The Discovery of Sunscreen 

It's hard to determine the first time the human species actually used a fortification against the suns' rays. As a convention we want to guard ourselves from pain. If you have ever had slight sunburn, you would know that we would find something to protect ourselves sooner or later.

Some sources say that it dates back all the way to the Greeks in 400BC when training for the Olympics. They created a mixture of sand and oil (which makes me think that they would burn faster) and lathered their scantly clad bodies. Some say that in the late 1400's Christopher Columbus noted in his journals that he saw islanders "painting their bodies with color".  Even later in the 1800's Charles Darwin wrote about seeing "painted people" during his travels on the HMS Beagle. 

Safeguarding from the sun is not limited to our species. If we really open our minds and think beyond us several animals cover their bodies to protect themselves from the suns' harsh rays. For example, think of the elephant. They have the innate instinct to cover themselves with mud to protect their very leathery skin which is extremely susceptible to burning. Hippopotamus also keep ninety percent of their bodies under the water during the day to protect themselves. So it’s not just us, many animals protect themselves from the sun.

Modern day sunscreens are constantly being improved according to new discoveries and understandings of the molecular reactions with ultraviolet radiation. The first sunscreen was created by a young Austrian chemist, Franz Greiter, in 1938. The product Gletscher Crème now known as PIZ BUIN was named after the mountain Greiter was climbing when he was badly sunburn. He later introduced the concept of SPF (Sun Protection Factor) in 1962. SPF became the standard worldwide for measuring the effectiveness of sunscreen when applied at a rate of two milligrams per square centimeter. Gletscher Crème was an SPF of 2.

No matter who discovered the many forms of sunscreen we know that it is a well excepted form for protecting the skin against the unsympathetic rays that come from the sun.

Sunscreen Chemistry
Sunscreen verses Sunblock
Vitamin D Synthesis
Portrait of the Sun
Active Ingredients
Skin Cancer
Ultra Violet Radiation
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