IMCD insight on protective products

Technical and Business Development Director for Personal Care at IMCD Danielle Wheeler, who was in the suncare industry prior to her current position, said non-SPF protective products are where most innovation is happening today because they are far less regulated.

Organic sunscreen, previously known as chemical sunscreen, absorbs UV radiation to protect the skin. Inorganic sunscreen, previously known as physical sunscreen, reflects UV radiation to protect the skin.

Across suncare, blue light and pollution protection, though, Wheeler said esthetically pleasing formulas are key to getting consumer engagement, whether it’s combating the white caste of inorganic sunscreen or making anti-pollution products comfortable on the skin.

“A lot of our supplier partners are launching new bioactives to address the effects of blue light or high energy visible light, not just SPF,” Wheeler said. “I see a lot of advancements in plant-derived ingredients combating those types of things.”

Room for SPF innovation is limited in the US

SPF is among the most FDA-regulated areas of cosmetics, and in the US there are fewer approved ingredients compared to other markets, Wheeler said.

“Anywhere outside of the US you have a huge playbox of ingredients,” Wheeler said. “That’s unfortunate for us in the US because I think it’s really limited us in the innovations we can do in SPF inorganic products. In the US we don’t keep up with the science with that.”

The limit on inorganic SPF ingredients is unfortunate considering Wheeler said interest in the products is increasing among their clients. 

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