The ozone layer, the natural UV – filter of the earth, is getting thinner. As a result, more harmful rays from the sun are passing through this natural barrier. UVA and UVB rays passing through the barrier can cause deoxyrlbonucleic acid (DNA) damage in the skin which can lead to photo aging and more critically skin cancer. According to World Health Organization (WHO) the incidence rate of skin cancer in European Union (EU) is 13.2 (per 100.000) which is one of the top 10 reasons of all cancer types. The most widely accepted solution to overcome this health problem is to use sunscreen and/or cosmetic products with UV filtering capability regularly and efficiently.
Accordingly, usage of sunscreen has become a must because of the negative environmental conditions, and this resulted in the sunscreen markets to reach 6 billion US dollars. Although sunscreens are widely utilized, the currently available sunscreens do not fulfil the expectations of consumers such as high transparency, effective UV filtration, no skin imitation and allergy, easy to apply free of hazardous chemicals and natural (preferably based on mineral based filters) formulations. In sunscreens and cosmetics with UV protection ability, the most active components are UV filters. However, many of the UV filters that are used to induce UV filtering ability to such products have some serious disadvantages and limitations to cover all the necessary protection needed for humankind.
Nowadays the expectations from sunscreen products have been increasing and new regulations have become effective. For example, although in the past a high sun protection factors (SPF) was adeque for a sunscreen product to be claimed as a “good” product, today broad spectrum products are becoming a standard. Broad spectrum refers to min critical wavelength should be greater than 370 nm and UVA / UVB raito is greather than 0.3. To achieve such a broad spectrum, chemical and physical UV filters are utilised in sunscreen and cosmetics formulations.
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