Reading Between the Facial Lines

It suprises me to learn that, until June 2013, we lacked longitudinal research showing sunscreen’s actual, long-term effects on the appearance of skin. We, both the general public and dermatology professionals, have long deducted through observation that sunscreen (as well as other UV protective measures like wearing sun gear) prevents skin-aging effects, such as wrinkles and sagging. However, we could not cite a reputable study that proved that link. I recently came across a New York Times article that discusses the first study (published in 2013) to do just that: It measuredly shows that daily sunscreen application over many years actually reduces textural changes to the skin.

I want to stress an important distinction between prevention and reversal. As the article discusses, daily sunscreen use did not cause reversal of pre-existing wrinkles or sagging on subjects’ faces. Rather, persons who applied sunscreen every day “had noticeably more resilient and smoother skin than those assigned to continue their usual practices.” Thus, sunscreen slowed down or even halted the progression of sagging and wrinkling. Reduction or reversal is beyond the scope of sunscreen alone, and that is a subject for a later post.

When it comes to skincare products, treatments, and best practices, professional opinions and recommendations vary widely, except for one issue: sun protection, and more specifically, daily sunscreen use. For me, it’s a packaged deal. I think it’s advisable to wear sunscreen with sun gear whenever possible (sunglasses, a hat, a wide-brimmed hat, an umbrella, etc.).

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Categories: General, Sun Protection


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One Comment on “Reading Between the Facial Lines”

  1. February 3, 2016 at 12:46 am #

    Anything that can help with wrinkle reduction that is natural or doesn’t involve going under the knife is a good thing.


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