Daily photoprotection to prevent photoaging

Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 2021 Nov;37(6):482-489. doi: 10.1111/phpp.12688. Epub 2021 May 6.


Background: Extrinsic skin aging or photoaging was previously thought to be almost exclusively due to solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation. However, recent literature has described other contributing factors and clarification is thus required as to what extent and what type of daily photoprotection is needed to mitigate extrinsic skin aging.

Methods: We reviewed the existing scientific evidence on daily photoprotection, and specific requirements at the product level, to prevent extrinsic skin aging. We critically reviewed the existing evidence on potential ecological and toxicological risks which might be associated with daily photoprotection.

Results: Evidence shows that broad protection against the entire solar range of UVB, UVA, UVA1, visible light, and short infrared (IRA) is required to prevent extrinsic aging. Other exposome factors, such as air pollution and smoking, also contribute to skin aging. Daily broad-spectrum sunscreen photoprotection should thus contain antioxidant ingredients for additional benefits against UV, IRA, and pollution-induced oxidative stress as well as anti-aging active ingredients to provide clinical benefits against skin aging signs, such as wrinkles and dark spots. Broad-spectrum sunscreen containing pigments, such as iron oxide, may be required for melasma prevention. There is no conclusive clinical evidence that daily sunscreen use is unsafe or that it compromises vitamin D synthesis.

Conclusion: Daily use of broad-spectrum sunscreen containing antioxidant and anti-aging active ingredients can effectively reduce extrinsic aging.

Keywords: photoaging; photoprotection; pigmentary disorders; sunscreens; wrinkles.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Skin
  • Skin Aging*
  • Sunlight
  • Sunscreening Agents
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects


  • Sunscreening Agents