Sunscreen products of the future
Over eighty years ago, the first development of sunscreen went hand in hand with a new sporty lifestyle and outdoor-activities in the 1930’s. Manufacturers such as Piz Buin, L’Oréal or Delial all claim to be the first to develop sunscreen for the masses, but regardless of which product actually was the first, a lot has happened regarding the history of sunscreen.
Meanwhile, sunscreen products are part of everyday life in the warm months of the year and, according to Euromonitor, the segment skin care remains the key revenue driver in beauty with global sales exceeding US$111 billion in 2014. Current research reveals new possibilities which could make sunscreen lotion & Co. even more effective against UV radiation.
New sunscreen additive with anti-melanoma properties proves to be even more effective through UVA radiation
Scientists at the public university system City University of New York discovered a possible sunscreen additive, which could provide additional protection against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. The research specialists found out that the enzym dequalinium-14 (DECA-14) proves highly effective against metastatis of melanoma cells in mice in laboratory experiments by inhibiting the enzym protein kinase c.
Futhermore, one of the properties of DECA-14 is that this effect can be enhanced by UVA radiation with the enzym forming a chemical link with protein kinase c and thereby rendering it inactive. Unlike many chemical filters which become inefficient after 30 minutes of sunlight, DECA-14 is photo-stable und can be combined with other sunscreen additives like Aloe or Vitamin E.
Newly developed engineered zinc oxide nanoparticles offer improved sun protection and brighten the skin at the same time
The core ingredient of most of the current sunscreens are so-called zinc oxide nanoparticles, which are able to block the majority of harmful ultraviolet rays. However, the nanoparticles themselves also emit UVA radiation, which can penetrate the dermal layer of the skin and enhance the generation of cancer-inducing radicals.
A team of scientists at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) therefore developed a more potent form of zinc oxide (called engineered zinc oxide nanoparticles) which is able to bypass, absorb and emit UV radiation visibly. According to the researchers, the visible emission can also have a brightening effect on the skin, which is “neither harmful nor dangerous for the skin” in comparison to UVA emission from normal zinc oxide nanoparticles.mBecause of its camouflaging effect, the scientists anticipate a use in wrinkle-free creams as well and are now in talks with various companies of the beauty industry.
An animal-produced sunblock-compound could be the foundation for an edible sunscreen in the future
A group of researchers at the Oregon State University discovered in new study, that animal species like fish, reptiles, amphibians and birds are able to produce a sunblock-compound called gadusol. Unlike animals with fur, fish which live mainly in shallow water are exposed directly to the sun light for a prolonged time. However, the compound gadusol prevents sun damage such as sunburns.
It was previously thought that animals derived gadusol through the consumption of certain types of algae and bacteria. However, the study of the scientists proves that the ability to produce the compound is very likely due to the genetic disposition of the animals. Although mammals such as humans are unable to produce gadusol themselves, the scientists managed to duplicate the generation of the compound naturally with the use of yeast. This could mean that in the future, a sunscreen developed out of yeast could even be edible.
Sources: City University of New York, Institue of Technology Bombay, Oregon State University, Euromonitor, photograph: panthesja - Fotolia