The first natural cosmetic soothing sunburns and other skin irritations is based on a unique, patented technology of processing a substance called chitosan, developed at the Gdańsk University of Technology's Faculty of Chemistry. It gained international recognition, receiving awards during the 21st Archimedes Moscow International Inventions and Innovative Technology Salon in Russia and The international trade fair for "Ideas – Inventions – New Products" in Nuremberg, Germany.
Chitozan naturalny Sun is a soothing, moisturizing and regenerating spray gel. It contains chitosan hydrogel (comprised of water, carbon dioxide and chitosan) as well as D-panthenol, but does not have any dyes, preservatives, allergens or aromatic compounds. Therefore, it can be used by people with allergies or sensitive skin and women in pregnancy. The cosmetic is produced and distributed by AG medica company, which was established by Grzegorz Gorczyca, Ph.D., Gdańsk University of Technology graduate.
Chitosan is sourced from crustacean shells, mainly of krill and shrimps. It is 100% biodegradable and, due to its chemical composition, completely compatible with human skin. At the same time, it is a water-insoluble polymer.
"Insolubility was the biggest challenge related to processing chitosan, forcing the producers to use organic acids which reduce its applications and change the chemical structure of shells", Gorczyca points out.
In 2012 Grzegorz Gorczyca, Robert Tylingo and Piotr Szweda, assisted by Prof. Sławomir Milewski and Prof. Maria Sadowska from the GUT Faculty of Chemistry, developed a unique method of processing chitosan into a stable, water-soluble hydrogel. Due to the properties of this substance it was a major breakthrough for the entire industry.
Two years later Foundation for Polish Science and the National Centre for research and Development supported the research aimed at producing chitosan hydrogel on a massive scale. The cosmetic became available for customers in 2016.
It is worth noting that the same polymer research also allowed for creating and patenting dressing materials for treating hard-to-heal skin wounds. which still require financial support to be introduced.