Asian Scientist (Aug. 5, 2013) – A partnership between CSIRO and skincare company Larissa Bright Australia has created the world’s first ultraviolet (UV) sunscreen filters which mimic the natural sun protection used by corals on the Great Barrier Reef.
The breakthrough paves the way for a new generation of sunscreens which harness the same protective barriers that corals on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef developed over millions of years in order to survive in the harsh Australian sun.
The new UV filters, resistant to both UVA and UVB rays, are clear and colorless which means they can be used in any cream emulsion.
The scientists adapted the coral’s sunscreen code so that it can be safely used as an ingredient in human sunscreen. The coral’s sunscreen was improved to create a suite of 48 new sunscreen filters.
“The molecular make up of the coral’s natural sunscreen filter was quite complex, but the real challenge was modifying it so that it was resistant to both UVA and UVB radiation in one molecule which is what makes these filters so unique,” said Dr Mark York who led the research.
The broad spectrum coral sunscreen filters are expected to be available to consumers across the globe within five years.
Source: CSIRO; Photo: FarbenfroheWunderwelt/Flickr.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.