Solar Beauty Is a Hot Topic

By Imogen Matthews, In-Cosmetics | January 10, 2012

Solar beauty is a concept that encompasses much more than sun protection products.

Solar beauty is a concept that encompasses much more than sun protection products. It is an area that manufacturers across the cosmetics spectrum are investigating with the prospect of many new and innovative formulations on the horizon.


In recognition of the growing interest in sun protection, the In-Focus theme at In-Cosmetics is “Solar Beauty.” Jacques Sebag, owner of Re-Source!, who is helping to stage In-Focus, explained that solar beauty is at the crossroads of the most exciting challenges. These topics include anti-aging under extreme conditions (brands are talking DNA and stem cell protection), highly sensorial textures (oil-like textures were up 90% last year), complex and stringent regulation (the new US sunscreen regulations), delicate safety issues (nanoparticles, sunscreen stability) and the crossroad of public health and beauty (skin cancer campaigns).

“As the race for higher SPFs intensifies, the idea is to explore where the industry will be going in the development of new solar products,” explained Sebag.

This In-Focus feature will take on a different look. Instead of featuring exhibitors, outside consulting experts and companies will bring innovative and interactive objects and data to play with. Meanwhile, exhibitor projects and innovations will be highlighted on a solar trail throughout the show.

“The goal is to be educational, inspiring and entertaining,” affirmed Sebag.


Sun protection has moved beyond sand and surf to include anti-aging and other categories.

Within the sun care market, Mintel has noted an increasing number of relaunches during 2011. This trend is likely to continue in 2012, especially in the US, following the announcement of new regulations on SPF and UVA by the FDA.

“Companies will need to change their labeling in order to reflect the changes, such as the upper limit being SPF50 and claims such as waterproof, sunblock and instant protection no longer being allowed,” explained Nica Lewis, global skin care analyst, Mintel.

Mintel expects new launches to reflect key consumer trends in terms of usage. In 2011, there was a 3% jump in the number of UK women using high protection sunscreens, compared to a 4% drop among French women opting for higher SPFs.

“However, a larger proportion (one third) of French women use higher SPFs, suggesting that they are more educated in their usage of sun protection products,” pointed out Lewis.

Mintel’s consumer research shows that consumers have no idea how much product to apply and are more likely to underdose, rather than overdose. An innovative, but extremely simple solution comes from Boots for its Soltan Once Dry-Touch Transparent Spray SPF15 product, which states that one bottle contains six applications for the average body size. Perhaps Boots should go a step further by having transparent packaging with markers showing exactly how much product to use. Although Soltan Once has been around for some years, the range has been extended, and is aimed at those who do not have the time or inclination to reapply sunscreen when out and about. Boots claims that one application allows for up to eight hours of sun exposure and 40 minutes water exposure, unless a swimmer uses a towel to dry off.

Another innovative way to encourage people to use sun protection correctly comes in the form of Apps providing information to help consumers stay safe in the sun. La Roche-Posay Anthelios has My UV Check, which is part of its public awareness campaign to provide education on sun safety and the importance of skin cancer screenings. The App tells the weather and individualized sun risk diagnosis, how to check skin for suspicious lesions and moles, product recommendations and how to find the nearest store. Coppertone MYUVAlert for the iPhone provides similar information, as well as coupons and sun protection tips. Meanwhile, SunSafety is a skin prevention app, providing current weather information for any US city along with useful, up-to-date information on the dangers of sun exposure along with protection advice.

New Ingredients for Sun Care

“Previously, sun care used to be about providing the right SPF levels, but now it’s about much more,” maintained Lewis, who noted a number of unusual ingredients formulated into new sun protection launches. For example, Bio Beauté by Nuxe has brought out a medium protection non-comedogenic product made with 100% mineral sunscreens and UVA and UVB protection. So far so good, but what makes this product different is the inclusion of chaulmoogra oil to encourage the appearance of an even, lasting tan.

“It is a rare ingredient to be found in sun care NPD as it was at one time important in the treatment of leprosy,” stated Lewis.

Yogurt is a key ingredient in Korres Suncare Organic Edible Yogurt, a natural sun care range inspired by the ancient Greek tradition of applying yogurt to sunburned skin. The yogurt contains proteins and lactose to increase the moisture levels of the epidermis and its cool, soft texture is said to leave dry skin soothed and refreshed, helping to relieve and heal sunburn.

Price is no object for the new Valmont Sun Cellular Solution, described by Lewis as the most expensive sun care product on Mintel’s database at $226.26. The luxury positioning is justified by high performance ingredients, including triple DNA and liposome RNA, said to provide the skin with elements essential to its regeneration and nutrition, and silicon D2 complex, which reportedly allows active repair of the cells and skin fibers during sun exposure.

For standout appeal, Own Sun Care Active Block SPF30 cannot be beaten. This all-mineral product with ZinClear-IM and clear mineral protection comes in an outer orange ball that opens to reveal a dome-shaped “bomb” described as having easy skin coverage. It is aimed at active adults and energetic children.

Meanwhile, UV protection in facial skin care launches is on the increase, according to Mintel. In 2011, 20% of face care launches had UV protection, up from 13% in 2008. Lewis predicts that BASF’s Tinosorb, a broad-spectrum sunscreen, could become important, once it wins FDA approval.

Mintel will participate in the marketing trends presentations taking place during In-Cosmetics, Barcelona, April 17-19, 2012.

More info: www.in-cosmetics.com

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