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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 4 of 6

GCI: With varying restrictions on sun protection ingredients globally, what are the challenges for ingredient suppliers and marketers looking to create sun protection products?

Sutton: It is very difficult to create global sunscreen formulations. This leads to multiple regional formulations, which increases cost and complexity, but, given the regulatory differences between regions, it seems unavoidable. [Dow Personal Care’s] global R&D network helps its customers address the unique needs of local markets. We stay on top of regulation changes so we can guide customers in combining ingredients that will deliver the desired performance while meeting regulatory requirements.

Hewitt: In terms of global requirements, this is indeed a challenge for anyone wanting to make “global” sunscreen formulations. Even when a formulation can be created that conforms to global restrictions in terms of active ingredients, testing and labeling requirements vary in different countries or regions, so the manufacturer is faced with having to conduct multiple performance tests and design numerous different labels in order to comply with the different regulations. Unfortunately, this situation is not likely to change any time soon.

GCI: At the 2009 Sunscreen Symposium, there were discussions about organic vs. inorganic systems, taking the photostability of UV filters into account, how substrate can affect the accuracy of UVA testing. What does the brand owner of a new sun protection line need to know about these issues?

Sutton: The brand owner will need guidance on how best to formulate through these challenges. The supplier who can help customers navigate through this difficult terrain will be appreciated.