Soybean Oil Dubbed as New Eco-Friendly Sunscreen Agent

Mar 24, 2010
Scientists found that soybean oil has a potential to become new sunscreen ingredient that does not have common side effects of existing sunscreen products and is eco-friendly.

Nowadays, many people are aware about the importance of using sunscreen products as a way to protect themselves from harmful effects of the UV exposure. Sunscreens offer protection against ultraviolet light that may cause sunburns and skin cancer.

However, there are also certain concerns about the safety of some ingredients used in sunscreen products. For example, oxybenzone agent, that is often used in skin care products is linked to allergies and hormonal disruption.

Joseph Laszlo, Ph.D and the author of the study at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Peoria, Ill. found a way to covert soybean oil into bio-based sunscreen ingredient. He used ferulic acid, plant-based ingerdiet with soybean oil to develop a new type of material, called feruloyl soy glycerides (FSG), which is able to absorb UV-A and UVB light. FSG material can also be used in production of anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle skin care products, as it also contains antioxidants that protect skin from environmental damage. Besides, skin care products containing FSG will be environmentally-friendly and will not have the same damaging effect as the current sunscreens.

At present, the new material is made by iSoy Technologies Corporation and can be found in some cosmetic products in the US and Asia.

The findings were presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).