First-of-its-kind research supports the importance of daily sunscreen use.
Unless you’re a dermatologist (or a sunscreen manufacturer), you’ve likely regarded the advice to wear sunscreen every single day as overly cautious. Even as an editor regularly covering the sun care category, I’ve found myself opting into hypocrisy more than once—recommending to our readers that they wear sunscreen every single day, yet secretly wondering if I really need to wear sunscreen every single day even here in Colorado, a state that gets 300 days of sunshine per year.
But new, what initially seemed to be less-than-groundbreaking research (sunscreen works, wow) proves the importance of regular sunscreen application, year round, and has some serious implications both for consumers wanting to prevent photoaging, as well as for the sun care industry—and in particular the natural category.
The first human study of its kind (most similar studies have been conducted on animals), the research published this week in The Annals of Internal Medicine actually looked at 900 white people between the ages of 25 and 55 living in Australia. The findings showed that wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 daily for four years slowed and even prevented the development of wrinkles and sagging skin caused by UV rays. Nine-hundred study participants also took beta carotene supplements, which unlike the regular sunscreen application did not prevent skin aging.
Although the research did not address mineral versus chemical options, I also think that it sheds light on the importance of choosing natural sunscreens, which experienced strong 12 percent growth over the past year
Parents are prioritizing both sun care and natural options for their kids, meaning that they’ll be even more focused on effective nontoxic options as they increase the frequency of sunscreen use on their kids. More use equals more exposure to potential carcinogens and irritants found in many chemical sunscreens.
Plus, more women will be choosing skin care options that incorporate SPFs as a way to get daily sun protection. Natural skin care was once again the biggest dollar contributor to natural and organic personal care sales in 2012, bringing in $3.7 billion, as we report in this year’s Natural Foods Merchandiser Market Overview; it only makes sense then that this number will continue to grow and that this research will both increase sales and innovation in the antiaging skin care category.