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Long-Lasting Sunscreen

April 10, 2017

It’s annoying to have to reapply sunscreens throughout the day, and researchers are working on longer-lasting versions.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Longer-lasting sunscreens. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Sunscreens contain compounds that absorb the sun’s harmful UV rays, protecting our skin. But the ingredients themselves break down rapidly. That means we have to keep re-applying sunscreens throughout the day. University of Warwick physical chemist Vasilios Stavros says that developing longer-lasting sunscreens requires gaining a better understanding of how they actually work.

VASILIOS STAVROS (University of Warwick):

And if we understand how a sunscreen molecule absorbs light, and how that energy is distributed within that molecule, then we can use that knowledge to engineer new molecules that perhaps resist photodegradation.

HIRSHON:

Long-lasting sunscreens still have a ways to go, but they could eventually prevent additional skin cancers. Stavros presented the research at a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.