exposed. Women might have somewhat better luck as cosmetics industry has also the sunscreen added to the moisturizers and makeup. It is hoped by skin experts that this new study will draw attention to this issue.

A dermatology professor at University of California, Dr. Richard Glogau, who wasn’t involved at all with this Australian research, said that regular sunscreen use does have an effect which is unquestionably protective.

He said that consumers could get a two-in-one package with sunscreen, they get something to keep themselves healthier as well as better-looking.

Near Philadelphia, patients who think that they are not in sunshine long enough that it would cause their expanded blood vessels, brown spots and wrinkles, are lectured by Dr Eric Bernstein in his own clinic. He said that every day, even 15 minutes add up to many years, and if 1 sunscreen bottle is being using by them in a year, then probably that is not enough.

This news has come at a time when tough rules for sunscreens by US Food and Drug Administration are taking their effect. It is first time they have ensured that the sunscreens labeled as broad-spectrum do protect against sunburn causing UV rays as well as the UV-A rays which are deeper penetrating and associated with skin cancers and premature wrinkles.

Sunburns, particularly in the childhood, are associated with great risk of melanoma which is deadliest of skin cancers. But as a whole, UV exposure does play its role in both melanoma as well as other cancers of skin which are normally curable but could be disfiguring when not dealt with at early stage.

One of world’s highest skin cancer rates are in Australia and the aging research stems really from a bigger study of cancer-prevention in 1990s. The researchers involved kept a track of participants for one decade before reaching the conclusion that use of sunscreen regularly lowered the cancer risk indeed.

The team of Green dug through the old files of study in order to examine that what photo aging is, by using casts that are made of hands of some participants.

Owing to the support of elastic fibers, the skin can stretch and recoil too. This elasticity is damaged by UV rays. When enough damage is done, the top skin starts to wrinkle and sag. There are fine and hardly visible lines over the skin of young people. Fibers which are sun-damaged correlate with the visible lines, with some cross-hatch pattern. The hand casts permitted researchers of Australia to rank that damage amount.

Researchers got to know who used sunscreens by weighing bottles of sunscreen, which were given by sunscreen maker, periodically. Team of Green calculated that 3/4th of people assigned for use of sunscreen daily applied it actually in 3 or 4 days in a week. According to only 1/3rd of comparison group, sunscreen was used that often.

Also, this study tested if a supplement of diet, beta carotene, may slow down photoaging, but didn’t find any evidence that this supplement did help.

Sunscreens are not perfect, therefore, do not forget the other advice of dermatologists: limit the exposure during 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. as these are top UV hours, and wear  protective clothing, sunglasses and hat if possible.

Glasgow of UCSF noted that the sunscreens today tend to be superior to the ones used 2 decades ago at the time this study started, so meaning that people who used it regularly might see increased benefit now.

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