It's summer - get your SPF ready
Now that summer has definitely arrived in the northern hemisphere, suncare becomes once more an essential topic. But not only during summer it is important to protect our skin from the harmful effects of UV light. Find out more about what UV does to our skin, how we can protect ourselves and what are the latest trends in sun care.
The sun is important for our lives. Its UV radiation is needed for our bodies to produce vitamin D, and the sun causes a feeling of warmth and wellbeing. But there are also negative effects: If the skin cannot produce melanin fast enough, sunburn occurs. Even more important, UV light is the main cause of skin cancer and of skin aging. Consequently, protection is key.
The spectrum of light is divided into different ranges according to wavelength. For sun protection, the differentiation into UVA, UVB and IR is common:
Protection against UVA and UVB rays is achieved with sun protection filters (SPF).
The SPF indicates how many times longer you can be exposed to the sun with a sunscreen product without getting sunburned than would be possible with the respective individual self-protection time. The SPF always refers to UV-B radiation and is a measured value on the skin: With SPF 30, I can be in the sun 30 times as long as my own protection time (depending on skin type). A numerical classification for UVA filters is not customary in the market. The current regulation of Colipa (to which the entire industry adheres) states that the UVA protection must always be at least 1/3 of the UVB protection. UVA protection is a calculated value (ratio).
There are two different categories of sun protection filters:
- Chemical filters are molecules that absorb UV radiation and convert into heat energy.
- Mineral/Physical filters are particle filters. The smaller the particles, the less "white" the appearance (hence the "whitening"). They act like a mirror on the skin and reflect UV rays.
Physical UVA and UVB filters have become more popular, as chemical ones have been connected to coral reef deterioration and customers become more aware of “reef safe" sun care. Also the chemical UVB filters Octocrylene (OCR) and Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (EHMC) have fallen into disrepute recently.
The best way to protect yourself from UV light is using a high SPF, reapply it regularly, stay out of the sun between noon and 3pm and always cover sensitive areas like the face with a hat.
Sun protection will remain in high demand in 2022 and the future, as its indispensable necessity is recognised and recommended by doctors, aestheticians and beauticians as one of the most important requirements for skin care and anti-aging.
As a trend we can see that the lines between “simple” suncare and skincare are further blurring. Sun products are no longer simply positioned for sun screening, it’s important that other skincare benefits are included too. There is a big potential for suncare products and ingredients with additional skincare benefits.
Some recent examples include:
Glow Recipe Watermelon Niacinamide Sunscreen combines the trend ingredient niacinamide with a broad spectrum SPF 50 lotion - an innovative chemical/mineral hybrid formulation that offers a lightweight, glow-boosting SPF.
Ilia Beauty's Super Skin Tint SPF30 – a hybrid of skincare, make-up and sun protection which remains a site-wide bestseller since launch.
Undefined's R&R Sun Serum combines antioxidantes, the "power of plant magic," with a waterproof mineral sunscreen (SPF 50)with a tinted format.
Mibelle Biochemistry offers a wide range of ingredients which can support SPF filters in suncare/skincare formulations and offer additional benefits for sun-exposed skin:
- InfraGuard: Blocks IR and blue light induced free radical formation, protects mitochondrial DNA and inhibits light induced skin aging
- Helioguard™ 365: A natural UVA protection factor for everyday, prevents the appearance of lines, wrinkles and other signs of photo-aging
- PhytoCellTec™ Solar Vitis: Protects skin stem cells against UV stress, and increases the skin’s UV tolerance
- SunActin: Boosts protective effect of sunscreens and protects skin from UV induced oxidative stress
- Alpine Rose Active: Protection against protein carbonylation / photo aging
- Sunflower Shoot Active: A natural UVA protection factor for everyday, prevents the appearance of lines, wrinkles and other signs of photo-aging
- CM-Glucan Granulate: Protects against UV-induced loss of firmness and protects skin lipids against UV damage