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Lyc-O-Mato: An Ingestible Sunscreen Based on Tomatoes

By Chris V. Thangham     Jul 4, 2008 in Environment
The chemicals in sunscreens protect the skin but hurt the environment, the corals and the fishes in the sea. LycoRed has produced a green product based on tomatoes that help protect the skin without sunscreen.
The dangers of chemicals in sunscreen products are well documented. It has been shown causing bleaching in corals and altering sex in fish.
LycoRed Company wants to provide a green solution for sunscreens and protect you from the sun’s harmful UV radiation. It has developed an extract from the tomato to protect the skin. It is called Lyc-O-Mato and is available in Europe through Inneov, a joint venture of L’Oreal, Nestle and the French based Oenobiol. It will be available in the U.S. soon.
The company also develops a natural red food coloring additive.
The oleoresin, belonging to the carotenoid family, is extracted from the LycoRed’s special breed of tomatoes. Scientists have found in their studies that this extract can shield the skin from the sunburn and protects against the free radicals that lead to premature aging.
Zohar Nir, LycoRed's VP of Scientific Affairs and VP of new product development told
The carotenoid that LycoRed has extracted is made up of several elements: lycopene, phytoene, phytofluene and tocopherols (vitamin E). These natural phytochemicals from the tomato work in harmony to protect the skin from damaging UV radiation
Zohar Nir said though Lyc-O-Mato is not intended to be a sunscreen replacement, but it can be a part of the person’s diet regimen to help them maintain their skin health.
LycoRed will sell these products either as a food supplement or in a beverage.
While other sunscreen products protect you from outside, Lyc-O-Mato protects you from the inside. If it works, then it could be a potential replacement for sunscreen products and, most important of all, available in nature.
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