Sunscreen: Not Just for Sun Protection
We all know that applying sunscreen every day is essential to protect your skin against the sun’s harmful UV rays and other environmental aggressors. Sun protection can also help reduce the symptoms of environmental aging, such as dryness and hyperpigmentation. Broad-spectrum sunscreen helps slow the breakdown of collagen in the skin. By preserving this essential structural component of the skin, youthful firmness, tone and texture can be more preserved.
A 2013 Australian study provides additional scientific support for daily application as a way to slow down aging in the skin.
Researchers in the study analyzed the skin of over 900 people under the age of 56. Participants who were told to wear sunscreen every day for four years had a 24-percent reduction in skin aging compared to those who applied sunscreen at their own discretion.
The study also found that not only does sunscreen help reduce the effects of aging, but it also plays an important role in helping prevent cancer.
When you apply sunscreen, follow these tips for optimal sun protection and anti-aging benefits:
- Apply one ounce of sunscreen (enough to fill a shot glass) to all areas of the body that will be exposed to the sun.
- Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going into the sun.
- Sunscreen should be the last product applied to the body and the face.
- Reapply sunscreen after two hours in the sun, swimming, sweating or towel drying.
- Apply sunscreen every day, even if you don’t anticipate being outside. Even on a cloudy day, 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate your skin.
- Find a sunscreen that not only offers broad-spectrum SPF protection, but also has a blend of antioxidants, soothing ingredients, and hydrators for optimal anti-aging benefits.
Article by Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, a world renowned skincare expert and founder of the Inclusive Health movement. Click here to learn more about Dr. Murad.