Article by: Perry Romanowski
Desiree Mattox interview
A new study by the AAD (American Academy of Dermatology) has further emphasized how important it is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect skin against cancer and the aging effects of the sun. They even say that adding antioxidants to formulas could be a key tactic in the future.
In research published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, scientists say that antioxidants could help turn passive UV absorbing or reflecting sunscreens into active protectors.
Researcher Dr. Steven Wang says that sunscreens with UVA protection reduces the total amount of free radicals generated in the skin.
In the past people were more concerned with blocking UVB rays because these are the ones that cause sunburns. It is only recently that UVA has become a big concern.
Dr. Wang also cautioned that while supplementing sunscreens with antioxidants could boost the body’s natural defense against UVA damage, it is difficult to measure the effectiveness of antioxidants in topical products. This will be one of the main challenges for cosmetic formulators.
In the US, new FDA sunscreen rules will make it mandatory for manufacturers who make broad-spectrum claims about sunscreens to follow specific tests that prove protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
This is going to mean that a lot of sunscreens will have to be reformulated. Good news for sunscreen cosmetic chemists.
This is interesting news for cosmetic chemists who are concerned about animal testing. Researchers in Sweden report finding a cell-based alternative to animal testing that can detect allergic reaction and the strength of response to certain cosmetics.
They use laboratory grown human cells to classify chemicals as sensitizing or non-sensitizing. They also are able to predict the strength of the allergic response.
The research can be found in the latest issue of BMC Genomics. They found 200 genes in their human cell culture line that could discriminate between sensitizing and non-sensitizing chemicals. This data correlated with known data about cosmetic chemicals.
Of course, more work has to be done to verify the procedure but it is promising.
In the EU, they banned animal testing for new cosmetic products and ingredients in 2009 so currently there is no approved way to demonstrate that a product will not result in allergies. This test might help change that.
This does demonstrate one of the challenges you’ll face as a cosmetic formulator. Often, regulators make rules that are ahead of scientific developments. Banning animal testing in 2009 seemed like a good idea when they proposed it but the officials figured we’d have alternatives by now. Unfortunately, we don’t. Cosmetic chemists in Europe are now hampered and it is extremely difficult to develop innovative, new formulations.
Ah, but this is the life of a cosmetic formulator.
Cosmetic Science Formulation
A strategy that still holds promise for allowing you to make your cosmetic formulations stand out is the creation of multifunctional cosmetics. While there is no single definition to what constitutes a multifunctional cosmetic, there are three aspects of it that can impact your formulation.
1. Multifunctional Performance
2. Multifunctional Cosmetic Ingredients
3. Multifunctional Applications
Differentiating your formulations will continue to be a challenge all cosmetic formulators face. You can achieve some real differentiation if you apply some of these principles of multifunctionality.
Sign up for the Cosmetic science forum.
Take the Natural Product formulation survey.
You can still sign up for the Complete Cosmetic Chemist cosmetic science training program here.
Perry Romanowski will be speaking at the Hair and Skin Conference California on August 27, 2011
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Chemists Corner is a podcast about cosmetic science and is broadcast to help educate, entertain, and inspire current and future cosmetic scientists. The information and opinions discussed on Chemists Corner are those of the hosts and the guests alone. They do not necessarily reflect those of any past, present or future employers.