A new study from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research has found that middle-aged subjects who applied sunscreen most days had no detectable photo-ageing of the skin.
The study included 900 participants, aged 18 to 55. Participants were aged under 55 to ensure that photo-ageing, rather than chronological-ageing, was the major cause of skin changes. Half of the participants were required to use SPF15+ on their hands, arms and face most days. The other half were instructed to use sunscreen as they normally would (which, in many cases, was not at all).
The backs of the participants hands were tested at the start and the end of the study to measure damage over a four-and-a-half year period. The study found that those who were in the sunscreen-use group showed no signs of photo-ageing on the backs of their hands. They also showed 24 per cent less overall skin ageing than the group who were not instructed to use sunscreen.
Dermatologists and beauty professionals have long vouched for the effectiveness of sunscreen in protecting the skin from signs of ageing – this study is the first to prove them right.
The full report can be read at www.annals.org