Finally! Proof that sunscreen DOES keep your skin younger, longer.

Not that I generally need proof of course, I usually just roll with my opinion and say it in a convincing enough manner so that you all believe me.

HAHAHAHA! As if. I say it an aggressive manner so you’ll believe me. Different.

But seriously. This is the kind of proof I like best, because it pertains to probably my biggest and loudest piece of beauty advice I can give to any one, of any age, and is always my answer when people ask me what my number one best beauty tip is, and that is, (sing it with me now):


There is also this one:


And it’s so nice to have that yelly little sentence finally backed up in a scientific fashion.

Because oh sure, we all know the power of sunscreen when it comes to lowering the risk of cancer and sunburn, that has been proven extensively, but this, this is a purely cosmetic finding, because they* were measuring only the photo-aging of the skin, which means the visible aging of the skin in the shape of wrinkles, loss of skin firmness and of course, a shittonne worth of pigmentation or age spots.  Those in the four-year long study who had not used sunscreen regularly showed severe photo-ageing. Those who applied sunscreen most days had no detectable ageing of the skin. Simple.

Yes, the skin will age over time. This is inevitable, unless you are Kris Jenner. But we now have Real Life Lab Coat proof that it needn’t age quite so fast, and quite so visibly, with the use of daily sunscreen.

Other terrific facts to fall from this folder:

IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO START TODAY. Even those who began applying their sunscreen “most days” (Not Enough! – Zoe Foster Blake) from middle-age reaped the benefits.

MOISTURISER WITH SOME SUNSCREEN ISN’T ENOUGH. Your foundation, BB or day cream may have some sun protection, they do not typically have the same long-lasting effect as sunscreen, Dr Adele Green, who performed the study, says. In my opinion, a BB cream should be fine for a regular (in office) day with less than 10 minutes sun exposure, but any more than that and you should use a full-strength sunscreen underneath.

In fact, just dingin’ do it anyway! Do it, for God’s sake. Daily face sunscreens have come along way, and are several planets away from the gloopy, thick shit we used to get served. Ideally, choose a daily moisturiser with high broad spectrum (UVA and UVB – crucial, especially since the ageing stuff comes almsot solely from UVA) SPF 30. There are millions out there, and even the very inepensive – Neutrogena, Nivea, SunSense – do a terrific job.

Nivea Light Veil

I enjoy the (hydrating) Ultra Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30+. Feels lovely and does everything I need.



Sunscreen should go directly onto clean skin, not over the top of your moisturiser.

Also remember:

That thing I said about scrunchies.


*Dr. Adele Green from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and colleagues analysed data from 903 adults younger than 55 who were followed from 1992 to 1996. Half of them were told to put sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater on their head, neck, arms and hands every morning, and to reapply when necessary. The others used sunscreen according to their own discretion.

Responses to this drivel: 26 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 26 )
  • El

    I got asked for ID in the bottle shop the other day and I’m 40! Have used 30+ sunscreen since I was 21. Living/walking proof.

  • Sophie

    Zoe.. I put Goe Oil (in winter) on my skin first, then my sunscreen and eye cream.. Will that work? Or should I do it the other way around??

  • Kaitlen

    I know I should use sunscreen I just can’t stand the smell of it! Are any of the above options less… “sunscreeny” ??

  • Ariane

    I have oily combination skin. Can you recommend one that won’t clog my pores?

  • MJ

    Jurlique! Smells quite green and fresh and it’s 30+!

  • LouAna

    Kaitlen, I’m not Zoe but I use banana boat ‘faces’ 50+ and cetaphil 50+ and I find they’re not sunscreney smelling? My own test has been between my sister and I, I have used sunscreen everyday for the last 15 years and my sister scoffs at using sunscreen at all and the difference is quite noticable…

  • Emma

    So basically, replace your moisturiser with SPF30 sunscreen and apply makeup over the top?

  • Kaitlen

    Thanks LouAna! I’ve been using the OLAY version and find that it has that hint of sunscreen smell still. I will definitely be trying your suggestions!

  • jess

    Hi =) Neutrogena the best,they have an american version for the face it won’t cause pimples and is great, and is 30+
    Australian version has been discontinued however you can get Neutrogena SPF15+ and i use that on my neck and chest nice non sunscreen smell cheers =)

  • Melsy

    Ode to sunscreen : “and then I saw her face, now I’m a believer! There’s not a trace, of doubt in my mind…” Safe to say, I agree, whole facedly 😉

  • Kiss & Make-up

    Hail this post! I keep telling my mom this but she refuses to believe me…sigh. I try to protect my skin from the sun as much as possible, but I have to admit that I slip up something. I religiously slap on sunscreen when I know I will be out in the hot summer sun, and I wear sunnies and a hat when I am outside in summer, but when I just run an errand or go out in the morning or in the late afternoon, I usually don’t bother. And I know that wrong, but ehh… At least I try 🙂

  • Sinéad Elizabeth

    Zoë, my poor little brain is hopelessly confused.
    You say that using a moisturiser with some sunscreen in it isn’t enough, but then later say to use a moisturising sunscreen. Is it purely the SPF factor and UVA/B exposure you’re talking about here?
    Then, you suggest using moisturiser after putting on sunscreen. If I use a moisturiser with SPF 30+ (like the ultra protective one), do I then need to slap some more moisturiser on over the top once the sunscreen moisturiser has sunk in?
    I’m tragically lost here, and my little melanoma-prone-non-melanin-producing skin and red hair would really appreciate the help.
    (also, I’m super duper lucky and I’ve been blessed with skin that produces more oil than the Middle East, and I have breakouts like no tomorrow. Normal face sunscreen like SunSense’s Daily Face tends to make my face look worse than a hormone riddled teenager’s.)

  • fruity

    Oh Sinead, I’m sorry!
    When I say a ‘moisturiser with some sunscreen in it ‘ I mean your average face cream with a token amount of SPF 12 or 15. A cosmetic day cream first, with some sunscreen as an afterthought.
    When I say a moisturising sunscreen, I mean a dedicated sunscreen product that also moisturises so you get both hits in one, and there is no need for two products. These are ‘sun care’ products first, moisturisers second, and are the ones I included images and names of, like Nivea and Ultraceuticals.
    I don’t suggest putting on moisturiser after sunscreen, but rather a product like a BB cream or a token-SPF products OVER one of the moistursing sunscreens such as the Ultraceuticals.
    In short:
    If you are using a broad spectrum, SPF 30 moisturiser on clean skin each morning, all of your skin and sun needs are taken care of, and you can gallop straight onto makeup.

  • Adrienne

    Committed sunscreen fiend right here.
    Though I must ask…. If I’m applying my sunscreen in the morning, going off to a full day’s work and then 8 hours later emerging into the sunshine, surely the protection is long gone?!
    What would be your best tips for reapplying sunscreen, when you’ve already applied make up? Mineral powder with SPF? (Better than nothing?)

    • Jo

      I was wondering the same thing but then, would the sun still be out after 8hrs ?

    • Liz

      No, its not gone. The protection degrades depending on how long you are exposed to sunlight, not how long you have worn it. So If you work indoors, you should still have protection at the end of the day, if your SPF is SPF 20+

  • Sinéad Elizabeth

    Thanks so much for helping me out!!

  • Angie

    Sunscreen BEFORE moisturiser?? That has really thrown me. Can you please explain why? Moisturiser = hydration. Sunscreen = protection, so how can all the good stuff of serums/moisturisers get through that barrier?

  • Stephanie Batchelor

    I absolutely sware by ultraceuticals daily moisturiser SPF 30. It doesn’t dry out my skin or make it feel oily like most sunscreens will. The perfect balance. I literally wear it everyday and wont use any other product after discovering it.

  • Li-Ann

    Hi Zoe
    You mentioned above that the sunscreen should go on clean skin (not on top of moisturiser) but in one of your older post (http://www.fruitybeauty.com.au/fruitybeauty/2008/01/sunscreen-on-to.html) you mentioned that sunscreen should go on top of moisturiser before make -up. I’m a bit confused.. do you mind clarifying the order? Thanks so much!

  • Beauty Sense

    Do you just apply sun protection once in the morning or do you reapply during the day? Have you ever tried the sunscreen sprays and if so, do you find that they work?

  • smokeless cigarettes and pipes

    Hi there, i read your blog occasionally
    and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks?

    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any support is very
    much appreciated.

  • Liz

    Well I’ve been using chemical exfoliants and SPF 30+ religiously for a while, and my skin has never looked worse. Its incredibly pale and translucent. Very ugly looking. I look much older than my age. Everyone in my family that doesnt do SQUAT for their skin look much better and have better skin texture even though theu have some sun spots. In contrast my skin may not have a lot of sun spots but it looks terrible. Thin, translucent, pale, the use of above mentioned products has not helped AT ALL with hyperpigmentation, acne scars, etc.. Idk. Also your link to the study doesnt link anywere.

  • Jenny Spears

    Sunscreens act as a shield against the harmful UV rays which penetrates every time your skin is exposed to the sun. It is therefore advisable to use sunscreen everyday. But maintaining a young looking skin is not that easy. Frown lines and wrinkles are a result of ageing and can not be stopped completely, though you can definitely reduce their appearance with skin rejuvenating treatments.

  • jennifer

    Your blog is incorrect. Sunscreen always goes AFTER moisturizer. 

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