The Long-Term Benefits of Sunscreen

Many celebrities and models admit that their number one beauty secret is to wear sunscreen. Wearing sunscreen has long been the advice of many mothers, but there really is more to wearing sunscreen than a lot of people give thought to. Sunscreen use is important, and not just on sunny and warm days.

The History of Skin Safety in the Sun

sunblockThe United States Food and Drug Administration introduced the SPF rating system for sunscreen over 35 years ago. In 1985, sunscreen with an SPF higher than 15 became available for purchase and skin cancer screenings became part of preventative and routine medical care. The first skin cancer awareness campaign was also launched that same year.

Earlier generations slathered on tanning oil and soaked up the sun. This generation grabbed and applied sunscreen before enjoying a day in the sun. The even smarter ones applied it even on overcast days and on days they would not be outside as much. Now, this more skin cautious generation is becoming of the age to tell whether or not SPF has done its predicted job.

A Generation without Skin Damage

An assistant clinical professor of dermatology from the University of California at San Francisco believes that SPF has indeed done its job. She reports that in her own practice she sees women in their 30’s who look like they are in their 20’s. She also has noticed that these women are patients with paler skin and speculates that their mothers probably bathed them in sunscreen before each outdoor adventure.

A Dermatologist in Manhattan states that she also notices this subset of patients, as they seem to show no signs of photo-aging, even into their 30’s. She observes that these patients do not have freckles on the hands, necks, and chests, or skin creepiness that many patients notice from sun damage. Interestingly, the doctor also points to some research showing that some Buddhist monks who have never been outside of the monastery all of their lives, look 30, when they are really 80.

Rating Sun Damage

New complexion analysis machines can show what sun damage a woman has sustained and compare it with others of the same age and ethnicity. The machine rates texture, wrinkles, red areas, and UV spots. Darker skinned women have more natural protection. However, for women that have fair skin, sun protection can be complete with a high SPF sunscreen. Though one bad burn on someone with fair skin can cause a lot of damage.

Sun Damage Laser Treatments

For those that have experienced sun damage, a new fractional cosmetic laser treatment can improve the signs of sun damage and also serve to enhance the overall texture and fullness of the skin. Even with these available treatments, people should be committed to wearing sunscreen daily, rain or shine, in order to protect against skin cancer and have healthier more youthful looking skin.