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A Place in the Sun

By: Sara Mason
Posted: June 7, 2010, from the June 2010 issue of GCI Magazine.

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Similarly, Beyond Coastal’s goal is to produce clean true broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreens that are not harmful to the body. “We have worked hard to ensure that we use the cleanest and healthiest chemical actives and that all our inactive ingredients meet standards,” said John Bercaw, director of marketing for Beyond Coastal and Chums, which owns the U.S. brand. “There is a demand for active formulas by many who want fast-absorbing transparent sunscreens.” The brand’s natural formulas feature antioxidants—such as matrixyl and rigin—and antiaging and nourishing properties through ingredients such as yerbe mate, green tea extract, aloe, jojoba seed oil and sodium hyaluronate yeast extract.

“Manufacturing clean and natural sunscreens at an acceptable price point is difficult under current FDA regulations,” said Bercaw. “Getting the FDA to approve more actives and developing more potent natural preservatives is the biggest challenge.” Many actives approved by the FDA are not in line with nongovernmental organization (NGO) standards that many natural brands follow, and many actives approved in these standards can be incredibly expensive.

Such innovation is key to developing more powerful sunscreens that can also meet demand for more natural products, and getting the right balance of skin protection and restoration is an ongoing process.

Feelin’ Good

Globally, formulators see reaching the right UVA/UVB ratio as the main challenge in sun care, but not far behind is the texture—even more so in Europe. The trend to higher SPF and the need for better UVA protection as well as the implementation of the UVA/UVB standard forces formulators to increase the amount of both organic and mineral filters, resulting in a negative impact on the texture. Experts contend there is still a certain difficulty for consumers to adopt creams with high SPF, due to an unpleasant skin feeling when applied. A need to maintain a fresh, light texture that spreads easily and absorbs quickly challenges formulators and increases the complexity of formulas.

As brand owners look to meet these requirements, they need high-performance ingredients and effective control over their products’ sensory properties. Ingredient suppliers aim to help their customers by offering emollients, emulsifiers and active ingredients that work together to combine product performance with ease of formulation.