Solar D – letting the sunshine (vitamin) in!

Shelston IP congratulates Inventor Ernest Armstrong, and entrepreneurs Matt Collett and Titus Day, on the highly successful U.S. launch of Solar D, a ground-breaking sunscreen that protects skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun while at the same time allowing the natural production of vitamin D in the skin.


Solar D sunscreen, developed and commercialised in Australia, is an innovative new product that promises to revolutionise the sun care market by finally allowing users to properly protect themselves from harmful sun damage without blocking the production of vitamin D.

Vitamin D, often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”, is required for the absorption of calcium by the body, and is therefore essential for strong bones, muscles and general well-being.  Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

Through an evolutionary “quirk” cholesterol in the skin is converted into vitamin D when it is exposed to UV rays at particular wavelengths.  While a small amount of vitamin D can be absorbed by the body through foods and supplements, most people get their quota by exposure to the sun’s UV rays.

However, despite Australians enjoying a warm climate and an outdoor lifestyle with no shortage of sunshine, a study carried out by scientists at the University of Melbourne and the Baker IDI Heart & Diabetes Institute found that 31 per cent of Australians are vitamin D deficient (results published in the medical journal “Clinical Endocrinology”).  It is thought that increased skin cancer awareness and the widespread use of broad spectrum sunscreens are partly responsible for this vitamin D deficiency.  Broad spectrum sunscreens are designed to almost entirely block out UV rays and, in so doing, they prevent the skin from absorbing the beneficial UV rays that allow us to form vitamin D.

A vitamin D deficiency diagnosis is often met with a recommendation for some SPF-free time in the sun – that’s not ideal if skin cancer is a concern!  Luckily, Mr Armstrong, a US-based inventor, and the makers of Solar D have delivered a solution to this dilemma by producing a sunscreen that provides the user with an SPF 50 rating of sun protection, whilst at the same time allowing for vitamin D synthesis.  The unique formulation of sun screen agents is cleverly designed such that it selectively permits UV rays to penetrate the skin at the particular wavelength used by the body to synthesis vitamin D, while blocking out the UV rays at the wavelengths that are responsible for the damaging effects of the sun.

Solar D products have already taken Australia by storm.  They are stocked by a range of major retailers and widely promoted by celebrities such as Sally Fitzgibbons, the NSW Waratahs Super Rugby team, the BBL Sixers Cricket team and Jules Sebastian.  They are also available online at Amazon and Yves Paris.

Recently the New York Post reported on the benefits of Solar D citing a study in which nearly 42 percent of US adults showed insufficient vitamin D levels.  The same study compared Solar D to a commercial sunscreen with the same SPF and showed that Solar D resulted in a significantly increased conversion of cholesterol  into vitamin D when exposed to UV rays.  No doubt Solar D has a bright future in the US market.

Shelston IP is pleased to have assisted Mr Armstrong and Mr Day in obtaining patent protection for the Solar D product in Australia, New Zealand and Japan and we look forward to obtaining similar rights for this ground-breaking invention in the US, Europe, Canada and Brazil.