Every person needs sunscreen, irrespective of skin color, age, or skin type. Yet, SPF products that give off white cast leave many BIPOC consumers dissatisfied with many mineral sunscreens on the market today. In addition, there are misconceptions that individuals with darker skin tones do not need SPF protection. Dermatologists warn against this thinking, noting that the highest possible level of melanin-based protection is SPF 13, far under the acceptable SPF 30. Incorporating sheer, non-whitening zinc oxide SPF protection into new products can be a game changer for inclusivity. Brands that embrace lightweight sun protection in multiple applications can join the movement to address this issue, but what should formulators look for when choosing the right UV dispersion for inclusive sun protection?

Aprinnova joined Mintel to bridge the gap between consumer demands and formulating new inclusive products during “The Rise of Clean Sun Protection: LIVE” on August 17, 2021. During the session, experts offered clear guidance on participants’ questions on new regulatory, safety, environmental, and consumer criteria to succeed with clean SPF protection. Below are key takeaways from the session to educate brands on the best practices for clean suncare, accessible to everyone.

Facing the Facts: Current Mineral SPF Lacks Inclusivity

Clare Hennigan, Senior Beauty Analyst at Mintel, noted that 28 percent of Black adults who use sunscreen cite “clear formulas” as a purchase influencer, higher than the average U.S. consumer. Similarly, 71 percent of Black adults who use skin protection products or services express interest in sunscreen made for specific skin tones, again higher than the average U.S. consumer. Brands have taken note:

  • Supergoop! relaunched its CC Screen formula with 15 shades options, instead of 4, to bring more shades for everyone.
  • Black Girl Sunscreen (BGS) places BIPOC at the heart of ever decision. As their website puts it, BGS is “made by women of color for people of color, because we get sunburned too.” In 2020, it became the first Black-owned indie suncare brand with permanent placement in Target.
  • Credo Beauty created two mineral-based sunscreen products with Venus Williams named On-The-Defense Sunscreen SPF 30 and Unrivaled Sun Serum SPF 30.

Shining Light on Formulating Truly Sheer Sun Protection

What causes white cast and how can brands address it? John Toner, Director of Marketing and Innovation at Aprinnova, outlined that good mineral sunscreens both absorb and reflect light — non-nano zinc oxide does both. Primarily, zinc oxide blocks sun through light absorption. A good UV dispersion will effectively and evenly disperse these particles like a shield on the skin by leveraging two key factors:

  • A well-designed particle size: Contrary to popular belief, zinc oxide’s primary sun protective effect is through light absorption, although it also reflects some light. Reflection of light can lead to simultaneously increased SPF and white cast. The key to resolving this is a goldilocks UV dispersion design: selecting the right non-nano particle size that will neither clump nor spread too far apart. Distance ensures base particles do not aggregate into a single scattering center, which ultimately increases white cast and decreases SPF. However, too much spacing reduces sun protection.
  • An efficient carrier system: The best carrier system ensures particles do not clump together and evenly distributes zinc oxide protection. Neossance™ Squalane is an optimal emollient for delivering zinc oxide particles because it distributes particles evenly and efficiently. CleanScreen™ Z60SF leverages Neossance Squalane to deliver non-nano zinc oxide effectively.

Delight Consumers to Keep Them Reapplying SPF

Non-whitening, anti-aging, clean SPF protection has the opportunity to convert consumer mentality from “got to apply SPF” to “get to apply SPF.” Brands could easily encourage effective sun protection applied every two hours with lightweight, sheer mineral formulas in various applications, from skincare to color cosmetics. To accomplish sun protection with excellent sensorial, formulators can opt for UV dispersion that leverage multi-benefit hero ingredients such as Neossance Squalane. It’s lightweight, compatible with skin sebum, and blends well with cosmetic esters. The addition of silica can deliver a velvety touch for the best sensorial experience. Most importantly, Neossance Squalane has a non-photoreactive structure, preventing the generation of reaction oxygen species (ROS). Each of these benefits allows brands to establish a story around quality, efficacy, and most importantly, safety, with CleanScreen Z60SF.

Protect Every Customer Globally with CleanScreen™ Z60SF

CleanScreen Z60SF is a powerful non-nano, zinc oxide UV dispersion featuring Neossance™ Squalane that provides silky smooth SPF protection in skincare and color cosmetics without petrochemically derived ingredients or silicones. Product developers can easily launch anti-aging, non-whitening applications that provide complete coverage and align with consumers’ desire for clean beauty.

See how CleanScreen Z60SF can boost your next formulation: Request a sample.

TRY CLEANSCREEN Z60SF

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A version of this post was previously published by Amyris, Aprinnova's joint venture partner.  Sustainability starts at the source — and Amyris’ feedstock source is sustainably harvested sugarcane, certified by Bonsucro, [...]