Who Invented Sunscreen


The "who" of "who invented sunscreen" is controversial.

Four scientist have all been credited with inventing sunscreen products.


Milton Blake, an Australian chemist is credited with being the first to experiment with sun protection. He created a sunburn cream in his kitchen. Hamilton Laboratories started producing and selling the cream in the 1930’s.

The founder of L’oreal Cosmetics, Eugene Schueller also a chemist, created and marketed his cream in 1936. Neither of these were really all that effective.

Some sources name Franz Greiter, an Austrian scientists as the true inventor of sunscreen. His Glacier Cream, introduced in 1938, was the first commercially viable sun protection cream. In the 1962, Franz Greiter introduced the concept for the Sun Protection Factor rating system-SPF. This has become the worldwide standard for measuring the effectiveness of sunscreen.

In the 1940’s a Miami, a Florida Physician named Benjamin Green, invented the first effective sunblock to protect the GI’s in the South Pacific during WWII from sunburn. It was called - Red Vet Pet because it was a red colored petroleum jelly like gel. He later improved on this formula and this new jasmine scented cream became know as Coppertone. In 1944, Coppertone suntan cream was the first commercially mass-produced sunscreen in the United States.

These first products are nothing like what's available today. They were uncomfortable, pasty, thick and felt like “Paint”.


The ingredients in sunscreen have also changed since those early days. Now they contain numerous chemicals, block both UVA and UVB rays, are much more comfortable to wear and last for hours in and out of the water.

I can’t confirm who invented sunscreen, but I’ll give credit to all four of these scientists and innovators. Because of their developments and experiments we have more advanced sun protection today and say Thank You.


Return from "who invented Sunscreen" to our Sunscreen information page.


Learn about PABA free, zinc oxide and other chemicals as many people are allergic to some common sunscreen ingredients.

Tips on how to apply sunscreen.

How effective is sunscreen and does it expire?

Sunscreen Brands and Ratings



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