Not sure how it smells once you rub it on (despite assurances it doesn’t), but New Scientist is looking toward a blend of fish extract and shrimp shells to protect our skin and more against UV exposure:
Some species of algae, bacteria and fish that spend a lot of time in the sun have evolved sun shields that absorb the DNA-damaging UV rays in sunlight. These chemicals, known as Mycosporine-like amino acids, have now been turned into a material that can be applied like a sunscreen to skin, as well as objects such as outdoor furniture that are at risk of UV damage.
Besides potentially being a more effective UV-absorber than conventional sunscreens, this natural alternative is biodegradable and some of its ingredients could be scavenged from food waste.
Vincent Bulone from AlbaNova University Center in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues from the University of the Basque Country in Leioa, Spain, reacted the amino acids with a chemical called chitosan, found in the shells of shrimp and other crustaceans. Unlike the amino acids, chitosan is a soluble polymer that can easily be applied to skin….
In further testing, the team showed it maintained its UV absorption after 12 hours at temperatures as high as 80°C, suggesting it could be useful as a coating for things like outdoor furniture that are consistently exposed to high temperatures.