Patent Pick: Aerogels Advance Sunscreens


While white, zinc oxide-nosed lifeguards in the movies made some young hearts skip a beat, today's consumers don't go for that look. L’Oréal's new aerogel particle composition may solve this pasty dilemma.

Sunscreen with composite particles > 0.1 μM and hydrophobic silica aerogel
U.S. Patent Application 20160030304
Publication date: Feb. 4, 2016
Assignee: L’Oréal

In recent years, mineral-based UV filters have been preferred over synthetics in part due to their “natural” status and lower irritation potential. In fact, metal oxides such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) are used to protect against UV radiation in children’s and sensitive skin sunscreens. These particles generally have an average particle size < 0.1 μm; most preferentially between 0.015 μm and 0.05 μm. But at this size, the particles generate a white film on the skin.

The particles can also agglomerate and separate out of sunscreen formulas, leaving the formulas unstable and inconsistent. Interestingly, L’Oréal has discovered that a combination of composite particles having an average size > 0.1 μm, containing at least one mineral or synthetic UV filter, plus TiO2 and hydrophobic silica aerogel particles, creates effective, aesthetically pleasing sunscreen formulas.

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