When you use sunscreen, you're not just helping to protect yourself from diseases like skin cancer; you're also helping to prevent the signs of skin aging that come from sun exposure. Skin that's left naked in the sun ends up more discolored and wrinkled and less elastic than skin that has been steadily shielded from UV radiation.
In fact, what most of us think of as "aged skin" is, more specifically, sun-damaged skin [source: Mayo Clinic].
To protect your skin from the effects of the sun, you can choose either a chemical sunscreen, like avobenzone or oxybenzone, or a physical one, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Either way, look for one with a sun-protection factor (SPF) greater than 15, and apply it at least 20 minutes before you're going to be in the sun [source: Mayo Clinic]. That way, the active ingredients have time to take effect before the UV exposure begins.
If you go swimming or have occasion to sweat a lot, be sure to reapply afterward.
Up next, another element of great skin that doubles as a cancer fighter.