Comment
50
Tweet
4
Print
RSS Feeds

Sunscreen slows skin aging, if used often enough

Thursday - 6/6/2013, 5:50pm  ET

This undated handout photo provided by the Queensland Institute of Medical Research is of a skin cast showing a high level of sun-caused skin aging. If worry about skin cancer doesn't make you slop on sunscreen, maybe vanity will: New research provides some of the strongest evidence to date that near-daily sunscreen use can slow the aging of your skin. The new study, from Australia's Sunshine Coast, used a unique step to measure whether sunscreens really help that constant onslaught. Researchers compared fine lines on the hands of hundreds of people who, for more than four years, had been assigned to rub on sunscreen daily or only when they deemed it necessary. (AP Photo/Queensland Institute of Medical Research)

LAURAN NEERGAARD
AP Medical Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- If worry about skin cancer doesn't make you slather on sunscreen, maybe vanity will: New research provides some of the strongest evidence to date that near-daily sunscreen use can slow the aging of your skin.

Ultraviolet rays that spur wrinkles and other signs of aging can quietly build up damage pretty much anytime you're in the sun -- a lunchtime stroll, school recess, walking the dog -- and they even penetrate car windows.

Researchers in sunny Australia used a unique study to measure whether sunscreens really help amid that onslaught. Participants had casts made of the top of their hands to measure fine lines and wrinkles that signal sun-caused aging.

The research found that even if you're already middle-aged, it's not too late to start rubbing some sunscreen on -- and not just at the beach or pool. The study of 900 people under 55 compared those randomly assigned to use sunscreen daily to those who used it when they deemed it necessary.

Daily sunscreen use was tough -- participants did cheat a little. But after 4
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.