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State of the Cosmetics Industry, Part II

By: Rachel L. Chapman
Posted: September 25, 2008, from the October 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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With the many treatments designed to impact skin, skin sensitivity has become a greater issue, leading to developments in anti-irritating and anti-inflammatory formulas. In one example, the synergistic effects of bisabolol and ginger extract were examined, showing that the two combined resulted in an anti-irritant effect on detergent-induced erythema. Additional research has shown that biomimetic peptides could be useful to address neurogenic inflammation in the skin since nerves are involved in the functions of skin cells. One researcher on this topic noted, “You will be hearing more about neuropeptides in upcoming years.”

Sun. A great deal of funding has been poured into the effects of UVA on skin. For example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) saw enough evidence of its damaging effects to propose classifying a product’s level of UVA protection separately from UVB protection on sunscreen labels.

In addition to UVA, photostability has been of great concern in sunscreens. Many studies have been initiated to examine the instability of commonly used UV-absorbing components and to find new materials to provide better protection against UVA exposure throughout extended periods of use.

Photostabilizers are just one of the tools in the sun care formulator’s toolbox, according to a presentation at the Florida Society of Cosmetic Chemists’ (SCC) Sunscreen Symposium held in September 2007. Other tools of interest include: actives, solvents, emulsifiers, waterproofers, rheology modifiers and feel modifiers.

A few highlights of the Sunscreen Symposium called into question the industry’s current beliefs about sun damage and protection. One expert suggested that UV protection is not about consumers getting UVA or UVB protection, but protection from overexposure to the entire spectrum. He added that there are multitudes of different systemic variables involved that can affect the body’s reaction to UV.