Proper sun protection during the hot summer months is generally recognised as a necessity nowadays. Suncare products are more popular than ever, despite the many controversies & confusing & conflicting messaging surrounding them. The sun’s harmful rays, however, are not restricted to simply the summer months, & protection is required all year round. Adding UV protection products to all make-up applications could go a long way to increasing protection against the sun’s radiation.

RADIATION FROM THE SUN

The sun emits significant radiation in the ultraviolet (UV), visible light & infrared range that reaches the Earth’s surface. Light rays have different wavelengths measured in nanometres.

UV rays are the ones that cause harm to humans & are always present. While visible light might be blocked out by clouds on overcast days, up to 80% of UV rays can pass through clouds.

UV rays are divided into three main groups, UVA, UVB & UVC. UVC rays have the shortest wavelength & most energy of all the UV rays.

Due to this, they react with ozone high in the atmosphere & do not reach the ground.

UVA RAYS

UVA rays have the longest wavelength (315 to 400 nm) but the least energy of all the UV rays. They are the most prevalent UV rays, making up as much as 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the Earth. They are present all year round with relatively equal intensity throughout the day & can penetrate untreated glass.

UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB rays, but their effect is not directly felt, earning them the nickname silent killers. They are responsible for the desirable tanning, but their deep reaching penetration is linked to long-term skin damage. They are the main cause of skin ageing & wrinkles, cause indirect DNA damage through formation of free radicals & play a big role in all skin cancers.

UVB RAYS

UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays but a shorter wavelength & much smaller range (290 to 320 nm). UVB rays are responsible for sunburn & other visible skin changes such as skin aging or discolouration. They cause direct DNA damage in skin cells & are a cause of skin cancer.

Unlike UVA rays that are ever-present in equal intensity, UVB rays are more prevalent from spring to fall when there are more daylight hours. In the northern hemisphere, while it is present year-round, UVB radiation is strongest from April to October between 10am & 4pm. UV radiation is more damaging at higher altitudes & is reflected off sand, water & snow. Up to 80% of UVB can be reflected from snow. Therefore, protection against UV rays is necessary at all times & in all places.

BROAD-SPECTRUM UV PROTECTION

UV radiation from the sun obviously appears to be the number one cause for skin cancer & skin ageing, so sun protection products are vital. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) is the measure of protection against UVB rays a product offers. UVA protection is not included in that rating. Many products may have high SPF but offer little or no protection against the arguably more dangerous UVA rays.

Broad-spectrum sun protection products, that offer protection against both UVA & UVB rays, are now in more demand & becoming increasingly more popular. The new proposed rule for sunscreen regulation from the FDA states that any sunscreen products with an SPF 15 or higher must be broad-spectrum. The current EU regulations on sunscreens is that they must be broad-spectrum & offer at least 1/3 UVA protection factor of the stated SPF.

UV FILTERS

UV filters are the active ingredients in formulations that protect the skin against UV radiation. They are classified into either chemical or mineral UV filters depending on how they work. Chemical filters permeate into the skin where their chemical structure absorbs UV radiation, converts it to lower energy heat & disperses it. Mineral filters act as physical barriers on the surface of the skin, blocking & deflecting UV rays.

Chemical UV filters are more common & popular but have disadvantages & have been coming under increasing scrutiny. This is due to their narrow UV protection, low photostability & possible effect on human health due to their absorption into the bloodstream.

Most chemical filters are good UVB filters but not very efficient UVA filters. They are more likely to cause irritation or an allergic reaction than mineral filters.

Mineral UV filters offer broader protection to both UVA & UVB rays. They are fast acting, stable & safe. Zinc Oxide (ZnO) & Titanium Dioxide (TiO2) are the two current mineral filters on the market. ZnO is considered the safest & best broad-spectrum UV filter.

technical articles ZnO why choose mineral uv filters uv protection

The low transparency & white cast that was traditionally associated with the heavier & thicker formulations containing mineral filters made them less popular choices for sun protection products. Formulations have improved significantly, however, decreasing the white cast effect, especially with the use of smaller nanoparticles.

Why we should use products with UV protection for all cosmetic applications?

Skin cancer incidence around the world is increasing. It is estimated that in 2019 the number of new melanoma cases diagnosed will rise by 7.7%. About 86% of melanomas & about 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers are caused by UV rays from the sun. Daily use of at least an SPF 15 product can reduce skin cancer incidence by 50%.

With statistics like that readily available to consumers, who are becoming increasingly more educated about things relating to their health, it is not surprising that they are looking for more & more products that will offer them protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

uv protection for all cosmetics

Sunscreen products will always be the best option for protection against the sun’s harmful rays, as they are formulated specifically for that function. Cosmetics containing UV protection are not fully efficient in complete sun protection. They should always be used in combination with sunscreens for the best protection.

Adding UV protection products to all cosmetic applications, however, will only enhance sun protection & make them more appealing to consumers.

ZnO is regarded as the most effective broad-spectrum UV filter & so is generally associated with sunscreens. However, it is also already being used in cosmetics as a bulking agent, colourant & skin protectant. It is therefore a perfect option for formulators wishing to add UV protection to cosmetics.

micno powder for cosmetic zinc oxide uv protection

MicNo, a single novel ZnO for your UV protection needs

Entekno Materials have designed & developed a novel ZnO form using their innovative MicNo® ZnO Particle Technology. MicNo is a superior UV filter & kinder on skin than conventional ZnO. It combines the benefits & overcomes the disadvantages associated with micron & nano ZnO currently on the market. MicNo is a single novel ingredient with the added value of,

For further information please contact us on,

T: +90 222 320 36 63
M: +90 554 778 91 45
E: sales@enteknomaterials.com

  • UVA, UVB & Blue Light protection

  • High SPF ratio per % mass

  • High transparency
  • None whitening

  • Natural ingredient

  • Environmentally friendly

  • Excellent dispersion properties

  • Very low uncontrolled agglomeration

  • Opportunity for formulations to be preservative free

With its novel shape, MicNo covers a larger surface area per percentage mass than conventional ZnO. This means less ingredient is required to achieve the formulators needs, allowing for more cost-effective formulations. MicNo has a higher absorbance of UV rays than conventional micron & nano ZnO. As a result, it yields a higher protection against UVA, UVB & Blue Light by percentage mass & a higher SPF ratio per percentage mass. The excellent dispersion properties of MicNo allow for smoother formulations, making it an ideal option for a bulking agent & emulsifier, meaning it is easier to incorporate into cosmetics than conventional ZnO.

MicNo delivers more aesthetically & visually pleasing formulations than conventional ZnO. It can produce none whitening formulations due to its high visible light transparency. Its nano-porous structure naturally creates a more ivory/beige colour, due to structural colouration, as opposed to the milk white colour that is currently associated with ZnO. The continuous coating with pore channels that it forms over the skin makes for efficient ventilation of the skin, bringing about a cooling effect to add to the smooth application.

The broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against a range of micro-organisms & fungi exhibited by MicNo allows for formulations with less preservatives or even preservative free. Less preservatives means kinder to skin formulations, more environmentally friendly formulations & could translate to reduced formulation costs. The soothing properties of MicNo also make it suitable for sensitive skin.

For further information please contact us on,

T: +90 222 320 36 63
M: +90 554 778 91 45
E: sales@enteknomaterials.com

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