With more sunny days and warmer weather, many people are spending long hours outdoors working in the garden, walking, cycling, or playing golf. But as wonderful as the sun’s rays feel after a long COVID-19 winter, it’s important to remember to use sunscreen daily even on cloudy days to prevent premature skin aging. Research suggests that a daily broad-spectrum sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 could also help improve skin texture, clarity, and hyperpigmentation.
According to a recent study, published in Dermatologic Surgery, using a daily SPF not only helps slow skin aging, but daily use can improve dark spots, smooth texture, and boost the clarity of skin by up to 52 percent over a period of one year.
Researchers used the assessments of dermatologist evaluations and participants’ self-evaluation at the outset of the study and then again at weeks 12, 24, 36, and 52. Clinical evaluations showed that all photoaging parameters – texture, clarity, and pigmentation, improved by between 40 and 52 percent among all subjects.
Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more can help prevent dark spots from becoming darker while preventing premature aging. There are many choices in sunscreen products but to help in the decision-making process the Environmental Working Group has developed the Healthy Living app that allows users to scan a product, review its rating and pick the best one for their needs.
In addition to using a daily SPF, a healthy diet, regular exercise, and stopping smoking can help prevent lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, and loss of volume. Eating plenty of colorful fresh vegetables and avoiding red meat are also associated with fewer wrinkles. And of course, getting proper rest helps the skin stay more youthful and recover better after sun exposure.