SciFest National Final 2023

Stand 17

A Lycopene Based Sunscreen to Prevent Skin Damage Caused by UV Radiation

Student Yasmine Odugbesan
School Mercy Secondary School Mounthawk, Mounthawk, Tralee, Co. Kerry
Teacher Eimear Nolan
Venue MTU Kerry

With over 12,000 new cases being diagnosed in Ireland alone, skin cancer remains one of the most common types of malignancy, notably in lighter skinned populations. Although skin cancer, including melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC), is easily preventable, many modern forms of ultraviolet (UV) protection have many flaws.

This research investigated tomatoes and their potential use as a natural UV blocker in a novel sunscreen without the usage of coral-bleaching UV filters such as oxybenzone, octinoxate and octocrylene.

Lycopene was extracted from Solanum lycopersicum using hydrophobic natural deep eutectic solvents (HNADESs) based on fatty acids, capric (decanoic) acid and lauric (dodecanoic) acid. A mixture of capric acid and lauric acid at a 1:2 molar ratio was prepared as the solvent. Then a solvent to solid ratio of 64:1 was used, with 64 ml of solvent per 1 g of solid (tomato). The duration for the extraction process was 62 minutes and the solution was spun at ≈750 rpm at room temperature.

After extraction and analysis, an oil-in-water (O/W) nanoemulsion method was used to create a stable lycopene mixture. The mixture was then analysed using various methods and was tested in cultured skin cells to observe oxidative stress levels in the skin cells.

This research aids in the development of natural photoprotective methods and highlights the importance of proper skin protection to prevent malignancy in skin cells. It also displays the importance of lycopene and its potential in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products.

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SciFest National Final 2023
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