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Understanding the Science Behind Sun Care Products: Scattering and Absorbing

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Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can have harmful effects on the skin, ranging from sunburn to an increased risk of skin cancer. This is where sun care products, such as sun creams, come into play.

To be officially recognised as a sunscreen product, sunscreen must protect against UVA & UVB, the types of UV radiation from the sun that is dangerous to the skin.

These products work through two key mechanisms of action: scattering and absorbing. In this article, we will delve into the science behind these mechanisms and explore some of the products offered by Surfachem that can be used in SPF (Sun Protection Factor) products.

Scattering: The First Line of Defence

Scattering is one of the primary mechanisms by which sun care products protect the skin from harmful UV radiation. It involves reflecting or scattering UV rays away from the skin's surface. This is achieved through the use of physical sunscreens, which contain active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that act like tiny mirrors reflecting the sun’s rays.

Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are highly effective in scattering both UVA (ultraviolet A) and UVB (ultraviolet B) rays, making them versatile choices for broad-spectrum sun protection.

Absorbing: Deeper Protection

While scattering provides an initial line of defence, absorbing UV radiation is another crucial mechanism in sun care products. Chemical sunscreens, work by absorbing UV rays and converting them into less harmful forms of energy, such as heat.

Each chemical sunscreen ingredient has its unique properties and UV absorption spectrum, making it essential to formulate products that offer broad-spectrum protection.

Surfachem's Sun Care Solutions:

Surfachem provide a wide range of products, perfect for use in a wide range of SPF and sun-care products. Our extensive portfolio includes a wide range of ingredients designed to meet the specific needs of formulators and help create innovative and effective sun care products.

Understanding the science behind sun care products is crucial for making informed choices about skin protection. Scattering and absorbing are two key mechanisms that work together to shield the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation. Surfachem provides a variety of high-quality ingredients that can be incorporated into SPF products to enhance their performance and ensure comprehensive sun protection. Whether you're formulating physical or chemical sunscreens, Surfachem has the solutions you need to create effective and safe sun care products.

Product Chemical Description Description
Salisol® HMS Homosalate An effective UVB absorber and is oil soluble and can therefore be used in water resistant sunscreens. This clear yellow viscous liquid with a faint odour is approved for general use at a maximum concentration of 15%. It can be used as an excellent solvent for solid sunscreens, for beach wear, sun care, facial skin care and also for skin whitening products.
Salisol® OS Octyl Salicylate A sunscreen ingredient with a generally good safety profile. It can stabilize avobenzone and result in longer-lasting sun protection. This excellent UVB absorber is insoluble in water. It is used mainly in preparations of a SPF greater than 35
Salisol® HS Phenylbenzimidazole Sulphonic Acid A sunscreen agent composed of Phenylbenzamidazole and Sulphonic acid that provides UVB protection. This water soluble, white to off white powder can be used for sun care, baby sun care and for daily skin care.
Salisol® EHT Ethylhexyl An organic compound that absorbs ultraviolet light. This white to off-white amorphous powder can be added to sunscreen products that are designed to protect the skin from the sun.
Salisol HEB Diethylhexyl Butamido Triazone A UVB with some UVA protection organic sunscreen. It has an optimum wavelength absorption of 310nm.
Salisol DHHB Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate An organic UVA sunscreen with a peak wavelength absorption of 354nm. Max concentration in the EU of 10%. US it can be used for product protection.
Salisol BMZ Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine A UVB/UVA organic UV filter offering protection in the 290-350nm wavelength spectrum. Very photo stable and long lasting. Not approved by the FDA for use in the US, but fine for EU and Australia.
SURFACARE PC E557 Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate Considered as a UVB sunscreen operating in the 280-320 spectrum peaking at 310nm wavelength.
SURFACARE PC E557 Benzophenone-4 A pale yellow solid. Max use level of 5% in sunscreen applications in the EU. UVB / UVA organic sun filter.
SURFACARE PC E567 Benzophenone-3 A pale yellow solid. Allowed up to 6% in an SPF formula and 0.5% for product colour protection in cosmetic products. Broad spectrum protection through UVB / UVA from 270 to 350 nm wavelength.

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Wednesday, 04 October 2023