Chemical analysis and in vitro UV-protection characteristics of clays traditionally used for sun protection in South Africa.
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Clays have been used in southern Africa as photoprotectants by the indigenous people. Typically, two types of clay are used: one white in colour and the other red. In this work, the two clays were identified and characterized, and their in vitro SPF values measured. The clays afford a low SPF but offer broad-spectrum protection. No cutaneous side effects from the use of these clays are known. Further consideration should be given to the potential use of clays in sunscreen preparations.