Beiersdorf has developed a cosmetic sun protection product specially made for a four year-old German girl with erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP), a rare light disorder.
When Charlotte’s skin comes into direct contact with the visible, coloured components of sunlight, a genetic defect causes neuropathic pain and triggers burns on the skin.
Even as a baby, Charlotte suffered and cried out when the sunlight touched her skin, which is why her parents did everything they could to find help.
When they reached out to Nivea and Dr. Ludger Kolbe, a research project was launched for an innovative cosmetic sunscreen to help her.
The research and development department of Beiersdorf, the skin care company behind the Nivea brand, found visible, high-energy light needs light-scattering pigments to be added to the cosmetic sunscreen.
This can prevent the light from penetrating the skin, allowing the girl to be exposed to sunlight for a short period of time – allowing her to enjoy a better quality of life.
Applied thickly, the protective function allows the child to stay in direct sunlight for a short while – which was previously unthinkable.
Dr. Kolbe said: “We are delighted that we were able to find a special solution for Charlotte. With her personal sunscreen, she still has to be careful in the sun, but can spend a little longer playing outside with her friends.”
A Beiersdorf spokesman said the cosmetic sunscreen was especially developed for Charlotte and her individual skin needs, and thus is not part of its product portfolio or for sale.
“The product cannot cure EPP and Charlotte still needs to be very careful when in the sun, but it does give her a little more freedom when she steps outside,” he added.