“According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, practicing sun protection year-round can prevent sun damage and might even reverse some of the damage that has already been done to your skin.
A June 3, 2013 study published in the American College of Physicians’ Annals of Internal Medicine is the first research in humans to show conclusively that sunscreen can help prevent photoaging – premature aging caused by the sun. Although there has been significant indirect evidence suggesting that sunscreen has anti-aging benefits, this study is the first clinical human trial to show it directly.
Researchers compared skin aging in 900 men and women from Australia over a four-year period from 1992 to 1996. They found that daily sunscreen use significantly slows skin aging, even in middle-aged men and women. Study participants who used sunscreen daily were less likely to have wrinkles and dark spots after 4.5 years than participants who did not regularly use sunscreen.
Daily use of a broad-spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher can help reduce aging of the skin caused by sun damage. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun cause more than 90 percent of the visible signs of aging, which include wrinkles, rough patches, sagging, and skin discoloration.”
"Deborah S. Sarnoff, MD, Senior Vice President, The Skin Cancer Foundation"
It is amazing that with all the information available on the positive use of sunscreen, I found a recent online survey, reporting that 84% of the 1,126 women surveyed didn’t use sunscreen as a part of their daily beauty routine.
A recent Google search revealed the following sunscreen myths along with their truths.
Myth 1. The higher the SPF, the longer the protection
Truth: High SPF numbers can lead to a false sense of security. SPFs higher than 50 only provide 2% more protection than SPFs 25-30, which provide 97-98% protection against UVB rays. And all sunscreens need to be reapplied, especially if you are outside for more than 2 hours.
Myth 2. As long as you block UVB rays, which cause burning, you are safe.
Truth: You need broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA (aging) and UVB (burning) rays.
Myth 3. Sunscreen provides adequate protection.
Truth: You must take additional measures to adequately protect yourself. Those include:
- Wear a hat with a wide brim.
- Apply a lip balm with an SPF of 15-30
- Wear clothing made of a protective fabric with an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) of 15-50+
- Be aware of skin care products and medications that may make you more sensitive to sunburn.
- Stay out of the sun between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Myth 4. A tan makes you look healthy.
Truth: A tan is a scar. Since ultraviolet light is a carcinogen, there is no safe amount of tanning. [Wavelengths of both ultraviolet A (UVA 320-400nm) and ultraviolet B (UVB 280-320nm) radiation have been implicated as carcinogens (cancer causing agents), though their methods of action are distinct.] clinuvel.com/science-of-skin/skin-sun/skin-cancer/uv-damage-and-carcinogenesis
The risk of melanoma and other skin cancers increases with each tanning session. Did you know that melanoma is the second most common form of cancer for young people ages 15-29. It is the fastest growing cancer in the country and unlike most other cancers, rates are increasing instead of declining.
Myth 5. Indoor tanning booths are a safer way to tan.
Truth: A May 2014, study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, demonstrated a significant increased risk of developing melanoma with exposure to 10 indoor tanning sessions.
Myth 6. You need both chemical and physical blockers to provide protection against UVA and UVB rays.
Truth: If 7-8% of broad spectrum blockers such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are in a product, they provide both UVA and UVB protection. In addition, a complex of antioxidant vitamins provide additional protection from free radical effects of sun’s damaging rays. Unlike all the other chemical ingredients, which absorb the sun’s rays and can cause skin sensitivity, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide reflect the UVA and UVB rays of the sun.