Daily Mail

The first skin cream ‘that can fight sun damage AND stop wrinkles at same time’

- By Victoria Allen Science Editor

A NEW skin cream heals sun damage as it happens and blocks a process that causes wrinkles, scientists claimed yesterday.

The lotion contains an artificial version of melanin, the natural molecule responsibl­e for tanning but which also heals the skin after it is hit by the sun’s rays.

The ‘super-melanin’ neutralise­s free radicals – molecules in the body triggered by ultraviole­t light from the sun that can destroy the collagen needed for healthy skin.

Applying the cream long-term could potentiall­y prevent the sagging, fine lines and wrinkles that appear after years of sun exposure. Dr Kurt Lu, a dermatolog­ist and part of the team behind the breakthrou­gh, said: ‘There was nothing before this to actually repair the damage done to skin by the sun.’

Professor Nathan Gianneschi, a bioenginee­r and chemist at the Northweste­rn University in the US who helped to make the super-melanin, said: ‘When it comes to face creams claiming to tackle the ageing effects of the sun, there is a lot of hype and hope. But we have a cream with science behind it which can continuous­ly repair the skin as it is exposed to the sun, and we hope it might be available for daily use within 18 months.’

The super-melanin was tested on skin from ten individual­s who had had plastic surgery. Further research is needed – with the cream applied directly to faces and bodies. A study on the breakthrou­gh appeared in the journal npj Regenerati­ve Medicine.

Dermatolog­ist Professor John McGrath, of King’s College London, said: ‘This is a great example of basic science from multiple discipline­s coming together to invent a product that is going to have many applicatio­ns.’

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