Scientists Report on the Skin Benefits of Soybean Oil

A recent report presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) showcased the development of a new method of converting soybean oil into a bio-based sunscreen active ingredient that could not only shield the skin from harmful UV rays, but also supports the skin cells.

Certain formulations of sunscreen contain ingredients that may be harmful to the skin and health in the long-term, and some dermatologists recommend using only chemical-free products, including organic sunscreen and skin protecting agents.

This particular study shows that a new, natural sunscreen agent could replace ingredients made from petroleum, and may be more effective for protecting the skin against UV damage.

Joseph Laszlo, Ph.D, points out that the market for sunscreen and skincare products that reduce the effects of UV light has been booming in recent years, and is actually a multi-billion dollar industry. However, there is ongoing concern about the effects of certain sunscreen ingredients. Oxybenzone, for example, a common ingredient in many major brand name sunscreens, is a suspected hormone disruptor, according to Dr. Laszlo.

Dr. Laszlo states, “we’re trying to provide nature-inspired skincare materials that avoid such health concerns and at the same time have fewer adverse environmental impacts…sunscreens are among the substances, termed “pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs),” that constitute a relatively new family of water contaminants with potential adverse health effects on wildlife and people.”

Sunscreen products are designed to protect the skin cells and body from the effects of UV-A and UV-B rays, and also lower the risk of sunburn. Overexposure to both types of rays can cause pigmentation, darkening of the skin (tanning), burning, and also increases the risk of skin cancer.

Dr. Laszlo and his colleagues have developed technology for converting soybean oil into a biobased active ingredient for sunscreen products, including the incorporation of ferulic acid. This ingredient may be safer for the skin, and the environment. (Source:

Further Reading

  • Up until now, dermatologists have been trying a variety of different skin removal techniques to get rid of precancerous skin lesions.

  • Topical agents, diet and certain medicines presented at the American Academy of Dermatology’s Summer Academy Meeting 2010 in Chicago is showing promise for preventing UV-induced skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, and dermatologists are now encouraging the public to be conscientious about the amount of sun they are exposed to, and taking extra steps to use broad-spectrum sunscreen on a regular basis.

  • Individuals with a rare skin disease called recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) can improve their condition with the transfer of bone marrow stem cells. A team of medical researchers has found that bone marrow stem cells can effectively treat the disease and help to repair the skin and speed up the healing process. This skin disease cannot be treated with conventional dermatology procedures.