Daily facial sunscreen improves photoaging

A recent prospective study of 32 participants over a one-year period has demonstrated that applying a broad-spectrum SPF30 daily facial sunscreen improves all the studied signs of photo-aging. The signs that improved were: overall photo damage, overall skin tone, crow's feet, fine lines, mottled pigmentation, discrete pigmentation, evenness of skin tone, clarity, and texture. Some of the improvements were also noted as earlier as 12 weeks into the study. Not only did the investigator scores improve, but the participants themselves agreed with the improvement. The most profound improvement was in skin surface and tone.

This study helps confirm dermatologist's long-standing belief of the benefit of a daily application of facial sunscreen (preferably in a pleasant moisturiser base) to not only protect against skin cancer, but also improve cosmetic appearance. Of course, this is not a ground-breaking new concept and there is a risk that people tire of the suggestion, but sunscreen is one of the most important factors in any anti-aging regimen. Remember, we believe 80% of the appearance of ageing skin originates from sun-damage rather than age itself. Just compare the look of the skin on your forearm to that the skin on the inside of your upper arm.

Source: Randhawa M, et al. Dermatol Surg 2016

Another reason to quit smoking ... skin cancer

If you need another reason to help motivate you to quit smoking cigarettes, a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (August 2019) which was looking at risks for non-melanoma skin cancer in non-white individuals found the following. On average, current smokers were diagnosed with skin cancer 12.27 years earlier than those who had smoked in the past, but who had successfully quit. Smoking has numerous other negative effects on your skin and most other organ systems. Get help to quit now.

What is happening to your skin when you tan?

The following is a link to an article authored by Prof Peter Soyer of The University of Queensland regarding the changes in your skin that lead to a tan. Prof Soyer is a dermatologist well known for his skin-related research. It is worth a read.

The access the article
click here.

Routine daily sunscreen advised

We have long recommended the routine application of daily facial sunscreen as an important strategy against sun-induced skin ageing and skin cancer. Now it's official…

The peak bodies responsible for sun safety advice in NZ and Australia have adopted a new policy recommending people apply sunscreen daily as part of their morning routine - just like brushing our teeth. The policy change follows an Australasian Sunscreen Summit in Brisbane last year. Prior to this, sunscreen was only recommended prior to anticipated outdoor exposure. It is now officially recognised that we get a lot of incidental sun exposure from everyday activities such as walking to public transport or to/from our car, walking to lunch, putting out the washing, having work breaks outside etc.

The new recommendation sticks with the traditional threshold of applying sunscreen when the UV index is 3 or greater. It is worth noting however; recent NZ study evidence suggests relying on the UV index may still lead to over-exposure.
Click here for more information.

Important warning about the flammability of moisturisers

It has been known for some time that moisturisers containing paraffin are flammable and can pose a significant risk of fire and injury if ignited. The most common scernario is for a spark from a fire or cigarette to ignite clothing/pyjamas of a child that are oily after application of moisturiser. Severe burns and deaths have been reported.

A recent warning published by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has extended the issue to moisturisers containing less than 50% paraffin and to non-paraffin containing products.

Patients who use these products should not smoke, go near naked flames, and be warned of the easy ignition of clothing, bedding, dressings and other fabric that have dried residue of an emollient product on them.