A study conducted by researchers at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in Brisbane, Australia has measured the effectiveness of sunscreen for prevention of photo aging. Their research provides some of the strongest evidence for the effectiveness of daily sunscreen use.
Dr. Adele Green and her colleagues analyzed previous research done with 903 adults, all under age 55, in a 4-year period. They tracked the appearance of each subject’s hands during the course of the study, looking for changes in skin pigmentation, wrinkles and other signs of aging. Some subjects were told to use sunscreen daily, while others could apply sunscreen as they felt necessary.
For the subjects who applied sunscreen daily, the results were favorable. Over the 4-year period, they showed no detectable changes in skin condition on their hands (taking into account other factors related to sun exposure) and they were 24 percent less likely than the other group to exhibit increased signs of aging. The anti-aging effects of sunscreen were evident in both young and middle aged patients.
The takeaway: Sunscreen not only helps protect against skin cancer, it has real cosmetic benefits. You can find the study, which was funded by the Australian Government, in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.