The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and skin care company Larissa Bright Australia have developed a sunscreen modelled on the sun protection used by the Great Barrier Reef to protect itself from the sun. Over the last two years CSIRO researchers have been adapting the coral’s sunscreen code so that it is safe enough to use on human skin.
Above: Great Barrier Reef coral has led to the development of a new natural sunscreen.
This natural sunscreen mimics the way that the Barrier Reef protects itself from the harsh Australian sun with UV filters that are resistant to both UVA and UVB rays. Deciphering how the coral protects itself from the sun has taken over 20 years of hard work by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). The researchers at AIMS had to interpret how the coral had cleverly protected itself from the sun over millions of years through a process of evolution and adaptation.
Larissa Bright the company director and founder of Larissa Bright Australia took this information, found by AIMS, to the CSIRO where they were able to build on this research to create Australia’s first natural sunscreen based on the skills of the corals of The Great Barrier Reef.
Above: Larissa Bright and Dr Mark York are developing a natural sunscreen with the help of Great Barrier Reef corals.
CSIRO Research Scientist Dr. Mark York said, “The molecular make up of the coral’s natural sunscreen filter was quite complex, but the real challenge was modifying it so that it was resistant to both UVA and UVB radiation in one molecule, which is what makes these filters so unique.”
And that’s what Larissa Bright Australia and CSIRO did, they successfully created a molecule that protects from both UVB and UVA radiation based on how the coral reef protects itself from the sun. The filters they then developed from the molecule developed are clear, virtually odorless and stable which makes them easy to be incorporated into any emulsion.
“For the consumer what this means is in a sunscreen lotion you will no longer have to mix 3 or 4 different chemical filters to create a broad spectrum coverage for yourself,” explains Larissa Bright.
These broad-spectrum coral sunscreen filters, or natural sunscreen as we like to say, should be available across the globe within the next 5 years. For more information on this product visit www.larissabright.com.au .