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Sunscreen Technology, Regulations and Formulations

By Ken Klein
Posted: March 21, 2007, from the April 2007 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

Ken Klein has been in the cosmetics industry for more than 35 years with finished goods houses, as well as raw material suppliers. Before joining Cosmetech Laboratories, Klein was technical director for Van Dyk and prior to that was manager of technical services at Henkel. He is a fellow of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists and of the American Institute of Chemists. He is a frequent speaker at scientific conferences in America, as well as in Europe and South America. Klein writes a monthly column for Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine, and has the distinguished honor of being the 2002 recipient of the esteemed Spirit of Sam Award.

Well-known dermatologist Albert Kligman, MD, once said, “Wear a sunscreen every day of your life, or live as shady a life as possible.”
        There is no doubt that exposure to sun will have deleterious effects on the skin. Some of these effects, such as age spots and wrinkles, may seem minor, and others, such as skin cancer, are quite severe. Years ago, sun worshipers craved exposure to the burning rays and a dark tan was a great thing to have. Teenagers believed that by applying baby oil, they would maximize their tan while getting protection from the sun. Today, everyone knows better—or they should. It has been estimated that for every burn a person experiences during a lifetime, the chance of getting skin cancer increases by 10%.

Sunscreen technology
      The world of ultraviolet rays (UV) is divided into the following areas:

      UVC (200–290 nm). This radiation is the most energetic, but mainly is absorbed by the ozone layer. Even at the North and South

Approved Sunscreens

Sunscreen   Maximum Percentage
Aminobenzoic acid   15%
Avobenzone                 3%
Cinoxate                       3%
Dioxybenzone              3%
Homosalate               15%
Methyl anthranilate (meradimate)               5%
Octocrylene                 10%
Octyl methoxycinnamate (octinoxate)                   7.5%
Octyl salicylate (octisalate)    
Oxybenzone                    6%
Padimate O                    8%
Phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid (ensulizole)                    4%
Sulisobenzone            10%
Titanium dioxide         25%
Trolamine salicylate   12%
Zinc oxide                     25%

poles, very few UVC rays reach the Earth’s surface.