Researchers tracked 900 Australians over 4.5 years. Half the participants were told to liberally apply sunscreen daily while the other half were asked only to continue with their usual routine. According to results published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, study participants who slathered on sunscreen every day had “noticeably more resilient and smoother skin” than the control group.
This was the first such long-term study of its kind. Previously, most research on sunscreen efficacy was done on mice (no wonder the results are somewhat inconclusive). These startling results impressed the medical research community. The sunscreen used by those assigned to daily applications had a sun protection factor ( SPF) of just 15, filtering 92 percent of the sun’s rays. After the 4.5 years, the sunscreen using group had the exact same level of skin damage they had before the study started, while the control group had worse skin.
The main reason the results were so good, according to the principal researcher, Adele Green, was because the elastin levels of those who regularly used sunscreen were higher. Elastin in the elastic part of skin’s tissue. The loss of elastin is closely related to our skins’ sagging and aging.
If you think the Colorado sun is harsh and constant you are right. While the typical Australian city has only 260 days of sunshine per year, in Colorado we are estimated to have 300 days of sunshine per year. In our high-elevation, sun-drenched climate you simply can’t underestimate sunscreen’s positive benefits.
Do your skin a huge favor and keep high-quality, medical-grade sunscreen handy. Ideally, you should have a tube in your purse, in the car and at home.
*Results may vary from patient to patient