Daily Sunscreen Prevents Middle-Aged Skin from Aging Over
They used sunscreen with just a protection factors of
15+ but used it daily
June 4, 2013 – How would you like to say your skin
has not aged a day in four and a half years? That’s what some
middle-aged Aussies can say, after they participated in a study using
sun screen daily.
The researchers conclude that those in the study
who used sunscreen daily showed no detectable increase in skin aging
over 4.5 years.
Those in the study were younger than 55 and were
randomly assigned to a group asked to apply sun-protection factor 15+
sunscreen to their head, neck, arms, and hands each morning and after
bathing, after spending more than a few hours in the sun, or after
sweating heavily or to a group asked to use sunscreen at their
Participants were also randomly assigned to receive
daily β-carotene or placebo pills. Impressions were taken of the backs
of participants’ hands at the beginning of the study and 4.5 years
later. The impressions were examined for microscopic changes of skin
aging by assessors who did not know to which study groups the
participants had been assigned.
The goal was to determine whether regular use of
sunscreen compared with discretionary use or β-carotene supplements
compared with placebo retard skin aging
Those using sunscreen daily reduced their aging by
24 percent over the discretionary group using sunscreen and placebo.
The study in Nambour, Australia (latitude 26° S)
concluded regular sunscreen use retards skin aging in healthy,
middle-aged men and women. No overall effect of β-carotene on skin aging
was identified but, they wrote, “further study is required to
definitively exclude potential benefit or potential harm.”
They also noted, “Some outcome data were missing,
and power to detect moderate treatment effects was modest.”
They study, “Sunscreen and Prevention of Skin
Aging: A Randomized Trial”, appears today in the Annals of Internal
Medicine. It was written by researchers Maria Celia B. Hughes,
MMedSci; Gail M. Williams, PhD; Peter Baker, PhD; and Adèle C. Green,
Primary funding of the study was provided by
theNational Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
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