The use of sunscreens is booming, their use promoted by growing awareness that too much sun causes skin cancer. Some everyday cosmetics already include sunscreen in their formulas, but some of their components can cause allergies. Recent research proposes the use of a new non-allergenic sunscreen.
Scytonemin is a substance produced as protection against the sun’s ultraviolet rays by certain aquatic cyanobacteria (better known as blue-green algae) that live close to the surface. This powerful natural sunscreen is now being reproduced in the science laboratories of the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) and Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden). Compared to most currently used sunscreens (BM-DBM and octocrylene), which can potentially cause allergies, the new product has the advantage of being non-allergenic. Researchers hope that scytonemin will soon form part of sunscreen formulations for creams and lotions.