Not everything under the sun is good for you. Excessive ultra violet rays from the sun can make you look older before your time. But the good news is that sunscreen — when used regularly under a broad spectrum – can reduce those unsightly lines, wrinkles and creases on your face that make your emotions cringe. In other words, slather up!
Australian researchers found that when adults regularly applied sunscreen which protects against both ultraviolet B and ultraviolet A rays, they were less likely to show increased wrinkling over a 4 1/2-year period than adults who used sunscreen less often.
Made in the Shade
Cosmetic surgeons weren’t surprised by the findings. Many of them have longed professed the dangers from exposure to the sun over long periods of time. But now, doctors have the science to back up their claims. That’s because the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was randomized and controlled, which is considered the gold standard of scientific research. Previously, the only scientific evidence for the beneficial effects of sunscreen on wrinkling was in hairless mice.
The researchers randomly assigned 903 adults, ages 25-55, directions to use a broad spectrum sunscreen every day with frequent reapplications or to use sunscreen at their discretion. The adults using daily sunscreen were 24 percent less likely to show increased aging, according to the study. Regardless of sex, age, skin color, occupation, skin cancer history, weight and smoking, everyone benefitted from daily sunscreen use.
The sunscreen in the study had a protection factor, or SPF, of 15. Anything stronger might have had only a marginal additional effect, say the researchers. A sunscreen with an SPF 15 blocks about 94 percent of ultraviolet B rays, which are responsible for sunburn, while one with an SPF of 40 filters about 97.5 percent.
Now that you understand the importance of sunscreen, take action and apply often. Past studies have shown that people who use sunscreen can be lulled into a false sense of safety, staying out longer in the sun without applying sunscreen properly.
If you have already been burned, you can have it made in the shade again before you know it. There are a variety of cosmetic treatments like laser resurfacing, chemical peels and injectable fillers that can help to reverse the signs of sun damage and age. A board certified plastic surgeon can discuss the pros and cons of any cosmetic procedure. Contact Hilger Facial Plastic Surgery of Edina, MN, at (952) 854-0404, for a pressure-free consultation on the protocols, risks and realistic outcomes.