What a year for sunscreen! A look at innovations and developments so far in 2011

By Andrew McDougall

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Sunscreen, Ultraviolet

What a year for sunscreen! A look at innovations and developments so far in 2011
It has been a big year for sunscreen with the long awaited announcement of the FDA monograph and numerous industry comments. So with summer in full flight, we take a look at some of the sunscreen and UV protecting ingredients and developments that have caught our eye in 2011.

First up was the launch of ISP’s synthetic peptide Caspaline 14, which the company claims can boost the skin’s natural UV defences.

Launched in January, the ingredient supplier stated the formulation had been designed to increase expression of the enzyme Caspase 14.

Further research in mice suggested that the enzyme plays a role in the ability of the skin to act as a barrier against UV radiation – UVB mediated damage was much higher in mice without caspase 14, according to ISP’s skin care marketing director, Joel Mantelin.

Good for wine, good for skin

January also saw the announcement of a study carried out by ingredients company New Zealand extracts and Ag Research that suggested a Sauvignon Blanc extract could be a good sunscreen.

Scientists reported they were surprised at how effective the grape seed extracts were at combating protein damage from UV rays on skin, but stated that damage caused at the molecular level was reduced or lessened when the extract was applied to the skin.

Grapes were also the focus of a recent study in Spain which also suggested some compounds in grapes could protect the skin against UV rays and could be utilised in sunscreen and sun protection products.

The researchers from the University of Barcelona and the CSIC (Spanish National Research Council) showed that some polyphenolic substances extracted from grapes (flavonoids) can reduce the formation of 'reactive oxygen species' (ROSs) in human epidermis cells that have been exposed to long-wave (UVA) and medium-wave (UVB) ultraviolet radiation.

Award winners

On the suppliers’ side, two companies were given recognition at this year’s in-cosmetics show for their UV protecting ingredients.

Lipo Chemicals saw its HEV Melanin ingredient which is tailored specifically to absorb HEV light which can penetrate deeper than UVA and cause a number of dangerous skin disorders, named ‘best ingredient’ at the show.

It does not claim to be a UV filter, but rather to complement filters in sunscreen and moisturising products and provide added protection.

Croda Europe picked up the Cosmetics and Toiletries Innovation Research & Development award at the cosmetics show for its Solaveil Spextra UV filter.

The filter is a range of titanium dioxide dispersions that offers a broad spectrum UV protection, enabling the formulator to make globally-approved, high SPF sunscreen products that conform to EU guidelines for UVA protection using this single active.

It’s all about the monograph

Some months after the show came the big FDA announcement about labelling, and whilst there were some concerns raised over the risks that some ingredients may pose, the FDA gave positive endorsement of the safety of nanoscale ingredients in sunscreens, and the industry as a whole appeared to welcome the announcement.

Israeli ingredients company IBR responded to the announcement in late June pushing its IBR-Photo(flu)ene colourless carotenoids as a supplement to protective skin care.

The company claims the benefits of its ingredient include UV light absorption, with the product protecting damage to the skin as well as appearing colourless.

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