Good news beachgoers! A sunscreen pill made from coral could one day render suntan lotion nearly obsolete, which would mean no more slathering on the sunblock every time you hit the beach.
If these sunscreen pills were to hit the market, users would be able to simply pop a pill and harmful rays would be blocked using the combined powers of nature and advanced pharmaceuticals.
Researchers are currently experimenting with synthesizing new chemicals from coral in order to be used in the exciting sunscreen pills. But don't get too excited: sunscreen pills are still being developed and will not hit the shelves for at least another five years, according to Charlotte, N.C.'s WSOC TV.
So it's certainly not time to throw out all your suntan lotion, and don't rely on the sun protection pills and supplements currently on the market, as ABC News reports that they do not actually boost your ability to ward off the negative effects on exposure to the sun.
Still, it's nice to know that the days of rubbing oily cream on every exposed inch of flesh on a hot summer day may soon come to an end.
Charlotte mother Heather Gaskins is a skin cancer survivor, and she told WSOC TV that she wears sunscreen and sun-blocking clothes in order to avoid harsh UV rays:
Having had skin cancer before, we'll take all the time we can to protect ourselves and we don't stay out long, Gaskins said.
And Dr. Girish Munavalli told WSOC TV hopes that a sunscreen pill will eventually be released that will ease the burden of millions of people who seek to avoid the ill effects of too much direct sunlight. The pill would enable the human body to block UV rays on its own.
A team of researchers from King's College London visited Australia's Great Barrier Reef last summer to study coral's natural sun defense mechanisms in pursuit of the sunscreen pill or something like it, reported BBC News.
The team studied a few samples of Acropora coral at the reef in hopes of figuring out what chemical compounds help coral ward off the sun, then replicating them synthetically for use in such a sunscreen pill, according to BBC.
And researchers are also working on a melanin-increasing implant called Scenesse, which is in trial and would help people block UV rays as well, the TV station reported.
These types of compounds could increase their melanin in their skin, hopefully, Munavalli said. So that will probably come to market in the U.S. before anything else, so we'll keep our fingers crossed ... A lot of our drugs in nature come from plants and animals and bacteria, so it's a good start.