Experts Weigh in on How Sunscreen Formulations Are Evolving

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Want to know how sunscreens are improving? Here, some experts share their thoughts. 

“A few years ago, the sensorial feel of sunscreens was a key issue. The chemical ones were only soluble in the oily phase, and that is why their texture can be sticky and greasy. The mineral ones are white powders. Therefore, it is a real challenge to formulate elegant textures without looking like a ghost. That is how our formulation experts faced this double challenge. The solution lays in small metal balls hidden at the bottom of every bottle. By shaking the product before use, the texture becomes homogenous, very protective, and invisible.”

—Marie-Helene Lair, global scientific communications director, Clarins

“Some of the advances we’re seeing in the formulation of sunscreens are as follows: new ingredient technologies, such as plant-based boosters, protection from infrared rays, visible light protection, blue light, and more; new delivery methods, such as gels; and crossover ingredients from the nutrition and food category.”

—Chris Birchby, CEO, Coola

“There is now growing concern that infrared may contribute to premature skin aging and maybe even skin cancer. As such, to have the most complete sun protection, it is best to have a sunscreen that can provide infrared protection in addition to UVA and UVB protection. Currently, there is no FDA regulation over what is considered an infrared blocker. Physical blockers, such as zinc and titanium dioxide, offer some infrared protection. There are also new formulations that have been developed to protect against infrared. One such ingredient is Venuceane, which can be found in HydroPeptide’s new Sun Collection.”

—Joyce Imahiyerobo-Ip, M.D., guiding dermatologist, HydroPeptide

“One major advancement is the addition of infrared A radiation (IRA) protection. IRA rays actually penetrate the skin deeper than UVA rays, causing damage to the cells and DNA. Image has found an ingredient derived from stable enzymes that has been clinically proven to be highly effective in protecting against IRAs. It can be found in the two new Prevention+ formulations that we launched in May for Skin Cancer Awareness Month.”

—Dawn Clifford, senior director of education, Image Skincare

“We’re seeing oil-free lightweight fluid formulations that give a matte finish and a texture that is comfortable to apply over the skin and before makeup.”

—Caroline Rushworth, director of education, Sothys USA

Read More: What's the Deal With Ingestible Sunscreen?