When Was Sunscreen Invented? Find Out Here


When Was Sunscreen Invented

Sunscreen, a pivotal component in our skincare routines, has a story dating back thousands of years. It is important to know this because based on the importance placed on sunscreens, the recent generation tends to ask when sunscreen was invented. While the modern formulations we use today may seem like a recent innovation, the concept of sun protection is far from new.

History Of Sunscreen

The ancient Egyptians were among the first to recognize the importance of sun protection. They ingeniously concocted natural blends using ingredients like rice bran, jasmine, and lupine to shield their skin from the harsh sun rays. These early formulations served both cosmetic and protective purposes, showcasing an early understanding of the need to safeguard the skin from sun damage.

Fast forward to more recent history, and we find the early 20th century marking a significant milestone in the development of sunscreen. In 1938, Austrian chemist Franz Greiter introduced the concept of the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). Greiter’s creation laid the groundwork for modern sunscreen, providing a standardized measure of a product’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays.

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Sunscreen Today

It wasn’t until the 1940s that the first commercially available sunscreen hit the market. Miami pharmacist Benjamin Green formulated a product called “Red Vet Pet,” initially intended to protect soldiers from sunburn during World War II. This zinc oxide-based cream laid the foundation for modern sunscreen, offering broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

The 1970s witnessed a surge in sunscreen innovation, with the introduction of waterproof formulations and the development of sunscreens with higher SPF ratings. These advancements expanded the options available to consumers, making sun protection more accessible and effective.

In the following decades, ongoing research and technological advancements led to the creation of a diverse array of sunscreen formulations, including lotions, sprays, gels, and sticks. Additionally, the focus shifted towards incorporating skin-friendly ingredients and improving the cosmetic appeal of sunscreens, catering to a wide range of preferences and skin types.

Today, sunscreen stands as a cornerstone of skincare, indispensable in our daily routines for safeguarding against premature aging, sunburn, and the risk of skin cancer. With continued advancements in formulation and education on sun protection, we can ensure that future generations enjoy the benefits of healthy, protected skin.

Frequently Asked Question On When Was Sunscreen Invented

1. When was sunscreen invented?

Sunscreen, in various forms, has been in use for thousands of years. However, the modern concept of sunscreen as we know it today began to take shape in the early 20th century.

2. Who introduced the concept of Sun Protection Factor (SPF)?

Franz Greiter, an Austrian chemist, introduced the concept of SPF in 1938. He developed the SPF system to measure a product’s ability to protect against UV rays.

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3. When was the first commercially available sunscreen introduced?

Benjamin Green, a pharmacist in Miami, created “Red Vet Pet,” the first sunscreen that was readily available on the market. Initially created to protect soldiers from sunburn during World War II, it laid the foundation for modern sunscreen.

4. What were some key advancements in sunscreen during the 1970s?

The introduction of waterproof formulations and the development of sunscreens with higher SPF ratings.

5. What has been the focus of sunscreen innovation in recent decades?

In recent decades, sunscreen innovation has focused on incorporating skin-friendly ingredients, improving cosmetic appeal and offering a diverse range of formulations.

6. Why is sunscreen important?

Sunscreen is essential for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays, which can cause sunburn, premature aging, and increase the risk of skin cancer.

7. How has sunscreen evolved over time?

Sunscreen has evolved from ancient remedies made from natural ingredients to modern formulations with advanced UV protection technology and improved cosmetic appeal.

8. What is the significance of sunscreen in skincare?

Sunscreen plays a vital role in skincare by helping to prevent sun damage, maintain skin health, and preserve a youthful appearance.

9. What are some common types of sunscreen available today?

Today, sunscreen is available in various formulations, including lotions, sprays, gels, and sticks.

10. How can we ensure effective sun protection?

To ensure effective sun protection, it’s essential to apply sunscreen generously and regularly and reapplying every two hours.


While sunscreen may have humble origins, its evolution over the centuries highlights the enduring human quest to shield our skin from the sun’s harmful rays. From ancient remedies to modern innovations.

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