Using sun protection is one of the best things women can do to delay the aging process, according to cosmetic surgeon Charles Nduka.

He said sunblock is more effective than any of the expensive anti-aging creams women can buy today.

"It is true that exposure to ultraviolet light, particularly UVA, is the major cause of wrinkles, sun spots and skin pigmentation issues," he explained.

"Use of sunblock from an early age, particularly for people with fair skin and fair hair, is important."

Mr Nduka said the ease with which people can travel to hotter countries has led to an increase in sun damage to women's skin.

"There has been an increase in foreign travel because of the accessibility of cheap flights to the continent," he stated.

"Therefore people are exposed to the sun much more than they used to be and that is having a very negative impact.

"We are now seeing women probably in their early 20s with evidence of wrinkles and sun damage, which really shouldn't be the case."

Referring to concerns that using sunblock could counteract the positive effects of vitamin D from sunshine, Mr Nduka insisted that people only need a small amount of the vitamin maintain healthy bones.

He also stressed the importance of moisturising the skin, noting that people with very dry skin tend to age faster than those with a plumper, oilier complexion.

In addition to using sunblock and a natural, deep facial moisturiser, women can boost their protection against harmful UV rays by taking daily Total Sun Complex tablets.

The nutritional supplements contain vitamin C and E, as well as beta carotene and other antioxidant phytonutrients which are known to increase the power of an external sunscreen by 25 per cent.

Posted by Laura Andrews