Adding caffeine to sunscreens could boost protection against the most common form of skin cancer, claim scientists.
According to the study, conducted by a team from Harvard Medical School and Pfizer, caffeine has an effect on cells which can go on to cause non-melanoma skin cancers and found that the stimulant encourages the harmful cells to die.
The breakthrough study shows at caffeine helps eliminate human cells damaged by UV light, which can develop into cancer, by causing them to commit suicide, reports The Telegraph.
Writing in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology the authors said: "These data suggest topical application of caffeine...perhaps in a sunscreen or after-sun preparation could be investigated as an approach to minimise or reverse the effects of UV damage in human skin."
Gavin Greenoak, Managing and Scientific Director of the Australian Photobiology Testing Facility (APTF) at the University of Sydney, Australia, said: "This research show the potential to improve protection from non-melanoma skin cancer by adding caffeine to topical sunscreens or through more specific drug synthesis."