Putting on sunblock every day or applying skin cream every night isn’t just a matter of looking good. According to a new study featured on Science Daily, it’s also about boosting your confidence and preventing skin cancer.

Experts from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) report that constant exposure to the sun’s rays could cause skin damage.

“Photoaging–or the changes induced by chronic UVA and UVB exposure–is responsible for accelerating the skin’s aging process,” says Dr. Marian Northington, director of UAB Cosmetic Dermatology.. “Daily incidental sun-exposures–running out to the car, going to the mailbox and exercising–add up and result in wrinkles, sun spots, and potentially cancerous lesions.”

Since you can’t really hide form the sun all the time, researchers suggest wearing 30+ SPF sunscreen with zinc oxide every day. This may help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.

In case your skin has already been damaged, experts recommend applying skin cream with retinol. According to Dr. Northington, retinol may help “decrease the risk of skin cancer and improve skin pigmentation and abnormalities, as well as increase collagen content to help with lines and wrinkles.”

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Aside from these measures, getting enough sleep and proper hydration may also help slow down skin aging. After all, taking good care of your skin goes beyond skin deep.

(Photo by Rikard Elofsson via Flickr Creative Commons)

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