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Beiersdorf scientists develop way of making UV protection visible

By Simon Pitman , 06-Aug-2010

Beiersdorf’s research and development team says it has developed a method to make UV protection visible, thus establishing how protection can be measured in more detail.

According to the scientists, its findings not only pinpointed the optimum amount of sunscreen that should be worn, but also determined that in general consumers do not use enough sunscreen to provide adequate protection.

The scientists used an infrared imaging spectrometer, Fourier Transformation Infrared Imaging Sepctroscopy, to visualise how much sunscreen is needed according to the intensity of the UV rays.

For testing purposes the scientists used three different products from the company’s own brand Eucerin range.

Red, yellow, green...

The equipment works on a colour scale, with green representing optimal UV cover, yellow showing that UV cover is not optimal and red indicating that there is potential danger to the skin from UVA and UVB rays due to a lack of protection.

“UV rays can cause the development of skin inflammation, allergic reactions and tumours,” said Dr. Simone Presto, from Beiersdorf’s Medical Affairs department.

“Comprehensive sun protection is therefore necessary, but very few people use enough sunscreen.”

The scientists claim that this is the first time this kind of result has been acheived, and say it could prove to be a useful tool in the battle to help advise consumers how much sunscreen they need to put on, using scientifically-backed visual means.

Consumers don't use enough sunscreen

“The results of our studies have made clear that consumer sonly use between a quarter and a third of the required amount of sunscreen and that an amount of 2 milligrams per centimetre squared has the optimal effect on the skin,” said Dr Elke Grotheer, from Beiersdorf’s department for Product analytics.

This means that between seven and eight teaspoons of sunscreen would be required to provide optimal full body coverage for the average person.

The company says that it will now use the results of its research to help advise consumers how much sunscreen they need to use with the help of the the infrared images.

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