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Where Was Sunscreen Invented?

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Question: Can you tell me where sunscreen was inventd?

Answer: The first sunscreen was invented by an Austrian chemist, Franz Greiter, in 1938. He came up with the idea after getting sunburned on a mountain climbing expedition. He named his invention Gletscher Crème (Glacier Cream), and it had a sun protection factor (SPF) of 2. Greiter later went on to create a higher SPF sunscreen that was called Piz Buin (named after a mountain in the Alps), which is still a popular brand today.

Welcome to the fascinating world of sunscreen! Have you ever wondered where it all began? The answer may surprise you. The first sunscreen was not invented by a big corporation or pharmaceutical company, but by an Austrian chemist named Franz Greiter in 1938. After getting sunburned on a mountain climbing expedition, Greiter was inspired to create a cream that would protect his skin from the harmful effects of the sun. He named his invention Gletscher Crème, and it had a sun protection factor (SPF) of 2. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of sunscreen and its evolution over time.

Where Was Sunscreen Invented?
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Where Was Sunscreen Invented

The Origins of Sunscreen

The concept of sun protection can be traced back to ancient civilizations. Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans all used various materials to block sun rays, including waxes, oils, and plant extracts. In ancient Egypt, people even used extracts of rice, jasmine, and lupine plants to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful effects.

In Japan, Geishas used to apply a paste of uguisu no fun or nightingale excrement since it has high levels of urea and guanine that break down the UV rays of the sun. Native Americans used a mixture of herbs boiled in water to make a tea-like solution that was used as a sunscreen.

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Many indigenous tribes in Africa and South America also used various plant extracts, mud or clay as sun protection. Traditional Maasai tribes in Africa apply a mixture of cow urine and ash to protect their skin from the sun.

The Emergence of Modern Sunscreen

The motivation behind modern sunscreen began with the need to protect soldiers during World War I. During this time, military personnel were exposed to the sun for extended periods and received severe sunburns. As a result, researchers started to look for effective ways to provide sun protection.

In 1936, a Swiss chemistry student, Franz Greiter, was sunburnt on a climbing trip in the Swiss Alps. He would spend his life developing effective skincare formulations, leading to the first-ever numbered Sun Protection Factor or SPF.

In the early 20th century, various chemicals were discovered to be effective in blocking harmful rays. The introduction of avobenzone and benzophenone helped to increase the effectiveness of sunscreens in the 1970s. They provided protection from both UVB and UVA radiation.

The First Sunscreen Patent

The first recorded patent for a “sun screening preparation” was awarded to Franz Greiter in 1944. It was a product called Gletscher Crème or glacier cream. This cream featured a sun protection factor of 2, and later it was improved to SPF 4 to provide better sun protection.

In 1962, a sun protection study was carried out with NASA astronauts, leading to the development of a product that would protect them from the harmful radiation in outer space. This product would later become the basis for modern sunscreens. In subsequent years, many companies aimed to improve the SPF in sunscreens to provide better sun protection.

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Today, there are many different types of sunscreens available. From creams to sprays, they offer varying levels of protection from the sun’s harmful rays. As technology advances, we can expect even more advanced formulations to become available, providing effective sun protection for everyone.

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