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Differences of opinion pervade the sun care industry—from how to measure UVA/UVB protection, to educating consumers on proper use of sun protection products. Several debates are raging (see Global Sun Care Debates). To serve the spirit of harmonization in our industry and to better define this expanding market, C&T magazine takes a closer look this month at differences of opinion on the definition of the term sunscreen.
Is a sunscreen an ingredient or a consumer product? To industry experts, the definition of the word sunscreen typically is understood within a given context. To the consumer, a sunscreen generally is considered an invisible shield, in the form of a lotion, cream or spray, applied topically to the skin to protect against UV exposure. To a formulator, a sunscreen may be used in the above sense, i.e., a finished consumer product, or in the sense of an ingredient. In an industry where precision is vital to success in formulating, testing or claims support, C&T magazine feels it is important to remove this ambiguity.