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A Merging of Sun and Skin Care

By: Sara Mason
Posted: April 26, 2013, from the May 2013 issue of GCI Magazine.

These days, it seems as though the glare of the sun care category is making it increasingly difficult to see skin care as a separate category, as the divide between them becomes ever more blurred. Many skin care brands have continued to look for greater alignment with sun protection, prompted by recent developments such as the introduction of BB creams in Western Europe and North America and the rising demand for multifunctional products.

At the same time, consumer demand has led to an increase in sun care products with more skin care benefits. And this merging of skin care properties with sun protection is supporting a distinct global trend toward high factor sun protection across the beauty industry.

Sun Protection in Skin Care

Skin care products are becoming the new delivery method for sun care, a trend being driven by increasing global interest in beauty and wellness.

“Appearance is so important,” says Stephanie Sandrock-Beunat, strategic marketing manager, beauty care, Dow Consumer & Industrial Solutions. “It’s a universal truth that everyone wants to look good and avoid aging in order to remain attractive in our society.” With increasing awareness that the sun is the number one cause of skin aging, consumers are realizing the importance of protecting their skin from the sun and are demanding products with sun protection properties to help them combat these problems.

Consumers also are putting health first more than ever before. They understand the physical damage UV has on the skin, and they want to keep their bodies—including the skin—healthy, meaning they are active in taking the steps necessary to prevent skin cancer and other diseases. The skin is exposed to UV rays—especially the face—daily. Therefore, the industry’s greatest opportunity is for providing more protection in multifunctional daily wear products, according to Sandrock-Beunat.

Many beauty products have adopted a more holistic approach to the benefits they provide. Multifunctionality and categories tapping into the benefits touted by others have been key, as reported by Euromonitor’s Nicole Tyrimou. Many brands are increasingly seeking inspiration from skin care and are using natural ingredients or formulations for specific skin problems. Korres’ Yoghurt Sunscreen line and La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios AC SPF30 Extreme Fluid, which is dermatologically tested on acne-prone skin, are prime examples of this trend. Dow also is aiming to provide SPF with organic formulations to meet the needs of the growing natural market. “We’re looking into increasing performance of natural and more sustainable products,” explains Sandrock-Beunat.

There is a clear trend toward products with multitasking features as well. This is evident in the wider availability of BB creams across Europe and North America, and this has further opened up scope for cross benefits and functions, such as more effective sun protection in hairstyling products, combinations of sun protection for acne-prone skin, and after-sun care with whitening benefits, as exemplified by the Cettua After Sun-Stress Brightening Essence Mask, which is pre-moistened with concentrated arbutin and features a claimed whitening effect for the skin.

Creating more photostable products has been a primary R&D goal for many sun care companies, such as Lipotec, as well. Preventhelia—a tetrapeptide—prevents the damage caused directly or indirectly by UV irradiation to DNA and proteins. The translucent solution fights the detrimental effects of UV radiation in skin, protecting and repairing DNA, thus avoiding the signs of premature aging. Preventhelia can be incorporated in daily beauty product formulations where a photoprotective effect is desired, as well as sun care products.

The supplier also offers Lipochroman, designed to prevent skin from photoaging by protecting cellular DNA from oxidative stress induced by UVA radiation.

Higher SPF

Multifunctional skin care products could pose a threat to the sun care market as consumers are more accustomed to using them on a daily basis, and they benefit from lighter textures than sunscreens. However, typically the SPF in these products is much more diluted than in sunscreen products, and thus a lot more is needed for the UV protection stated to be effective.

A tendency toward higher SPFs in new skin care products helps offset this issue and also addresses consumer demand for greater protection. La Roche-Posay’s latest primer features SPF 50, while Olay ProX Age Repair Lotion features SPF 30, the highest protection factor in the range.