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Dermatology Science Fair Project

Sunscreen Soap and UV Radiation

Sunscreen Soap and UV Radiation | Science Fair Projects | STEM Projects
Sunscreen lotions or soaps are used to protect us from the sun's ultraviolet rays. In this experiment, you will measure the effectiveness of a sunscreen by its Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating. You will mix different concentrations of Octyl salicylate in soap solutions and measure the UV index before and after placing the glass over the box.


The hypothesis is that higher concentrations of Octyl salicylate in a soap mixture will result in greater blockage of UV radiation.

Method & Materials

You will label 5 glass sheets and 5 beakers with 0%, 2%, 4%, 6% and 8%. You will mix alcohol, glycerin and Octyl salicylate in the beakers according to the labels. You will spread the soap solution on the glass surface and allow it to dry. You will place the wooden box in direct sunlight and measure the UV index before and after placing the glass over the box.
You will need 5 glass sheets measuring 500mm x 500mm, 1 UV meter to measure UV index, 1 wooden box with open top, 500 ml alcohol, 250 gram of glycerin, 10 gram of Octyl salicylate, 5 beakers, 1 measuring cylinder, 5 sponges, 1 spatula, and 1 digital weighing scale.


The experiment showed that increasing the concentration of the Octyl Salicylate in the soap used to coat the glass surface resulted in increasingly lower UV index readings. This means that increased concentrations of Octyl Salicylate resulted in more effective blockage of UV radiation.

Why do this project?

This science project is interesting because it shows how different concentrations of Octyl salicylate in soap mixtures can affect the amount of UV radiation blocked.

Also Consider

Variations of this experiment could include testing different types of sunscreen chemicals like oxybenzone or zinc dioxide, or repeating the experiment indoors using a UV lamp.

Full project details

You can find additional information and details for this science fair project here. Have fun exploring!

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