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The History of Sunscreen

The History of Sunscreen

Published: 21st July, 2017 in: Sun Care

The history of sunscreen can be traced all the way back to the 1930s when Swiss student Franz Greiter made it his mission to invent sun protection after being sunburnt on his ascent up Mount Piz Buin.

When was Sunscreen Invented?

The earliest form of sunscreen was created by Franz Greiter in 1938 and then Benjamin Green in 1944 who used a mixture of cocoa butter and red veterinary petroleum to protect his skin from the sun. Shortly afterwards, Franz Greiter branded his formula Piz Buin while Mr Green marketed his as Coppertone Suntan Cream. Swiss chemist Franz Greiter then went on to produce the Sun Protection Factor rating that is still used today.

Who Invented Sunscreen?

The invention of sunscreen can be associated with both Franz Greiter and Benjamin Green. The latter invented sunscreen for the military to protect soldiers from over exposure to the sun while the former Swiss chemist created Glacier Cream back in 1938.

How Does Sunscreen Work?

Sunscreen provides a barrier which prevents the UV rays from penetrating the skin. Chemicals and minerals form a protective film that reflects the harmful rays and absorbs them instead of the skin.

What does SPF Mean?

Each type of sunscreen comes with its own SPF rating and this stands for Sun Protection Factor. The higher the number the higher the level of protection.

Pre-21st Century vs. 2017 Sunscreen

Sunscreen has evolved over the years starting out as a lotion with a SPF 2. Back when sunscreen was invented it was a red thick, sticky formula similar to petroleum jelly and far cry from the lightweight, hydrating formulas we have today. In the nineties, sunscreen evolved bringing with it various different formulas including gels and sprays. Factor 20 and 30 were launched and a UVA rating was put in place.

Where to Buy Sunscreen

You can buy sunscreen over the counter without a prescription as well as from online pharmacies such as Weldricks. We stock an extensive collection of sunscreen brands for your perusal.