Seaweeds could Gift Your Skin through Eco-friendly sunscreen


Seaweeds are used in many countries as a source of human food, for industrial applications and as a fertilizer.  But the new research claims that a compound found in seaweed can gift your skin by protecting effectively from sun’s rays.

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Seaweed has the ability to absorb UV rays so it can save your skin from sunburns without causing harm to marine ecosystems. It contains mycosporine-like amino acid (MAA)/palythine compound which can act as an eco-friendly alternative to normal sunscreen. But all seaweeds are not eco-compatible and may harm fragile marine life including microorganisms, coral, and fish.

Scientists at King’s College London has conducted a new research in which, they derived mycosporine-like amino Acid (MAA)/palythine compound from seaweed and tested its ability to protect against UV radiation in human skin cells. MAAs are natural compounds which live in an environment with high volumes of sunlight, usually shallow-water environments.

The study produces an eco-friendly, non-toxic, and chemical-free skin-care solution without negative environmental effects.  Now, to prove that the compound has the same effect outside of the lab environment, further research is needed.

the eco-toxic effects of eight out of the 16 commonly used sunscreen filters in Europe have become the major concern of the European Chemicals Agency and The Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (EEAP), part of the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP).

Antony Young, Ph.D., senior author of the study said, “There are significant concerns that conventional sun protection products are having a negative impact on the environment.”  Antony Young also added, “Marine-derived sunscreens may be a possible solution.”

Lead author, Dr. Karl Lawrence from St John’s Institute of Dermatology at King’s said that the goal of the scientist’s team was to find a new way o protect the earth and human skin at the same time. So they extracted a mycosporine-like amino acid and an antioxidant called palythine from seaweed.

They believe that the further research and development in marine-derived sunscreens will be the solution that will have a significant positive impact on the health of our marine habitats and wildlife.