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[2 min read] How does sunscreen prevent photoageing?

Sun damage is a common skin concern seen in primary care – from sunburns to pigmentation, sun spots, wrinkles and skin cancers. Research Review‘s latest educational series focuses on sunscreen and photoageing, with expert commentary by dermatologists. It explores the mechanisms of skin photoageing and the role of sunscreen as an adjunctive sun protection measure in the prevention of photoaeging.

The publication summarises that:

  • Photoageing is caused by cumulative exposure of the skin to UV radiation, visible light (especially blue light), and IR radiation; hence, minimising exposure to these forms of radiation should help to reduce skin photoageing.
  • A total of seven teaspoons of sunscreen (SPF ≥50) should be applied to the body for effective sun protection.
  • Sunscreen should be applied daily if the UV index is forecast to reach ≥3 (Sunscreen Summit Policy Group) and at lower UV levels if there may be prolonged outdoor exposure.
  • Sun exposure could be responsible for 80 per cent of the visible signs of facial ageing.
  • Adherence to regular sunscreen use is facilitated by photoageing prevention messages, cosmetic elegance, and technologies that remind people to apply sunscreen.
  • Clinical studies indicate that regular and appropriate application of sunscreen delays photoageing of the skin, in addition to reducing skin cancer risk.
  • Substantial data supporting the regular use of sunscreen for photoprotection outweigh the limited data on its potential side effects and environmental risks.
  • Sunscreen and other skin care products containing antioxidants may help to mitigate the photoageing effects of visible light, IR radiation, and pollution.

You can read Research Review‘s full paper here.

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