Sunscreen and Skin Aging

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Story Updated: Jun 5, 2013

.. and a new study says it's never too late for sunscreen.

In fact, new science suggests wearing daily sunscreen has great benefits.... even if you're just starting to wear it in middle age! Researchers in Australia measured photoaging in 9-hundred-3 study participants under the age of 55. Photoaging is the clinical description of skin changes caused by exposure to the sun- including wrinkles, sunspots, loss of collagen and more. The idea was to measure regular use of sunscreen compared to occasional use. The researchers also tested the anti-aging effects of beta carotene supplements.

Study participants were assigned to one of four groups:

-daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen and 30 mg of beta-carotene supplementation

-daily use of sunscreen and placebo

-occasional, discretionary use of sunscreen and 30 mg of beta-carotene supplementation

and discretionary use of sunscreen and placebo.

After four years, participants in the daily sunscreen group showed 24 percent less skin aging than those in the discretionary group...no matter what their age. Daily beta-carotene made no difference in skin aging.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with the health news for you and your family.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to 1.8 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools in our Step Up program. To learn more, visit www.excellusbcbs.com