Lignin is a natural UV blocking material; it has excellent UV absorptivity due to its aromatic structure and the presence of numerous phenol, ketone and intramolecular hydrogen bonds. Recently, the use of lignin as a substitute for conventional mineral and synthetic UV protection ingredients in sunscreens has been recognized as an attractive and promising concept for the renewable and sustainable production of lignin-based products. Despite its significant UV blocking potential, the intrinsic dark color of lignin leads to the inevitable dark color of lignin-based sunscreens, severely limiting their wide use. Therefore, this review focuses on providing a comprehensive insight into lignin-based sunscreens. The positive effects of the sun blocking ability of lignin and the disadvantages associated with lignin-based sunscreens have been studied in detail in terms of cosmetic appearance. To address the bottleneck in lignin-based sunscreens, several methods have subsequently been developed, including fractionation and modification of the chemical structure, morphology and particle size of lignin. In addition, future perspectives of lignin-inspired sunscreen production were discussed in order to suggest promising approaches for a simple and environmentally friendly production of natural sunscreen from lignin.


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