Compass: Shedding Light on Sun

Being the third planet from the sun has its advantages—for example, the right balance of H2O and heat to sustain life. And in our annual journey around the sun, we experience this range of ebbing and flowing energy.

Painting this picture of the sun as a “life source” makes it difficult to turn around and perceive it as an aggressor from which we need protection, but we do; protection, perhaps, from too much of a good thing.

Sun protection is one of the most controversial topics in personal care today since it’s difficult to measure, and even fundamental assumptions are now being called into question. For example, is the amount of sunscreen product applied in tests comparable to actual consumer usage? Do the labels on sun care products clearly and accurately inform consumers of the protection they are buying? Are UVA and UVB both taken into account? And how much time passes before a formula that used to protect has lost its “mojo”?

Even country to country, regulating bodies disagree about allowable sunscreen actives and their combinations, making the concept of globalization an unreachable extreme, much like absolute zero. With continued debate calling sun protection into question, it is more important than ever to try to get to the bottom of what effect the sun has on skin.

The Florida chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists (SCC) plans to interact on this very topic at the biennial Sunscreen Symposium, held for four days this month in Florida, in hopes of shedding some light on sun care.

Featured in this issue of Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine, C. Lenaers et al. explore how the sun can directly or indirectly induce DNA lesions in case of overexposure via the formation of UV-induced photoproducts. They then test the effects of a cotton extract on accelerating the elimination of DNA damage.

Damage from the sun has also more recently been linked, in the minds of consumers, to speeding up skin aging. Thus, the industry continues to search for ways to rebuild the mechanisms of the skin damaged by UV radiation. One way to do this is through improved means of delivering beneficial materials to the skin. N. Dayan et al. describe, a delivery approach to carry compounds to skin sub-tissues in the stratum corneum or in the live epidermis and dermis. This issue of C&T magazine rises above sun care and digs deeper than delivery in skin—turn to page 5 to find more!

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