Sun protection has been an important part of skin care since the dawn of time. Luckily for us, modern-day technology provides the convenience of pre-packaged, easily-portable sunscreen. And it’s readily available at just about any store or market you walk into. Years ago, that convenience just wasn’t there.
In ancient times, people tried avoiding sunburns or tanning altogether because they thought that look to be unappealing. Egyptians, for example, considered lighter skin tones more attractive than darker ones. This is still true of many cultures today. However Egyptians found it difficult to achieve their preference, due to the abundance of sunlight they were continually subjected to. Interestingly, within the last decade scientists have translated hieroglyphics inscribed on tomb walls that revealed natural ingredients for sunscreen-equivalent concoctions. Indeed, the effort to thwart sun damage and heal previously damaged skin goes back thousands of years. (History of sunscreens)
If you’re a skin care guru like myself, you’ll note that the use of ancient minerals is being resurrected in today’s skin care products. One example are rice bran extracts discovered in some of those ancient sunscreen formulas. Fast forward to the current day, and Oryzanol is now being harvested from rice bran in order to capitalize on its natural UV absorption ability.
The Egyptians also used gold particles for natural sunscreen coverage. They worked as anti-inflammatory cell rejuvenators, with anti-bacterial properties that soothed and lightened already damaged skin. Today, skin care companies around the globe are incorporating minerals like gold nanoparticles into their products for the previously-listed reasons-PLUS for their ability to form a barrier on the skin to protect it from wrinkles and free radical damage.
So, now that we’re seeing past concerns with sun damage and sun protection come full circle with modern times, what does the future have in store for sunscreen? Let’s discuss that in a future thread.
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