Ultraviolet light levels are relatively high in Arctic regions. Just as we apply sunscreen to block UV light from reaching our living cells, animals and plants – and in particular lichens – possess chemicals in their outer ‘skins’ that act as sunscreens. In addition to studying these natural sunscreens, we are working on ways to farm the lichens and extract their active ingredients. Unlike our sunscreens, the natural alternatives do not harm the environment when washed off our skin.