I nurture a belief that someday there will be no need for mineral sunscreens (and certainly not chemical ones) because we’ll find a way to get botanicals to do the job. When plants photosynthesize they are harnessing the enormous power of UV rays without getting damaged so, for a non-scientist like me, that’s only a step away from being a sunscreen.
Actually, I might not be being all that fanciful as scientists have found that there are compounds in grapes that could protect the skin against the sun and could be used in sunscreen and sun protection products.
Just about every anti-aging cosmetic out there seems to contain grape extract for its antioxidant powers. However, researchers in Spain
have isolated flavonoids with a high degree of gallic acid as having the greatest photoprotective capacity.
They can reduce the formation of 'reactive oxygen species' (ROSs) in human epidermis cells that have been exposed to long-wave (UVA) and medium-wave (UVB) ultraviolet radiation. In turn, this can reduce the amount of cell damage caused in skin exposed to this radiation. In other words, grape may reduce or prevent sunburn as well as longer term cellular damage.
Grape isn’t the only vegetal sun protector. A few years ago, broccoli
was found to reduce UV damage by 37%.