Sunscreen is essential when it comes to protecting your skin from painful sunburns and other damaging effects of the sun, but it can also keep your skin looking younger.
A study by Johnson & Johnson, published in Dermatological Surgery, found that using sunscreen daily can reverse signs of photoaging, such as wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
The study asked women between the ages of 40 and 55 years old to apply a daily moisturizer that had broad spectrum SPF 30 to their faces for a year. After about 12 weeks, there were noticeable improvements to the women’s skin. By the end of the year, 100 percent of the women in the study saw significant improvements to their skin texture, clarity, and pigmentation.
Although daily face moisturizer can be a good addition to a person’s skin routine, the study found that it was the broad spectrum SPF 30 that helped reverse signs of photoaging.
“The moisturizer in this study has no anti-aging ingredients,” said Dr. Steven Wang, who helped conduct the study. “The subjects applied sunscreen daily and a nighttime moisturizer without anti-aging ingredients, and they were advised to avoid excessive sun exposure. They were provided recreational sunscreens for active use.”
So how exactly does some simple broad spectrum sunscreen not only help prevent but reverse signs of aging? According to Dr. Wang, “Sunscreen is effective in preventing ongoing UV-induced photo damage, which in turns gives the skin a chance to regenerate and heal.”
Using sunscreen daily will not only make your skin look younger, but you’ll also increase your chances of avoiding melanoma — a far more dangerous effect of overexposure to the sun.
Danielle Tarasiuk is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles. Her work has been published on AllDay.com, Yahoo! Sports, KCET, and NPR-affiliate stations KPCC and KCRW. She’s a proud Sarah Lawrence College and USC Annenberg alumn.