Film-Formers Enhance Water Resistance and SPF in Sun Care Products

December 23, 2005 | Contact Author | By: Allison Hunter and Melanie Trevino, New Phase Technologies, A Division of Baker Petrolite Corporation
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Keywords: SPF | sunscreen | water resistance | film formers

Abstract: At low formulating levels, film-forming polymers can increase water resistance and enhance SPF in sun care formulations, while also imparting improved aesthetics. In the case of C30-38 olefin/isopropyl maleate/ MA copolymer, a synergistic SPF effect can be achieved with PVP/eicosene copolymer.

By capitalizing on new technologies for improved aesthetics, greater resistance to wash-off and enhanced SPF, formulators can create innovative sun care products to meet specialized global requirements and the needs of individual skin types.

Among materials that impart water resistance, C30-38 olefin/isopropyl maleate/MA copolymera is a low molecular weight, hydrophobic material that ensures a light feel. The MA in this INCI name refers to maleic anhydride. For convenience, we will refer to this polymer as the olefin/MA copolymer.

The maleic functionality of the olefin/MA copolymer makes it easy to disperse and helps it adhere to the skin. It does need to be neutralized for oil-in-water dispersions, but when neutralized, it disperses readily into water and also acts as an anionic emulsifier. The olefin/MA copolymer forms a water-resistant film that also enhances SPF. Because of the copolymer’s highly efficient film-forming properties, it may be possible to use lower levels of potentially irritating active ingredients in formulation.