Zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide (TiO2) are widely used as inorganic materials to reflect UV rays. There are, however, drawbacks as these substances cause white cast when applied in their original form due to their high refractive index. They also lead to clumps forming in the formula, according to Amorepacific.
In an effort to develop some type of breakthrough for these demerits, Dr. Li Yan from Amorepacific R&D Center Material Lab partnered up with Professor Lee Gi-ra and his lab in Sungkyunkwan University Chemical Engineering to conduct a joint research project. Through this study, the team were able to evenly synthesize and assemble micro-sized spherical silica particles that are hollow in the middle. The film produced from these particles can be adjusted to have even air bubble sizes and gaps in between, to be able to reflect visible light and UV spectrum rays. The team also discovered that by matching the refractive index, they were able to more effectively reflect UV rays while still appearing transparent in the visible spectrum. This is similar to the natural mechanism of chameleons or green algae that quickly change their skin color by scattering light.
“The recent research results we have announced are very meaningful as we came to possess a platform technology to develop innovative inorganic materials. We will continue to verify the potential of this platform through clinical trials on skin,” said Park Won-seok, head of Amorepacific R&D Center Foundation Innovation Lab. “Amorepacific R&D Center will continue with its best efforts to provide health and beauty for the customers around the world based on our ceaseless fundamental research.”
Since the 1959 release of ABC Parasol Cream, Korea’s first sunscreen, Amorepacific R&D Center has been dedicated to developing innovative organic/inorganic sunscreen materials, powered by its research capacity in basic science. Its steady dedication to developing creative materials led to the 2003 release of Hera Sun Mate Cream, which incorporated the technology of the nano compound of organic and inorganic ingredients, and the 2019 launch of IOPE UV Shield Sun Anti-Pollution and Laneige White Dew Tone-up Fluid, which involved materials that stabilize poorly water-soluble organic sunscreen agents.