There will always be room for improvement in the sun care industry, which continues to innovate worldwide with better UV filters, measurement techniques and finished formulations. This was reflected at the Florida chapter of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists' 2013 Sunscreen Symposium, which was held Sept. 18-21, 2013, in sunny Orlando, Florida.
The theme for the symposium was "Beyond Broad Spectrum: The Next Horizon of Sun Care," and the event kicked off with a keynote presentation by Perry Romanowski of Brains Publishing on how to maintain a sunscreen brand's online reputation. Romanowski noted an online search is highly important to a brand's reputation, and that people only pay attention to the first page on Google. A Google ranking can be improved by writing a lot about desired terms. He also highlighted the importance of social media, with an emphasis on Facebook. He commented, "If you don't have a presence on Facebook, you don't exist to these people." He pointed out that brands must have a presence on consumer generated media such as blogs and forums in addition to improving their access by mainstream media. He pointed out that the reason the Environmental Working Group has such prominence in mainstream media is because they are easily accessed in a Google search, noting that this must be fixed.
Achim Friedrich from Evonik followed Romanowski with a discussion on eco-friendly emulsifiers to improve sun care products. He began, "All of us are demanding more out of sunscreens. They must be non-greasy, light products that are invisible; however, consumers also want high SPF protection." He presented the benefits of polyglyceryl esters, which can be obtained from coconut, rapeseed, castor or palm oil. They and mild, non-irritating, PEG-free, biodegradable and renewable. They provide a light feel, can be used in low viscous systems and also provide moisturizing properties.
Craig Bonda from HallStar, a well known individual in the sun care industry, then followed with a presentation on avobenzone's diketo tautomer and its quenching. He started, "Avobenzone has been around for about 30 years, and you would think we know everything we need to know about it." Photodegradation depends strongly on the presence of the 1,3 diketo-form of avobenzone in its ground state; therefore, Bonda reviewed its lifetime and its quenching. It was found that ethylhexylmethoxycrylene recovers the ground state of the diketo tautomer, supporting the feasibility of triplet quenching for both tautomers in the presence of the quencher.
The discussion then moved to film formation with a presentation by Charles (Chuck) Jones from Dow Chemical on a film-formation primer for water resistance in emulsion and alcoholic sunscreen systems. He noted that water resistance agents (specifically C30-38 olefin/isopropyl maleate/MA copolymer) change the viscosity and structure of the oil phase in emulsion systems, allowing for enhanced SPF. In an alcoholic system, styrene/acrylates copolymer created a homogenous gel structure. This is discussed in his 2005 article in Cosmetics & Toiletries, "Film-Formers Enhance Resistance and SPF in Sun Care Products."
The morning's mention of social media for sun care by Romanowski continued in a presentation by Helene Hine of Croda on social sun care. She noted that social media is largely untapped by the sun care industry. She also noted the importance of Facebook, adding that if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. Interestingly, women aged 55-65 are the fastest growing demographic in social media. She pointed our some of Croda's efforts on social media, such as their Solavail Sunscreen App, in addition to pointing out efforts by others in the sun care industry, such as the SunSmart campaign, Skin Smart from the Personal Care Product's Council, Nivea's smartphone charger and Dove's Real Beauty Sketches. She introduced the term netnography as a way of sourcing innovation from online communities.
Donald Prettypaul from Ashland took the discussion back to the technical with coupled ultrafast electron and proton transfer in sunscreen materials. He noted that sunscreens must combine high UV absorptivity with the ability to rapidly siddipate the absorbed energy via reversible, non-reactive channels. Bemotrizinole provides such rapid and fully reversible deactivation by proton coupled electron transfer (PCET), which occurs on a picosecond time scale.
Yun Shao of Kobo went on to discuss zinc oxide under current U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeling requirements. He noted, "You must have a critical wavelength higher than 370 to claim "broad spectrum" on a label, so you must have this to be competitive in the marketplace." He noted that while zinc oxide is an FDA-approved UVB active, it does not always provide broad spectrum, specifically when it becomes too small. The critical wavelength of zinc oxide increases as the particle size increases, but it can only provide modest SPF due to its relatively weak UVB protection. To achieve a high SPF with zinc oxide, Shao recommended using a combination of zinc oxide sizes, a combination of zinc oxide with organic sunscreens or a combination of zinc oxide with titanium dioxide.
Christine saecker of DSM addressed the topic of "Are we done with preventing sunburn?" She noted that most people are only programmed to use sunscreen on holiday or during sports and that sub-erythemal dosage (under 1MED) does cause skin damage. Significant skin damage occurs at low UV dosages, leading to premature wrinkle formation. She added that niacinamide protects skin from sub-erythemal damage. Non-compliance leads at the very least to minimal sunburn, but mostly to full body sunburn. She added that there is a big gap between real life usage and recommended usage. She recommended sensory analysis as a way to improve compliance to ensure that consumers are applying enough sunscreen.
Joe Stanfield of Suncare Research Laboratories continued with a talk on in vitro and in silico measurements of sun protection. He noted that the average thickness is 20 mm when applying sunscreen, but that varies greatly, causing some problems. He mentioned some of the current substrates available, noting that the JCIA plant (with a roughness of 16 is closer to skin, but that people are still using the PMMA substrate. He added, "We have been thinking of skin topography, and what we really should be thinking about is substrate thickness." He introduced a non-invasive measurement of film thickness that is useful for in silico computations by dyeing substrates and taking a picture with a UV filter.
Rob Sayer of Croda discussed the use of lectron skin resonance spectroscopy to find out if UV filters are reducing photo-generated free radicals. He found that the reduction of free radical generation is dependent on a few factors: attenuation profiles of actives, photostability of actives and matching the attenuation to the radical action spectrum and the skin chromophores that react to radiation.
Julian Hewitt of JPH Suncare Technologies ended the first day with a presentation on improving sun care formulations. "You can improve aesthetics with smaller UV Filter concentrations," he noted. "Similarly, consumer compliance is improved with better cosmetic appeal. By having both oil-based filters and water-based filters in a formulation, you improve distribution of the filter and therefore the efficacy." He highlighted a few SPF boosters but noted that the industry must work with the FDA to get new UV filters approved.
Nava Dayan began the second day iwth a look into proteomics to measure the protection of sunscreens. She noted that real life-exposure involves the entire sun spectra and not isolated wavelengths. She added, "Maybe we are looking for answers where there is light and not where the answers are." The study of biochemical markers is rapidly growing, propelled by the animal testing ban in Europe. In recent years, she has started looking in proteomics. She noted that some large manufacturers are already using it to measure the efficacy of their sunscreen products, For example, L'Oreal used p53 to measure their sunscreen.
Curt Cole from Johnson & Johson introduced a possible new method for the in vitro measurement of sun protection. " My personal opinion is that it is never going to be a quantifiable. We need to take a radically different approach," he added, suggesting a hybrid approach to in vitro SPF that combines diffuse reflectance and in vitro. He noted, "We have to figure out how we handle products that are not photostable. The approach can be to irradiate that plastic plate and look at the photostability there." He noted that the current challenges to innovation include: maintaining the current portfolio of UV filters, PR issues and dosage form concerns. He concluded by adding that the industry needs innovataion in the regulation process and a dialogue with our regulators to expedite rulemaking.
John Staton concluded the day with a talk on harmonizing world sunscreen test methods. He emphasized that the ISO process is the only key to true world harmony. The ISO TC217 cosmetic group for ISO has 35 members representing 90 countries. So far, it has introduces: ISO 24444, ISO 24442 and ISO 244443 with an in vitro SPF and a water resistance measurement in the works. He also noted the complex situation of labeling, adding that sunscreens are considered therapeutics in some countries and cosmetics in other.
The second day ended with a panel discussion that featured indstry experts: Joe Stanfield, John Staton, Nadim Shaath, Dennis Lott, Nava Dayan, Robert Sayre and Reynold Tan. Topics included anti-inflammaties in sunscreen products, SPFs over 50 and TEA UV filters under FDA review. To review highlights from this panel discussion, visit Cosmetics & Toiletries on Facebook.