Non-Profit Trusted Source of Non-Commercial Health Information
The Original Voice of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, Preventative, and Regenerative Medicine
logo logo
Skin-Hair Aging Anti-Aging Anti-Aging Tip Sheets

Why Sunscreen is One of the Best Anti-Aging Defenses

1 year, 4 months ago

8334  0
Posted on Mar 17, 2023, 1 p.m.

Many believe a significant quantity of Botox, hydration and outrageously pricey skin creams will work against aging. Today's anti-aging market is vast and profitable since no one wants to see their skin deteriorate in front of their eyes. Yet, you don't have to look worldwide for a unique serum that could work. By committing to sunscreen, you can genuinely stop sun-related aging right now. However, not just any sunscreen but sunscreen that relies on nutrients and minerals instead of chemical reactions. Your sensitive cells will stay healthier and full longer if you keep those UV rays away from them. Therefore, this article will discuss why sunscreen is one of the best anti-aging defenses and why you should include it in your skincare routine.

How does the sun affect our skin, and why is it essential to apply sunscreen?

Although sunlight is necessary for producing vitamin D, too much sun exposure causes premature aging. Furthermore, it can cause skin cancer and the degradation of extracellular components like collagen, fibronectin, elastin, and proteoglycans. However, applying sunscreen to exposed skin might shield it from damaging UV radiation. Sunscreens combine multiple chemicals to absorb, block or deflect UV light, thus protecting the skin.

The skin is shielded from sunlight by two different substances: one that reflects UV rays and the other that absorbs them. Reflectors are compounds that, when placed on the skin's surface, reflect UV rays, keeping them from penetrating the skin. At the same time, sunlight is absorbed by absorbers, effective against a particular spectrum of sunlight. Thus, they can be used singly or in combination to serve as sunscreen. Furthermore, you should use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (SPF 15) to enjoy the most benefits.

Types of UV radiation

UVA, UVB, and UVC are the three radiation types found in ultraviolet rays. While UVA and UVB radiation both cause skin damage, research has shown that UVA rays speed the skin's aging process, resulting in wrinkles, altered skin texture, and uneven pigmentation. Skin burning is caused mainly by UVB.

What is the proof that sunscreen is one of the best anti-aging defenses?

The anti-aging science is constantly developing, making groundbreaking research and discoveries. For instance, daily sunscreen usage can, in truth, delay skin aging in healthy middle-aged men and women for up to four and a half years, according to a study conducted by Australian researchers from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. During the study, a section of the 900 research participants, all white adults between 25 and 55, were instructed to apply broad-spectrum SPF 15. They used it on their hands, arms, head, and neck every morning. Furthermore, they needed to reapply sunscreen after vigorous exercise, bathing, or prolonged exposure to the sun. At the end of the study (four years), skin aging was 24% less pronounced in sunscreen users than in non-users. Also, the daily sunscreen users exhibited no noticeable increase in fine lines or wrinkles.

How to use sunscreen to minimize wrinkles

Now that you know that sunscreen is one of the best anti-aging defenses, you may use sunscreen to get healthier and more youthful skin. Additionally, it's better to do this while you are still young because the skin may start aging as early as your late 20s. The first step in reducing wrinkle development is to use sunscreen every day. Correctly applying it is the next and most crucial step. Therefore, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours or every 40 to 80 minutes if you are swimming or sweating. Also, wait at least 30 minutes after using a chemical sunscreen before heading outside. If you're using mineral sunscreen, there is no need to wait.

At the same time, apply enough sunscreen on your body to protect the exposed areas. For their face, most people will require a quantity the size of a nickel or ⅓ of a teaspoon. Remember to cover your neck, ears, legs, tops of your feet, and even the region around your eyelids with sunscreen. It is advisable to use a natural physical sunscreen for your eyelids since it contains soothing components and the eyelids are very delicate.

These are essential details to remember, especially if you want to move to a place with warmer weather. You must always think about your health, so ensure you weigh the pros and cons of living in a warmer climate and take adequate safety measures for your skin.

How to choose the best sunscreen?

Although you should use sunscreen daily, it is crucial in the summer when the days are longer, the sun is stronger, and we spend more time outside. When purchasing sunscreen, carefully read the label and remember that no sunscreen offers total protection. Here are the things you should look for in good sunscreen:

Broad spectrum protection

These sunscreens offer UVA and UVB protection. All sunscreen products protect from UVB radiation, which is the primary cause of sunburn. Yet, UVA rays also affect skin cancer and early aging. Products can only be designated as broad spectrum if they pass a test. Products that don't protect against skin cancer and aging must have a notice stating they simply protect against sunburn.

A high SPF

A sunscreen's level of protection against UVB rays lies in its SPF number. Although higher SPF numbers offer additional protection, the difference decreases as the number rises. For instance, SPF 15 sunscreens block around 93% of UVB radiation, whereas SPF 30 blocks approximately 97%. SPF 50 filters roughly 98% of UV rays, and SPF 100 about 99%. So remember that no sunscreen offers complete protection. Also, according to FDA guidelines, any sunscreen with an SPF lower than 15 must include a label declaring that it only protects against sunburn and does not delay the signs of aging or prevent skin cancer.

Expiration date

When applying sunscreen, check the expiration date. Most sunscreens are suitable for use for at least two to three years. However, long-term exposure to heat, such as keeping sunscreen in a car all summer, might cause it to lose effectiveness.

Final thoughts

As you can see, science has shown sunscreen is one of the best anti-aging defenses. However, remember that sunscreen should be a regular component of your skincare routine to function as an anti-aging product. Also, you must apply it correctly. And if you pair it with anti-aging vitamins and a healthy lifestyle, your skin will look young for many years.

This article was written for WHN by Tina Huff who is a wordsmith, City Movers collaborator, and skincare Guru. Through her writing, she uncovers the secrets of beautiful skin and shares her knowledge and experience with her readers. When she is not writing, Tina loves to travel the world.

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement.

Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.

Content may be edited for style and length.

References/Sources/Materials provided by:

WorldHealth Videos