Sunblocks claim to fight signs of aging

LOS ANGELES Gia Alexi-Tomari wants to look her best and wonders whether her age is starting to show.

"I worry quite a bit about wrinkles and getting older," said Gia.

She uses a sunscreen that says it has special anti-aging ingredients. Gia says she sees a visible difference.

"The skin tone is much smoother and the texture is a lot firmer," said Gia.

Sunscreens by nature have anti-aging effects because they block damaging /*UV rays*/. But now, new products are promising even more and acting more like high-end skin care. They've added ingredients like retinol, peptides and plant extracts to fight wrinkles and stimulate collagen production.

"We're talking about adding a primarily antioxidant, or a skin protein maybe from a fetal skin cell, added to the sunblock, which also counteracts free radical formation, which also causes aging," said dermatologist Dr. Dina Anderson.

It's the free radical formation that causes wrinkles, loss of skin firmness and an uneven skin tone.

Dr. Anderson says studies show some of the ingredients may live up to the claims, but before you pay for new protection, you should look for some scientific backing instead of just a commercial claim.

"You might want to do some investigating on the Internet into some of the research that has been done," said Dr. Anderson.

Even then, you have to be careful about what you cover and how often.

"You need to reapply them every two-to-three hours," said Dr. Anderson. "Even more frequently if you're going to be in the water."

Gia puts on her sunscreen first thing in the morning, and then reapplies a couple hours into the day.

"I don't typically spend much time out in the sun, but I understand just walking the city street you can get quite a bit of exposure," said Gia.

For more information:

Examples of some of the products mentioned in the piece that include anti-aging qualities: Lancome Absolue Soleil Premium Bx SPF 30 Sun Protection Body Cream -- contains power-ingredient Pro-Xylane to keep skin supple.

Coppertone Nutrashield Faces SFP 70 with Dual Defense -- contains anti-oxidant vitamins C and E to neutralize free radicals.

Cetaphil UVA/UVB Defense SPF 50 -- contains vitamin E to fight free radicals

Aveeno Positively Ageless Sunblock Lotion SPF 70 for Face - has shitake-mushroom complex to soften fine lines and wrinkles.

LaRoche-Posay Anthelios 60 Sunscreen SPF 60 Ultra Light Fluid -- has patented antioxidant blend including senna alata, a topical leaf extract that defends against cell damage.

Clinique Sun with SolarSmart SPF 30 face Cream - contains antioxidant vitamin E and a marine extract that releases reparative enzymes when skin is exposed to UV rays.

Chanel Precision UV Essential Protective UV Care Anti-Pollution SPF 30 -- protects with antioxidant vitamin E and lightens dark spots with licorice extract.

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