During the hot summer months, it’s important to protect yourself from the sun and its damaging effects on the skin. But you wouldn’t be caught outside without sunscreen, so problem solved. Right?
Not necessarily. Recent studies show that some sunscreens contain chemicals that, if absorbed by the body, can have undesirable effects on the skin.
No need to hide inside: University of Minnesota researchers have developed a compound that prevents photo aging (i.e. changes induced by ultraviolet exposure) and maintains collagen, which is essential for skin rejuvenation. At the same time, it protects skin from damage caused by UV exposure.
“When you repeatedly expose your skin to the sun without the proper protection, photo damage manifests itself through an increase in epidermal thickness and a change to the skin’s collagen structure. Damage to the DNA also occurs, increasing the risk of skin cancer,” explains professor Robert Vince, co-inventor of the compound and director of the Center for Drug Design.
“The compound works through a different mechanism of action from sunscreen,” says Vince, “with the additional advantage of stimulating enzymes that repair DNA.”
The compound has stood up to rigorous tests, and has proven effective in preventing damage and maintaining epidermal thickness. If commercialized, it could be added to a variety of cosmetic products, which would be more affordable and easier to apply than similar anti-aging products.
Vince and fellow researchers from the Center for Drug Design — including Abbas Raza, Christine Dreis, Marna Ericson and Jaime Nugent — collaborated on this project. The Office for Technology Commercialization is actively seeking a partner to license and further develop the patented technology.
Contact Rebecca Gerber (612-626-5469 or firstname.lastname@example.org), technology marketing manager, for licensing information.