The sunscreen of the future? Scientists develop a skin cream that heals sun ... trends now
A skin cream which heals sun damage as it happens, and blocks a process which causes wrinkles, has been created by scientists.
Researchers say it is a next-generation sun cream, which not only protects against sunburn, but rapidly repairs the low-level damage done to skin by the sun in real time.
The cream contains an artificial version of melanin - the natural molecule within the skin which most people know produces a sun tan, but which also heals the skin after it is hit by the sun's rays.
In fact, scientists have created a 'super-melanin' in the laboratory which works even better.
Used in a skin cream, it captures and neutralises harmful 'free radicals' - molecules in the body triggered by ultraviolet light from the sun which can destroy the collagen needed for plump, springy, youthful skin.
A skin cream which heals sun damage as it happens, and blocks a process which causes wrinkles, has been created by scientists
Used for a long time, the cream could potentially prevent the sagging, fine lines and wrinkles which appear on people's faces after years of sun exposure.
Dr Kurt Lu, a member of the scientific team behind the breakthrough, and a dermatologist and skin biologist from Northwestern University in the US, said: 'Many people try remedies after being sunburnt to soothe the soreness, or a cream to reduce the inflammation, but there was really nothing before this to actually repair the damage done to skin by the sun.
'This repair is needed continuously because if you walk bare-faced every day in the sun, you suffer a low-grade, constant bombardment of ultraviolet light.'
Professor Nathan Gianneschi, the bioengineer and chemist at Northwestern University who helped to make the super-melanin, said: 'We set out to find a scientific solution to a problem with no existing solution - the damage the sun does to the skin.
'When it comes to face creams claiming to tackle the ageing effects of the sun, there is a lot of hype and hope.
'But we have a cream with science behind it which can continuously repair the skin as it is exposed to the sun, and we hope it might be available for daily use within 18 months.'
Researchers say it is a next-generation sun cream, which not only protects against sunburn, but rapidly repairs the low-level damage done to skin by the sun in real time (stock image)