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Demand Grows for Sun Care Options

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: December 3, 2008, from the December 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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VVR: Sun care ingredients have the specific function of either absorbing light waves then transforming them into another form of energy such as heat or acting as a physical barrier to light, bouncing light back by reflection or scatter. The challenges for both types are to identify/choose:

  • natural or synthetic ingredients;
  • specific or combined ratings against UVB (the SPF), against UVA (the PFA);
  • the needs of a specific consumer group—children, athletes, high intensity use, indoor protection;
  • irritancy or allergenicity;
  • cosmetic appearance on skin so consumer will use them consistently;
  • additional ingredients that may be included, such as an antioxidant to slow down the oxidation of oils and thereby delay the deterioration of the lotion;
  • ensuring that the ingredient remains stable and does not degrade when exposed to light;
  • additional properties such as skin soothing and moisturizing perceived as desirable for acceptance of use by the consumer; and
  • affordability of the technology/ingredient.

JP: There certainly are challenges in creating sun care ingredients. Sun care products are health care products and, therefore, regulated accordingly. However, there is also great opportunity for beauty products. As consumer awareness grows, we believe demand for daily wear products that protect against UVA and UVB exposure is going to increase significantly.

BASF: Yes. The FDA regulates sunscreens as OTC drugs (sunburn prevention) and the active ingredients are regulated. There is a list of approved ingredients (i.e., zinc oxide) that can be used as UV filters in sunscreens. The process of adding new ingredients is the same as any other OTC drug. Safety and efficacy must be demonstrated and the process is expensive and timely, even with the new TEA [an FDA regulatory mechanism in which data for products already approved in other countries are taken into account to authorize the use of active ingredients in OTC drugs and related products] alternative to the NDA (new drug application).

GCI: In a press release for its Uvinul A Plus, BASF states that “More and more skin care and decorative cosmetic products now contain UV filters.” In BASF’s data, are consumers showing a clear preference for products with these filters versus similar products without?

BASF: Consumers are looking for an all-in-one product—a decorative makeup, for example, with good skin feel and appearance that also provides protection from sun damage. As our culture becomes more multifaceted, products are also required to become multipurposed.