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SPF, Efficacy and Innovation

By: Nancy Jeffries
Posted: August 28, 2008, from the February 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 9

Anna Gripp, senior technical marketing manager, DSM Nutritional Products, which offers UV filters and antioxidant vitamins for sun protection, discussed key components of an effective sunscreen.

“Obviously, the active ingredients come first, however, it is the appropriate combination of actives that achieves the desired SPF,” says Gripp. “It’s also the emulsifiers that are used, which are key in keeping a stable emulsion as well as playing a part in water-resistancy. Next, are the stabilizers in the system for the actives to get maximum effect. Water-resistant polymers and other ingredients are utilized to improve water-resistancy, and, finally, a preservative system plus SPF enhancers and stabilizers complete the list.”

Ingredient enhancements and synergistic combinations are key. “Basically, the most important components are the UV filters, and it would be important to use a combination of ingredients, whereby broad spectrum (i.e., UVA and UVB) protection is achieved,” added Gripp. Different combinations of actives are used to achieve high SPF protection.

Protective sun care benefits may be obtained by combining UVB/UVA filters with the antioxidant vitamins C and E, for enhanced skin protection. Sodium ascorbyl phosphate, DSM Nutritional’s STAY-C 50 product, is a more stable form of vitamin C. Avobenzone, supplied by DSM Nutritional as Parsol 1789, is an organic filter that has been approved for use in the United States since 1981. Unlike other organic UVA filters currently being used in sun care, which protect against shorter wavelength UVA, Parsol 1789 is said to provide broad-UVA spectrum protection, including the longer wavelength UVA I (340–400 nm).

“The inclusion of UVB filters and the FDA-approved broad-spectrum UVA filter, Parsol 1789, into sun care and skin care products, can provide an excellent protective shield. Unfortunately, even products with high SPFs of 30 plus, cannot completely block the entire spectrum of UV light,” says DSM.