Lifestyle & Belief

Daily sunscreen use slows aging process, study says


Rick Johnson applies sunscreen during a visit to the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on June 20, 2006.


Joe Raedle

Forget Oil of Olay.

Slathering some sunscreen on every day can also help slow the aging process, a new study finds.

The study of 900 young and middle-aged men and women showed that those who used sunscreen at least once a day all year saw 24 percent less aging on the backs of their hands than those who didn't.

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The years-long study is the first of its kind and the first to directly tie sunscreen use to protect against wrinkles.

"It's a very important study," Henry Lim, a dermatologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit and member of the American Academy of Dermatology, told USA Today.

The research also shows that even sun-lovers who neglected their skin for years can benefit from daily sunscreen use in middle age.

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“And of course, along with seeking shade and wearing clothing cover, sunscreen is a mainstay of sun protection,” Professor Adele Green of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research told CTV News. “It prevents sunburn in the short-term and skin cancer in the long-term.”

Dermotologists have long urged year-round sunscreen use, but few heed their call.

Skin experts are hoping research like this will bring more attention to the issue and change habits.

"Maybe sheer vanity will encourage young people to be proactive and use their sunscreen, because the cancer fear doesn't seem to be getting through to them," Deborah Sarnoff, a New York City dermatologist and a senior vice president at the Skin Cancer Foundation, told USA Today.