Fraser Coast Chronicle - - WEEKEND - WORDS: AM­BER MACPHER­SON

There’s an anti-age­ing prod­uct that has the back­ing of many sci­en­tists and it’s avail­able al­most any­where.

Not only does it prom­ise to pre­vent wrin­kles, it can cost as lit­tle as $8 a bot­tle.

In fact, you’ve prob­a­bly got it sit­ting in your cup­board al­ready. What is this en­chanted in­ven­tion, you squeal? Drum­roll, please … it’s sun­screen.

In the harsh sum­mer months, sun­screen is a vi­tal beach buddy, mu­sic fes­ti­val mate, pic­nic part­ner — ba­si­cally any out­door ac­tiv­ity, our friend the sun­screen is there.

If you slop it on daily, sci­en­tific pa­pers con­firm you’ll min­imise the signs of pre­ma­ture age­ing, in­clud­ing fa­cial wrin­kles, sun spots, rough patches and sag­ging.

A study by John­son and John­son sug­gests that daily sun­screen use can even re­verse the signs of age­ing. Skin cells re­gen­er­ate ev­ery 28 days, so if they’re pro­tected from sun dam­age they’ll push through look­ing fresh and new.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of vis­i­ble signs of age­ing or hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion are as a re­sult of the sun and its dam­ag­ing UV rays,” Skin­sti­tut spokes­woman Zoe Devine says.

“Up to 80 per cent of pre­ma­ture age­ing is be­lieved to be at­trib­uted to the sun.

“UVA rays in par­tic­u­lar pen­e­trate deeper into the skin, into the der­mis, con­tribut­ing to wrin­kling, loss of tone and elas­tic­ity.

“In Aus­tralia we ex­pe­ri­ence some of the high­est lev­els of UV ra­di­a­tion in the world, due to our prox­im­ity to the equa­tor and fre­quent blue skies.”

Beauty blog­ger Kat Wil­liams has long been sold on the ben­e­fits of sun­screen, say­ing her best piece of beauty ad­vice is to pro­tect your body’s largest or­gan with the liq­uid gold (or white … stuff).

“Al­ways wear sun­screen,” Kat says.

“I don’t think enough peo­ple re­alise just how dam­ag­ing the high UV in­dex is to your skin. Trust me, you’ll thank me when you’re older.”

If you want to start wear­ing sun­screen daily, pop it on in the morn­ing to pro­vide a base for your foun­da­tion to cling to.

If you’re not into the strong smell or the thick­ness, plenty of beauty and med­i­cal brands have a range of daily mois­turis­ers, foun­da­tions and BB creams with SPF15+.

For the best re­sults, opt for at least SPF30+ sun­screen or a sun­screen and mois­turiser combo. When you’re applying, smooth on to the skin in up­ward strokes. This pre­vents the skin los­ing elas­tic­ity from pulling it down­wards and en­cour­ag­ing it to fall with grav­ity.

You should no­tice a dif­fer­ence in your skin’s ap­pear­ance in just a few months — but you do have to ap­ply ev­ery day, even when the sky is over­cast.

“While cloud cover may slightly re­duce UV lev­els, clouds do not have the abil­ity to at­ten­u­ate UVA in­ten­sity,” Zoe says.

“It’s these UVA rays that are most dam­ag­ing to our skin. They pen­e­trate much deeper, down to our der­mis, and cause longterm skin dam­age and pre­ma­ture age­ing.”

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