The Sun Care Market, Ingredients and Educating Consumers

Ingredients that help repair sun damage as well as ones that prevent it from happening will be discussed. Further, Emma Meredith, Ph.D. CTPA, London, weighs in on the importance of sun care and surrounding regulatory information.
Ingredients that help repair sun damage as well as ones that prevent it from happening will be discussed. Further, Emma Meredith, Ph.D. CTPA, London, weighs in on the importance of sun care and surrounding regulatory information.
Original image by yanadjan at Adobe Stock

The summer season is right around the corner and for many, hotter days have already led to sunscreen and beaches. As most formulators know, there are two sides to every summer: the sunny days where many neglect sun care and spend too much time outisde unprotected, and the nursing of burned skin back to health.

Ingredients that help repair sun damage as well as ones that prevent it from happening are discussed here. Further, Emma Meredith, Ph.D., director-general of the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association (CTPA), weighs in on the importance of sun care and surrounding regulatory information.

Market Growth and TikTok Trending

Sun care is a major branch of the cosmetics industry, boasting a value of $14.40 billion in 2023 and anticipated growth from $14.90 billion in 2024 to $22.28 billion by 2032, according to Fortune Business Insights. While the industry and consumers alike shine a significant light on sun care, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reportedly continues to lag behind on approving new UV filters for summer formulations.

Related: [updated] EWG Releases 2024 Sunscreen Guidelines, PCPC Pushes Back

Popularity around sun care is not limited to financial interest. TikTok users have viewed #suncare posts 575.3 million times, per tiktokhashtags. According to the same source, #SPF has garnered 6.7 billion views. Sun care is no joke, yet Meredith explains, "the science of sun protection can be complex (e.g., what does SPF mean? What’s the difference between SPF 15 and SPF 50? What is UVA protection? What is the difference between primary and secondary sunscreens?, etc)."

Ultimately, per Meredith, the aim is to help people understand the importance of being sun safe, and wearing any sunscreen is a fundamental part of that.

Sun Care Ingredients

Common post-sun ingredients include Aloe vera, mineral oil and glycerin to hydrate, sooth and protect damaged skin. However, it is of course ideal to avoid sun damage altogether. To achieve this, following are select examples of recent sun care ingredients that offer protection as well as other benefits.

Berg+Schmidt Care launched a sun ingredient product range, BergaSun: 

BergaSun BEMT (INCI: Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine): A reportedly effective oil-soluble broad band filter that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Its high photostability makes it particularly useful for stabilizing other sunscreens.

BergaSun EHS (INCI: Ethylhexyl Salicylate): A chemical UVA filter said to provide broad coverage together with effective UVB filters and to help increase the sun protection factor.

BergaSun EHT (INCI: Ethylhexyl Triazone): An effective solution for UVB protection, per the company. As an oil-soluble filter, it can be easily integrated into the oil phase of emulsions or sunscreen formulations and leaves the skin feeling pleasant and non-greasy.

BergaSun DHHB (INCI: Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate): Another reportedly highly effective oil-soluble UVB filter. Its synergistic effect in combination with other UV filters is said to make it a valuable component in sun protection products.  

Croda also recently launched a sun care ingredient based on Solaveil Clarus technology that is said to deliver a tightly controlled particle size distribution. The company also released two other sun care products:

Solaveil CT-60W (INCI: Water (Aqua) (and) Titanium Dioxide (and) Stearic Acid (and) Alumina (and) Polyglyceryl-4 Laurate/Sebacate (and) Polyglyceryl-4 Caprylate/Caprate (and) Sucrose Stearate (and) Sorbitan Trioleate (and) Sorbitan Caprylate (and) Benzyl Alcohol (and) Isostearyl Isostearate): A titanium dioxide (TiO2) water-based dispersion that allows for high SPF claims with clarity on the skin.

Solaveil CT-300 (INCI: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Titanium Dioxide (and) Polyhydroxystearic Acid (and) Aluminum Stearate (and) Alumina): A dispersion of hydrophobic titanium dioxide in a naturally derived carrier oil that reportedly provides high SPF efficacy with true transparency on the skin.

Solaveil CZ-300 (INCI: Zinc Oxide (and) Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (and) Polyhydroxystearic Acid (and) Isostearic Acid): A dispersion of zinc oxide in a naturally derived carrier oil that provides effective UVA protection with true transparency on the skin.

In addition, during the C&T Allē Awards, Lignovations won the most significant sun/light protection base Ingredient category with its Lignoguard (INCI: Lignin/Cellulose) ingredient. The judges commented:

The innovation is great – formulators are always looking for ways to pass and boost SPF values without increasing sunscreen filter usage; to decrease white cast; and to create a uniform film upon application. This material does check off a lot of the current needs: sustainable, made from upcycled starting materials and natural. Nice to see a natural approach and clever way to synergize SPF filters.

Finally, if you are formulating for a region that does not receive significant sun, or for consumers interested in avoiding UV, one novel ingredient imitates sun exposure: Givaudan Active Beauty’s Neuroglow. While not providing sun protection, the active reportedly boosts melanin production by 126%, mimicking the aesthetic effects of sun exposure; i.e., a healthy glow. This melanin increase is said to prepare the skin for sun exposure, allowing for a “faster, healthier, more natural and better protected tan," per Givaudan. It also is reported to increase the release of beta-endorphins by 43%, vitamin D by 345% and oxytocin by 229%, boosting mood.

Sun Care Education

Shifting into the regulatory space, Meredith recently covered sunscreen labeling in the March issue of C&T magazine. Mentioned in her article was a survey conducted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPS), back in 2015, where a YouGov poll highlighted a great deal of confusion on sunscreen labeling.

Per the article, in that poll, 48% of respondents said they didn’t mind using sunscreen and 30% sought shade between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. However, only 14% said they always apply sunscreen in sunny weather, with a further 30% saying "often" and 32% saying "sometimes." Fifty-six percent of respondents also thought SPF protects against both UVA and UVB. The CTPA welcomed this research and raised the issue of labeling with Cosmetics Europe, the European personal care association. 

Meredith adds further context to her research here, stating: "While the RPS survey showed confusion about labeling, consumer research conducted by CTPA in 2022 did show that consumers value sunscreens. In a survey conducted by the polling group Opinium of 2000 UK adults in February-March 2022, 'Wearing sunscreen to protect their skin' was cited as a self-esteem booster by two-thirds of UK adults (65%), rising to 74% among women (56% men). Sunscreens (20%) made the top ten list of beauty products regard[ed] to be 'essential to our lives.'"

She continued, "Cosmetics Europe is working on a comprehensive strategy on sun protection, including preserving our palette of UV filters (Annex VI to the EU and UK Cosmetics Regulations) and how we communicate about our products – this is to the media as well as consumers. Cosmetics Europe has also commissioned consumer polling to see if there is any change in consumers’ understanding across the EU since the RPS survey in 2015."

Ultimately, education on sun protection is important and consumer safety and education is a primary focus in sun care. Meredith concludes, "short term commercial advantage based on inaccurate science could have serious implications. We also need to demystify the labeling to help consumers choose (and use!) sunscreen with confidence." 


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