‘Very’ Water-resistant Sunscreens

Mar 20, 2014 | Contact Author | By: Luigi Rigano, PhD, ISPE, Milan, Italy
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Title: ‘Very’ Water-resistant Sunscreens
water-resistancex film-forming polymersx anhydrousx liposomesx w/o emulsionsx emulsifiersx
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Keywords: water-resistance | film-forming polymers | anhydrous | liposomes | w/o emulsions | emulsifiers

Abstract: Water-resistance is a key parameter for today’s sunscreens, and there are a number of formulation strategies that can be used alone or in combination to achieve this effect, including: anhydrous formulation, w/o emulsions, film-forming polymers, dissolution of water-insoluble substances with alcohol, low levels of emulsifiers, and entrapping filters in liposomes. These are detailed here.

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L Rigano, ‘Very’ Water-resistant Sunscreens, Cosm & Toil 129(3) 66 (Apr 2014)

Market Data

  • Awareness among consumers about the harmful effects of UV boosted sun care sales by 6.5% in 2012 in the United States.
  • Sun care marketers are diversifying their product offerings; a common trend emerging is to include tint.
  • Although spray-on sun care products are popular, there are rising concerns associated with the inhalation of nanoparticles.
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When updating a sunscreen formulation to meet today’s requirements, formulators must consider improved water-resistance as a key parameter, since sunscreens are often used outdoors near bodies of water. Reapplication of the product after each water exposure is undesirable for modern consumers who seek both comfort and ease of use from their sun care products. Moreover, the protection provided by a sunscreen can be compromised with sweating; in fact, the reduced efficacy of sun care products due to perspiration has been shown in athletes, where rates of skin cancer have grown.

The term waterproof can no longer accompany sun care products, as it provided an excessive sense of safety to consumers and increased their risk of being burned. Waterproof has been substituted by the claims water-resistant or very water-resistant, when the sun protection provided by a product is reduced by less than 50% after a lukewarm bath lasting 40 min or 80 min, respectively. Many have tried to update this evaluation procedure, including an attempt to develop an in vitro non-human test; however, the traditional in vivo method remains the most adopted.

Water-resistant products are more likely to achieve lower transdermal delivery since their components are contained inside the applied film. This factor allows water-resistant sunscreens to provide longer-lasting protection than standard sunscreen products. In addition, the filters entrapped in the film will have low transdermal delivery to the body, reducing the risk of chemicals penetrating the skin and lowering the accumulation of said substances. Beyond maintaining the efficacy of sunscreens when they come in contact with water, there is also increasing concern related to the accumulation of trace sunscreen ingredients that could harm the resident flora and fauna in lakes, rivers and oceans.

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Ingredients: Anthelios 50 Mineral Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid

Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 11%
Inactive Ingredients: Water (aqua), Isododecane, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Undecane, Triethylhexanoin, Isohexadecane, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Nylon-12, Caprylyl Methicone, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Phenethyl Benzoate, Silica, Tridecane, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Talc, Dimethicone/PEG 10/15 Crosspolymer, Aluminum Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, PEG-9 Polydimethylsiloxyethyl Dimethicone, Alumina, Polyhydroxystearic acid, Phenoxyethanol, Magnesium Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Aluminum Hydroxide, PEG-8 Laurate, Stearic Acid, Disteardimonium Hectorite, Syringylidenemalonate, Tocopherol, Propylene Carbonate, Cassia Alata Leaf Extract, Maltodextrin, Benzoic Acid, PEG-9

Ingredients: Riemann & Co. P20 SPF 20

Alcohol Denat., Octocrylene, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Hexyldecanol, Water (aqua), PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Homosalate, Cyclopentasiloxane, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Hydroxypropylcellulose

Ingredients: Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray SPF 30

Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 8%, Octisalate 4%, Octocrylene 8%, Oxybenzone 5%
Inactive Ingredients: Alcohol Denatured, Dimethyl Ether, Octyldodecyl Citrate Crosspolymer, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Ethyl Methicone, Cetyl Dimethicone bis-Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Fragrance (parfum), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Wax, Diethylhexyl 2,6-Naphthalate, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C), Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A)

Footnotes [Rigano 129(3)]

a Sunstane SAIB MCT, Eastman
b 556 Cosmetic Grade Fluid, Dow Corning Inc.
c, d Nikkomulese W-NS (INCI: Polyglyceryl-6 Polyricinoleate (and) Polyglyceryl-2 Isostearate (and) Disteardimonium Hectorite) and Nikkomulese WO (INCI: Cyclopentasiloxane (and) PEG-10 Dimethicone (and) Disteardimonium Hectorite) are products of Nikko Chemicals Co., www.nikkol.co.jp.
e Baycusan C1000 (INCI: Polyurethane-34) is a product of Bayer MaterialScience, www.bayercosmetics.com.
f, g Cavamax and Belsil REG 1100, Wacker
h, j Amaze XT (INCI: Dehydroxanthan Gum) and Dermacryl 79 (INCI: Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer) are products of AkzoNobel, www.akzonobel.com.
k Soltex OPT, Dow Chemical
m Pecogel HS-501, Phoenix Chemicals Inc.
n Gransil C-DPDM (INCI: Cyclopentasiloxane (and) Diphenyl Dimethicone) is a product of Grant Industries, www.grantinc.com.
p FM-AMS-C30, Fenchem Biotek
q Klenskin, CoLabs International

Formula 1. Very Water-resistant Sunscreen SPF 50+

Formula 1. Very Water-resistant Sunscreen SPF 50+

An example of the polymeric strategy for obtaining very water-resistant formulations with SPF 50+, using filters allowed in the EU, is shown here.

Formula 2. Water-resistant Sun Protection Spray ~SPF 25

Formula 2. Water-resistant Sun Protection Spray ~SPF 25

Another example of this combined strategy is shown here, which uses a water-repellent silicone polymer, a film-former and sodium stearoyl glutamate as a low emulsifier.

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