Tucson Tech: UA Licenses New Type Of Sunscreen To Mexican Firm

By David Wichner
The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The new, patent-pending sunscreen which was created by a UA professor and grad student addresses concerns over sunscreen chemicals leeching into the body while making the active ingredients last longer.

The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson

The University of Arizona has licensed a new, nonpenetrating sunscreen to a major Mexican company — perhaps reflecting a new formula for cross-border business development as well.

The new sunscreen, developed by UA professor Douglas Loy and graduate student Stephanie Tolbert, binds an active ingredient in most sunscreens so it doesn’t seep into the skin.

MexiAloe Laboratorios, S.A. de C.V., a subsidiary of Mexican food-distribution giant Novamex, helped push along development before inking an exclusive licensing deal with the UA’s Tech Launch Arizona commercialization arm last week.

The new, patent-pending technology addresses concerns over sunscreen chemicals leeching into the body while making the active ingredients last longer, said Loy, whose main UA appointment is in the College of Engineering.

Loy, who also is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the UA colleges of science and medicine, said the inspiration for the improved sunscreen came from Tolbert, who was interested in working in the cosmetics industry and wanted to develop sunscreens that wouldn’t pass through the skin, Loy said.

The underlying nanotechnology behind sunscreens uses molecules that block ultraviolet light and encase them in microscopic capsules, including a type made of silica glass known as “pearls.”

Problem is, those chemical “pearls” break down, become even more photosensitive and then leach into the skin, Loy said.

The American Association of Dermatology says oxybenzone and other UV-blocking chemicals are safe, but public concerns have been raised about its effects when absorbed by users, the UA notes.

Loy and Tolbert hit upon a formula that binds the common sunscreen ingredient oxybenzone in a way so that they do not break down.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *