Journal article Open Access

An Exploratory Study of Consumers' Knowledge and Attitudes about Lignin-Based Sunscreens and Bio-Based Skincare Products

Nežka Sajinčič; Oihana Gordobil; Amy Simmons; Anna Sandak

Daily consumption of synthetic sunscreens is harmful to the environment and consumers’ health, so greener alternatives need to be produced. Lignin is a multifunctional and widely available biopolymer that can replace several ingredients, but its dark color and low sun protection limit its perceived usefulness. With a survey made for this study, we explored the knowledge and attitudes of 230 consumers towards lignin-based sunscreen, their motives and barriers to purchase it, and how it relates to their environmental and health consciousness. Participants were also asked about their sunscreen habits, their familiarity with the environmental and health impacts of skincare, their perceptions of bio-based ingredients in general, and their skincare product purchasing decisions. Those who are more familiar with environmental issues have a positive attitude towards bio-based ingredients, are accustomed to purchasing more environmentally friendly skincare, and are likelier to be interested in a lignin product. Consumers are welcoming towards a natural, healthy, and environmentally friendly sunscreen alternative but are worried about the lower SPF. Because organic is perceived as luxurious, they are concerned about its price, and some are apprehensive about its pigmentation. While a lignin-based sunscreen at this stage of development is unlikely to take on the role of primary sunscreen on warm, sunny days, it may be more useful as a general-purpose, everyday product that can offer some protection, moisture, and coverage.

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