Makeup is no longer confined to covering up blemishes, blackheads and pimples. A new type of makeup designed to hide troops from their enemy also protects soldiers' skin from explosion.
According to researcher Robert Lochhead, of the University of Southern Mississippi, soldiers are exposed to dangerous blasts including roadside bomb detonation. Injuries sustained from blasts can be made worse by oil or wax-based face paint that can melt or flare up on the skin.
Bomb explosions start as a blast wave of high pressure that can move at supersonic speed. Following is a thermal blast that comes instantaneously with a heat wave that surpasses 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit or 600 degrees Celsius. Though the blast will only last a few seconds, the damage can have long-term effects on the face and skin.
To help counteract those damages, Lockhead and his team created a makeup that protects the face and hands up to 15 seconds, before the individual's body temperature soars to a mild first degree burn. In some experiments, it was observed that the window of protection increased to 60 seconds.
In order to create this heat-proof makeup, researchers used silicones. Silicones are not as flammable as fatty substances used to make traditional face paint. Additionally, Lockhead and his team had to find a way to integrate DEET, a flammable insect repellant, which comprises 35 percent of camouflage makeup. The team compressed DEET in a water-rich material in order to prevent it from catching on fire.
In the future, Lockhead's team intends to test the makeup on other surfaces to create a protective layer for other items essential to soldiers such as clothing and tents.
They are currently creating a colorless version that could be used by firefighters, according to ACS statement.
Lochhead revealed his study at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Published by Medicaldaily.com