New synthetic free sunscreen derived from algae

New synthetic free sunscreen derived from algae

During the summer months, it is particularly important to be aware of skin cancer risks. Nearly 5 million people in the US are treated for skin cancer annually. In the most recent statistics from the year 2006, 3.5 million cases were diagnosed in 2.2 million people.

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends prevention tips including: selecting the right sunscreen, avoid tanning beds and UV tanning beds, and covering up from the sun with clothing. It is also recommended to check yourself regularly and get examined by a doctor once a year for skin cancer.

Searching for sunblock this summer can be a challenge, as there are so many options. Now, scientists are turning to a new synthetic free sunscreen derived from algae.

This natural sunscreen, which is found in algae and also fish slime provides a new type of shield that could not only protect people, but even textiles and outdoor materials.

Current sunblock formulas work by either absorbing ultraviolet (UV) rays or by blocking them. These formulas use a variety of synthetic compounds to accomplish this task. However, most commercial sunscreens are not very efficient, or may pose risks to humans and the environment. To solve these problems, Vincent Bulone, Susana C. M. Fernandes and their team took clues for nature.

The research team used natural sunblocking molecules from algae, which are also found in reef fish mucus and microorganisms, and combined them with a biopolymer from crustacean shells called chitosan.

The researchers wrote:

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#228B22″ class=”” size=””]“Here, we show that these materials are biocompatible, photoresistant, and thermoresistant, and exhibit a highly efficient absorption of both UV-A and UV-B radiations. Thus, they have the potential to provide an efficient protection against both types of UV radiations and overcome several shortfalls of the current UV-protective products.” [/pullquote]

The study announcing a new synthetic free sunscreen derived from algae was published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Skin Cancer Facts.” Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
2. “Prevention Guidelines.” Skin Cancer Foundation. Skin Cancer Foundation, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2015.
3. “An All-natural Sunscreen Derived from Algae.” American Chemical Society. American Chemical Society, 29 July 2015. Web. 08 Aug. 2015.
4. “Exploiting Mycosporines as Natural Molecular Sunscreens for the Fabrication of UV-Absorbing Green Materials.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. ACS Publications, 13 July 2015. Web. 08 Aug. 2015.

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