If you could go back in time, chances are you wouldn’t change hooking up with that hot bartender or backpacking around Europe with barely enough Euros to get by. But you might wish you’d slathered on more sunblock when you were younger to prevent those painful sunburns and the fine lines that are now starting to form on your face.Knowing that a significant percentage of sun damage occurs before the age of 18, dermatologist Carole Aponte and her business partner Kelly Barker founded the new skincare line PREP — the first-ever dermatologist-backed beauty line made exclusively for girls.The collection, which is plant- and mineral-based and includes a purifying daily cleanser ($12.50), a face and body lotion with SPF 30 ($18.50), and a lip gloss with SPF 15 in sheer pink ($7.50), is designed and dedicated to helping future generations be more sun smart and stop sun damage before it starts.“It is never too early to begin a routine of daily skin care and sun protection,” Aponte told YouBeauty. “Sun damage is cumulative — UV damage that occurs in childhood can have a lasting impact on overall skin appearance and skin cancer risk.”Aponte points out that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. Melanoma, the most serious and potentially deadly form of skin cancer, will be diagnosed in 1 in 50 Americans at some point in their lives. Having just one blistering sunburn during childhood nearly doubles the risk of developing melanoma as an adult.”However, a recent study showed that daily use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen could decrease the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent,” she said.But skin cancer isn’t the only consequence of UV damage — 90 percent of what’s considered normal skin aging is actually the result of chronic sun damage. “From freckles to liver spots, fine lines to thin, sagging skin, the majority of what makes skin look old is preventable,” noted Aponte. “The earlier a good skin care routine with daily sun protection and sunscreen use is begun, the greater the benefits in preventing skin cancer and photo-aging.”The problem is that sunscreen use tends to dip as kids get older. Research shows that half of fifth graders use sunscreen regularly, and that number decreases to just 25 percent by the time those same students reach eighth grade. That may be because parents tend to be less involved and vigilant about their child’s daily grooming as they get older. “Those early teen years are a big transition period where parents have less influence over their children’s behavior and peers play a much bigger role,” she said. “At the same time, health habits that are developed during the early teen years are highly predictive of lifelong future behavior.”Adds Aponte: “By providing young girls and teens with a skin care line that is simple and fun with an emphasis on education, promoting overall health and wellness, and a social media campaign which encourages peer to peer interaction, PREP will make girls want to protect their skin, possibly without even knowing it.”PREP is also a beauty line that gives back. Its Share Your Beauty program is dedicated to inspiring girls to make a positive impact the world by hosting monthly charitable challenges for PREP girls to actively participate in. PREP also donates time and money to Girls on the Run, which is a physical activity-based youth development program for girls in third through eighth grade, and Days for Girls, which helps girls gain access to sustainable feminine hygiene kits. “What many people don’t realize is that in developing countries girls may miss up to five days of school each month as they don’t have access to pads or tampons,” explained Aponte. “Days for Girls is providing reusable kits that last about three years and put girls back in school on average 170 days. It’s powerful and it’s working!”Related Articles:5 Easy Skin Resolutions You Need to Make Right NowAsk a Scientist: Is Expired Sunscreen Better Than No Sunscreen at All?