What is the History of Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a cream applied on the skin to protect it from the ultraviolet rays A&B from sunlight. It has been found that both A&B of ultraviolet are harmful to the skin. The first sunscreen was produced about 50 years ago and hit the market. The purpose of producing sunscreen at that time was minimizing the harmful effects of ultraviolet light of sunlight. A labeling system for the product was adopted in the USA in early 1970s. It was called Sun Protection Factor, SPF in short.

Ultraviolet A plays a prompting role in development of cancer in the skin and ultraviolet B is the main cause for skin cancer. Sunscreens generally contain parsol 1789 which is an ingredient capable of ultraviolet penetration. Titanium oxide and zinc in an ultra micronized form is other ingredient. There have been further developments of sunscreens and several modified versions are also in the market. Many people are credited with the development of sunscreens. The first sunscreen was made in early 1930s. A chemist in South Australia tried develop one, and did not succeed.      

Another chemist who founded the L’Oreal cosmetic company met with success the same year. He gets the credit as the inventor of sunscreens. A marketable sunscreen called glacier screen was produced in 1946 by an Austrian who had received sun burns while going on a mountain climbing expedition. The expedition took place 8years before he invented the sunscreen. It is not known whether cream developed by him could be of any use in treating the sunburn he had received eight years earlier.

In the USA a physician is credited with the invention of sunscreen creams in the 1940s. The Miami physician prepared potion in his kitchen and used it on his bald head to find out its effectiveness. What he had produced was a substance which was jelly like and red in color. This physician has shown great interest to protect soldiers fighting in the South Pacific during WWII. After the war was over continuing his experiments with his original creations he came out with copper tone suntan cream.

Jasmine scented, copper tone suntan cream caught on and is credited with being the first ever mass produced sunscreen cream, available to all consumers. The zinc cream was brought out in 1940 by another chemist. The Sunscreen has become a very popular product and as a result many varieties have been developed. Spray on, waterproof, daylong protection are some of those varieties that are available n the market. There is a basic difference in the way sunscreen are required in different countries. As a consequence the standards also vary from country to country.

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