One step closer to developing a potentially ultraprotective sunscreen from our own melanin

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A new discovery about the structure of melanin has brought scientists one step closer to developing a new, potentially ultra-protective sunscreen derived from a biological substance found in nearly all organisms.
Melanin, the pigment that gives humans their skin, eye, and hair colour, is the body’s first and best natural defense against the sun’s harmful rays.
Cosmetics companies have long tried to harness the protective powers of natural and synthetic melanin for use in chemical sunscreens and other personal care products.
For example, melanin could, in theory, be used to produce a radiation barrier that augments skin care products by matching a more diverse range of natural skin tones.
“We’ve taken a major step forward in understanding a new mechanism for how melanin can serve as a sunscreen,” Lumb said.

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