Better sunscreen needed to protect against all-day rays

Most sunscreens don’t have the necessary ingredients to protect against the process that causes skin to look old and wrinkled prematurely.

New research shows that even low levels of exposure to a common component of sunlight—ultraviolet A1, or UVA1—can cause damage at the molecular level after just a few short days.

UVA1 light makes up most of the natural UV light we are exposed to throughout the day, as well as the light from tanning beds.

Researchers hope that the findings will lead to new protective ingredients in sunscreens and more caution about routine sun exposure.

For the study, published in JAMA Dermatology, researchers measured the effects of UVA1 at the molecular level using advanced gene expression analysis of skin samples from human volunteers.

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