Seaweed for Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a necessity these days. It protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays and it is a useful tool in wrinkle prevention. Unfortunately, sunscreen does contain many chemicals such as oxybenzone which is considered to be an endocrine disruptor (this can reduce sperm count in men and is thought to be related to endometriosis in women). Oxybenzone is also toxic to corals, algae, fish, sea urchins, and other mammals that live in the ocean. And that’s just one of the many chemicals in sunscreen!

We were heartened by a 2017 study that showed a compound found in seaweed, namely the red algae Chrondus yendoi, could protect human skin without causing harm to marine ecosystems. The study, conducted by scientists at King’s College London, showed that MAA (a mycosporine-like amino acid known by its common name palythine) extracted from seaweed can absorb UV rays and thwart any potential damage related to those rays. Palythine is also considered to be an incredible antioxidant and could potentially provide protection against oxidative stress linked to cellular damage and photoageing.

This is exciting news. Really exciting news. The study was published in the British Journal of Dermatology this month by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of British Association of Dermatologists.

“There are significant concerns that conventional sun protection products are having a negative impact on the environment,” said Kings professor Antony Young who is the senior author of the study. “Our data show that, with further research and development, marine derived sunscreens may be a possible solution that could have a significant positive impact on the health of our marine habitats and wildlife…”

Full regulatory approval can’t come soon enough as far as we here at SeaLuxe are concerned. The paper also pointed out the incidence of ALL types of skin cancer is on the increase despite health campaigns to stay out of the sun for prolonged periods of time. Not to mention all these side effects from using chemical sunscreen! “Certain sunscreen formulations have also been found to cause adverse side-effects to human health, including contact hypersensitivity, inflammation and systemic accumulation.”

If you’d like to check out the study, it can be found right here. It is surprisingly easy to digest, too, so we hope you find it as interesting as we do. 

And, once again, we’re in awe of the powerful benefits of seaweed!