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Sun Care in the 21st Century

By: Jeff Falk
Posted: December 9, 2009, from the December 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

page 3 of 6

Sutton: The more information we can provide to our customers on formulation guidelines and in vitro and in vivo testing results, the more valuable we can be as a supplier to them. This is going to be a major change at a time when resources are limited due to economic and competitive pressures. Suppliers can play an important supportive role in helping sunscreen manufacturers formulate to the new regulations once they are announced.

Also, ingredient suppliers can support manufacturers by providing ingredient solutions that allow formulators to achieve higher SPF and UVA protection levels in more cost-effective ways. SPF boosters, for example, enable formulators to use less of the more expensive active ingredients while achieving the same performance results.

GCI: Can you predict what the next generation of sun protection products will look like, in terms of ingredients? With both UVA and UVB protection offered in one product becoming the expectation, what is next? Though most UVC is absorbed by stratospheric ozone, does it look likely that UVC may be addressed by sunscreen ingredients/products? Is the next horizon simply the boost of protection from UVA and UVB?

Sutton: It is likely that we will see even more combinations of actives to reach optimal (three- and four-star) performance under the new regulations. Zinc oxide will likely be one of the leading sunscreen ingredients, as it provides the broadest spectrum of coverage among currently FDA-approved sunscreen UV filters. It is also mineral-based, so it fits perfectly with the natural/organic trends driving today’s daily wear and cosmetic markets. Other key drivers will be safe, sustainable solutions and improved aesthetics and application ease.

Hewitt: I would expect that the next generation of sun protection products will show rapid progression in offering superior UVA protection, as new UVA filters become approved and regulated test methods drive improved performance in this area. As for UVC, I don’t see this becoming a prevalent product claim in the foreseeable future. We are not exposed to any UVC at the Earth’s surface, so including UVC protection offers no real benefit.