Current estimates show that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. More and more consumers know that sun exposure can lead to premature skin aging. For good reason, sun protection has become an essential step in any daily skincare routines. As consumers grow increasingly more knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, they have been scrutinizing the ingredient lists of sunscreen products. In short, conscious consumers demand clean suncare.
According to Mintel, 32 percent of U.S. adults aged 18–44 who use skin protection products look for “clean” labeled products. With declining trust in corporations, consumers look for products they are comfortable using multiple times a day without harming themselves, the environment, or biodiversity around the world.
Choosing Ingredients Consumers Trust
Consumer education and regulatory environments are driving key changes in suncare solutions. Top consumer resource centers like EWG have been focusing on clean suncare driving demand for SPF protection that meets their criteria. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a proposed rule that only two ingredients (zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) are GRASE for use in suncreens, leaving out ingredients like oxybenzone, homosalate, octocrylene, and avobenzone. This indication is driving the market to adopt titanium dioxide and zinc oxide UV dispersions.
Consumers also think about the environmental consequences on biodiversity — specifically coral reefs. Bratkovics et al. found marine water in six coastal South Carolina sites contained high concentrations of UV filters like avobenzone, octocrylene, octinoxate, and oxybenzone. Ingredients like oxybenzone damage coral reefs in waterways such as the Virgin Islands and Hawaii. Leeching of these compounds can occur during typical bathing processes: about 25 percent of sunscreen applied to the skin is released into the water within 20 minutes of submersion. Brands are taking note of consumers’ increased concern for coral reefs — new product launches in the U.S. with “reef safe” claims increased from 16.5 percent in 2019 to 31.1 percent in 2020.
Learn More about Clean Suncare
With the start of summer just around the corner and Skin Cancer Awareness Month having wrapped up at the end of May, consumers are looking for the best clean sunscreen to use for their families. Learn how to formulate SPF products that consumers enjoy using. Register for the Beauty Renaissance Series to watch the final episode live on June 8, 2021. This episode will focus on formulating clean suncare and emerging market trends for SPF.