Sun Care Products

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Sun Care Products


NAICS: 32-5620 Toilet Preparation Manufacturing

SIC: 2844 Perfumes, Cosmetics, and Other Toilet Preparations Manufacturing

NAICS-Based Product Codes: 32-5620D211 and 32-5620D221


Sunscreens are products applied to the skin to protect against the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet rays. Sunscreening products come in many forms, as creams, lotions, lip balms, hair tonics, and gels. The active ingredients work by absorbing, reflecting, or scattering some or all of the sun's rays.

One of the first sunscreens was invented in Europe in 1936 by the founder of L'Oréal. A Florida pharmacist invented a sun care product in 1944 that became known as Coppertone. While L'Oréal and Coppertone are still leaders in the sun care market, sunscreens have changed since they were first invented. One of the first changes came in the 1970s when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came to regulate testing, labeling, and rating of sun care products. Another change was that sunscreen ingredients have crept into all three major divisions of the toiletries and cosmetics industry.

When sunscreens became popular in the early 1970s, manufacturers used labeling to claim that the product provided therapeutic benefits to the skin. This caught the attention of the FDA. Because products with therapeutic benefits are classed as drugs, such labeling claims moved sunscreens from an unregulated cosmetic and toiletry product to an over-the-counter drug. In 1978 the FDA published a Sunscreen Monograph that harmonized a national program for testing processes and labeling standards that included the sun protection factor (SPF) rating system. It also designated the sixteen (now twenty-two) ingredients proven to provide sunburn protection. As a result, most consumers recognize the abbreviation SPF. The rating system has been in place for almost thirty years.

There are two types of ultraviolet rays that sunscreens protect against: UVB and UVA. The shortest primer is based upon letter association. UVB rays cause burning and UVA cause aging. UVB rays are hotter than UVA rays but shorter, penetrating only to the surface of the skin. These hot, short UVB rays generate the redness, called erythema, known as sunburn and the resulting irritation. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the dermis due to their longer wavelength, and cause photo-aging. Deep in the dermis they damage collagen fibers, which can show up as hyper-pigmentation (dark spots), premature wrinkles, and cancers. For instance, UVA rays are thought to cause solar keratosis (a scaly or crusty bump on the skin surface), also called sunspots or pre-cancerous spots. SPF is concerned only with measuring UVB rays, the rays that cause sunburn.

SPF values represents the amount of time a user can be exposed to sun rays before getting the red erythema known as sunburn. SPF 10 affords the user ten times the protection of no sunscreen usage. In other words, if individuals who normally burn in ten minutes use an SPF 10 product, it allows them to be exposed for one hundred minutes (or a factor of ten) before burning. If individuals who normally burn in ten minutes choose and use an SPF 30 product, it allows them to be exposed for 300 minutes or five hours (or a factor of thirty) before burning.

In addition to the harmonized national program for labeling standards related to sunscreen ingredients, a second change related to sunscreens occurred. Sunscreen ingredients crept into all three major divisions of the toiletries and cosmetics industry. The 1978 Sunscreen Monograph listed twenty ingredients generally recognized as safe and effective. The existence of readily available and pre-approved ingredients created the avenue for the slow creep of products into the entire $28 billion cosmetics and toiletries industry. Tracking this creeping change is difficult because if, for instance, a sunscreen ingredient is added to lipstick, the lipstick does not get reclassified as a sun care product. Even the old standby ChapStick has been reformulated with SPF 15. Consequently, varying definitions of the market for sun care products exist.


The market for all cosmetics and toiletries in the United States was $30.1 billion in 2005 as reported by the Annual Survey of Manufactures conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Sun care products were a small part of a $6.3 billion segment of toiletries, the Creams, Lotions, and Oils subdivision. However, because the slow creep of sunscreen ingredients into cosmetics and toiletries of all kinds represents a fundamental shift in reformulating, gauging the true size of the sun care products market is complicated. The existence of pre-approved ingredients combined with the assurance of a harmonized science-based SPF ranking system resulted in the reformulation of many products. As a consequence ingredients labeled as sun screen materials are present in three segments of the major toiletries category shown in Figure 199.

Narrowly defined as products intended to serve as protection against sunburn, the Census Bureau reports on two categories at intervals of five years: (1) suntan lotions and oils and (2) sunscreens and sunblocks. In 1997 the two categories had shipments of $338 million (8.2% of Creams, Lotions, and Oils). In 2002 shipments of the two categories had dropped to $254 million (4.3% of the larger category). In this five-year period, tanning lotions grew in shipments but sunscreens and sunblocks, the larger category in 1997, dropped in shipments. If the 1997–2002 trends are extended to 2005, we obtain the following market results. Shipments of suntan lotions were $148 million in 2005, shipments of sunscreens and sunblocks $92 million, and the combined category, at $240 million was 3.8 percent of Creams, Lotions, and Oils, declining overall since 1997.

Suntan lotions and oils, narrowly considered, have been growing in popularity. Growth has been due to the expanded definition of suntan lotions and oils. Products on the market in the later half of the first decade of the twenty-first century fell into four distinct groups: pre sun, sun protection, self-tanning, and after sun. Self-tanners were the driving force behind the growth in sun care products.

Two popular self-tanners are Dove Energy Glow (made by Unilever) and Neutrogena Instant Bronze Sunless Tanner and Bronzer in One Foam (made by Johnson & Johnson). Dove Energy Glow is available in both a Beauty Body Lotion and a Face Moisturizer. Among people who self-tan it is now commonly accepted that self-tanners work better if the skin is first properly prepared. To that end, products ancillary to self-tanning were introduced. Neutrogena Pre-Sunless Scrub sweeps away dry skin patches and dead skin cells that color unevenly when self-tanner is applied. It is sold separately or as part of a kit that contains both body and face products. Neutrogena Instant for the body uses a patented tinted formula that provides natural-looking body color. Neutrogena Instant for the face is an oil-free, fast-drying, streak-free formula that will not clog facial pores. The introduction of the self-tanners and their ancillary products contributed to the substantial growth of the popular suntan lotions and oils class. Because these trendy self-tanners may also function as face moisturizers, they more than likely contributed to the decline in shipments of face moisturizing creams which slipped approximately 9 percent between 1997 and 2002.

Suncreens and sunblocks have declined, but the decline is deceptive. In actuality the product may have grown, but the growth is hidden from view. Products that have acquired sunscreening or blocking functionalities have appeared in the Cosmetics and Hair Care categories as FDA-approved ingredients with SPF-ratings and have been used outside the sunscreen/sunblock categories. In cosmetics, for instance, the largest subdivision within toiletries saw notable growth related to lip cosmetics. Between 1997 and 2002, lip cosmetics grew from $1.0 to $2.7 billion, up 157 percent in this period. Much of that triple-digit growth can be traced to reformulated products that contain one or more sunscreen ingredient. Because lip skin is vulnerable to damage from sun, lipstick formulations became more robust—functioning as both a color-cosmetics and a sunscreen. One example is Clinique's Moisture Surge SPF 15 lipstick. It gives color, moisture, and sunburn protection. Moisture Surge Lipstick SPF 15 is available in shades such as Brown Sugar, Summer Rose, and Berry Glaze. The active ingredient from the Sunscreen Monograph, zinc oxide, is combined with castor oil, beeswax, and aloe.

In hair care, the second largest major division within the toiletries industry, notable growth occurred related to hair rinses. Between 1997 and 2002, hair rinses grew from $25 million to $547 million. This represents striking growth of 2,120 percent. Much of this quadruple-digit growth can be traced to reformulated products that contain one or more sunscreen ingredient. Because hair can be damaged by sun, products such as rinses, masques, and glazes were introduced that use innovations related to synthetic organic chemicals such as silicone to protect and coat each strand. Silicone gives hair more gloss and protects it from the sun. One example is Bobbi Brown Leave In Hair Conditioner SPF 15.

In the Creams and Lotions subdivision itself, ingredients have wandered to other products as well. Within this subdivision body lotions increased between 1997 and 2002 from $256 million to $458 million, a growth rate of 79 percent. This growth is difficult to track since many body lotions have been reformulated to perform simultaneous functions such as moisturizing and self-tanning. Much of the double-digit growth is due to reformulated products that contain one or more sunscreen ingredient. An example is Lubriderm Daily Moisture with SPF 15 Lotion. It uses a combination of three active ingredients from the Sunscreen Monograph: octinoxate (7.5%), octisalate (4%), and oxybenzone (3%).

While information on the sun care market is difficult to tease out of the toiletries statistics, ingredients used are most certainly increasing in sales as substantiated by reporting by the Chemical Market Reporter which stated, in April 2006, that sun care products were up 10 percent in 2005 over the year before. Datamonitor PLC estimates that 26 million liters of sun care products are consumed in the United States every year.


The top three U.S. sun care brands are Coppertone (made by Schering-Plough), Banana Boat (Playtex Products), and Neutrogena (Johnson & Johnson). In Western Europe, two brands maintain large leads: Nivea Sun (made by Beiersdorf with 20% market share) and Gamier Ambre Solaire (made by L'Oréal with 14%).


Founded in Hamburg, Germany, in 1882 as a small pharmacy, Beiersdorf now has 17,000 employees focused on skin and beauty care. In 1911 Beiersdorf initiated development of a skin cream based on one of the first water-in-oil emulsifiers and named it Nivea from the Latin word meaning snow-white. Nivea now consists of fifteen lines, all sold in 150 countries. Each of the lines supports a cadre of products. According to Market Share Reporter 2007, Beiersdorf captured 20 percent of the 2005 Western Europe sun care lotion market with its Nivea Sun brand. Nivea Sun is also popular in the United States. Its newest product is a silicone-based innovation called Light Feeling Sun Lotion available in SPF 6, 10, 20, and 30. Nivea Sun Tropical Sun Lotion SPF 2 is formulated for tanners. The ancillary product is Nivea Sun Regenerating Aftersun Balm with aloe vera. The newest Nivea Sun Moisturizing line includes Sun Lotion SPF 30, Sun Spray SPF 50+, Children's Sun Spray SPF 50+, Sun Baby Sun Lotion SPF 50+, and Sun Touch Quick & Easy Self Tan Wipes.

Johnson & Johnson

Headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin, Johnson & Johnson (J&J) is one of the largest family-owned and family-managed companies in the United States. It manufactures and markets thousands of products in hundreds of categories, all related in some way to health and cleanliness. J&J was formed in the 1880s as a pioneer of ready-to-use surgical dressings that provided antiseptic wound treatment. It is still in the pharmaceutical business, and is able to utilize its pharmaceutical R&D to make sun care products, which it markets under Aveeno and Neutrogena brands, among others. According to Market Share Reporter 2007, J&J consistently captures 18 percent of the U.S. sun care market. Neutrogena is not only a top seller, it is also one of the most expensive mass market sun care product lines. Its success is evidence that consumers generally equate price with quality. Neutrogena's newest sun care products include: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55, Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock SPF 30/45, Neutrogena Age Shield Sunblock SPF 30/45, and Neutrogena Moisture Rich Sunless Tanner SPF 20. As of February 2007, The Skin Cancer Foundation gave eight Aveeno sunscreen products its imprimatur, which allows J&J to use its Seal of Recommendation on labels.

The L'Oréal Group

L'Oréal makes the number two best selling sun care brand in Western Europe. According to Market Share Reporter 2007, L'Oréal captured 14 percent of the 2005 Western Europe sun care market with its Garnier Ambre Solaire line, not available in the United States as of early 2007. In the United States, its L'Oréal Paris line sells sun care under the Sublime brand. The line includes Sublime Glow Daily Moisturizer and Natural Skin Tone Enhancer in just two formulations, one designed for fair skin and one for medium skin tones. Sublime Bronze is an entire line dedicated to self-tanning and also offers an ancillary product, Sunless Scrub, designed to prepare skin for ultra-even application of the self-tanning products. The Skin Cancer Foundation gave L'Oréal Paris skin care products with SPF 15 or higher its Seal of Recommendation. L'Oréal also makes Lancôme, a prestige brand. It offers Flash Bronzer Self-Tanning Face Petals that are single application sponges for the face. The sponge's inner capsule is designed to deliver the correct amount of the formula to the face. Prestige products are generally not measured by Euromonitor.


Playtex was founded in Rochester, New York, in 1932 as the International Latex Corporation to sell latex products under the Playtex brand name. Now headquartered in Allendale, New Jersey, Market Share Reporter 2007 reported that in 2005, Playtex had 21 percent of the U.S. sun care market. Banana Boat is the number two bestselling sun care product in the United States. To maintain its lead, Playtex introduced three new sun care lines under its Banana Boat banner for the summer 2007 sunning season: Tear-free Sprays for Kids and Babies (five products), EveryDay Glow SunDial Self-tanning Moisturizer (five products), and AvoTriplex Powerful Photo-stable Protection. The latter utilizes a patented AvoTriplex technology to allegedly provide broad UVA/UVB spectrum protection. AvoTriplex is based on avobenzone, an ingredient recently added to the Sunscreen Monograph. The line has two offerings, but seven products in other lines have been reformulated so that they now utilize the patented technology. Playtex's most innovative sun care products now include Banana Boat Faces Plus Bronzer, a tinted sunscreen that gives a bronzed glow that washes off for the pale first few days of holidays. Banana Boat has a line called Ultramist with SPFs up to 50. The Skin Cancer Foundation has given a total of thirty-two Banana Boat sunscreen products its imprimatur, allowing Playtex to use its Seal of Recommendation on labels.


Headquartered in Kenilworth, New Jersey, Schering-Plough is a pharmaceutical company. Under its skin disorders and sun care segment it has more prescription skin disorder products than sun care products. Market Share Reporter 2007 reported that in 2005, Schering-Plough had 31 percent of the U.S. sun care market. Coppertone's summer 2006 store display had a warning similar to cigarette packaging, warning consumers: "Every sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer." Schering-Plough's sun care products include just two brands, Bain de Soleil and Coppertone. Bain de Soleil is a narrow brand designed for people who want to tan, with only Orange Gelee Sunscreen SPF 4 and Megatan with Self-Tanner SPF 4. Coppertone is a broad brand, the most popular in the United States. As befits a best seller, it now includes: Kids, Water Babies, Sport, Oil Free, Ultra Sheer, Sunless, and Tanning. Coppertone's newest innovation is a line of six continuous-spray products with SPFs up to 50. One of its multi-functional products is Bug and Sun SPF 30 (contains DEET—N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, an insect repellent). As of February 2007, The Skin Cancer Foundation had given 45 Coppertone sunscreen products its imprimatur, allowing Schering-Plough to use its Seal of Recommendation on the label of Coppertone products.


The materials used by manufacturers to produce toiletries such as sun care products include both ingredients to make the products as well as materials to make the packages. Toiletries packaging differentiates products from the competition. In the case of sun care products, packaging generally includes a plastic jar, tube, bottle, or tub that contains the product and also serves as the dispenser. The $28 billion per year toiletries industry spent $8.0 billion in 2002 on the total cost of materials needed to make all kinds of toiletries. Of this the industry spent $5.6 billion on packaging, packing, and other materials and just $2.4 billion on ingredients. The consumer spending $1 on these products spends 70 cents on packaging, 30 cents on active or passive ingredients. Expenditures for plastic containers including jars, tubes, tubs, and bottles was $1.2 billion in 2002, more than on any other single ingredient class.

Setting the issue of plastics and packaging aside, this section examines the industry's expenditures of $2.4 billion on ingredients in 2002. The Census Bureau identifies three major categories of ingredients shown in descending order of dollar value:

  • Perfume oil mixtures and blends, essential oils (natural), and perfume materials (synthetic organic)—40 percent of ingredient purchasing
  • Other synthetic organic chemicals—30 percent
  • Bulk surface active agents (surfactants)—11 percent

Perfumes impart a pleasant aroma to both the product and the packaging. Together perfume ingredients accounted for almost 40 percent or $935 million of the annual $2.4 billion ingredient costs of 2002. When purchasing aromas, more than 50 percent of the $935 million went for perfume oil mixtures and blends. The cost to purchase essential oils (natural) decreased 7 percent between 1997 and 2002, dipping from $174 million down to $161 million. Spending on perfume materials (synthetic organic) almost quadrupled in the five-year period that ended in 2002, ballooning from $67 million to $252 million, an increase of 278 percent. Synthetic organic perfume materials are created primarily from chemical compounds obtained during petroleum distillation, a process that separates petroleum into fractions according to their different boiling temperatures. Synthetics both mimic fragrances found in nature and provide fragrances not found in nature. Synthetic organic perfume materials expanded the fragrance library resulting in more than 2,000 odor profiles for manufacturers to choose from instead of the only 200 odor profiles available from plants. For manufacturers, synthetic organic perfume materials make economic sense because prices are stable and raw materials supply is consistent from year to year; aromas no longer depend on plant harvests which are more variable. For instance, Banana Boat Protective Tanning Oil SPF 15 is scented with banana, carrot, and coconut. Huggies introduced in April 2007 a Little Swimmers Moisturizing SPF 50 Sunscreen Lotion in mango & coconut. The names suggest nature, but the scents are synthetic.

Synthetic organic chemicals, in contrast to perfume oils, are also derived from petroleum fractions. In toiletries, organic chemicals are most important as preservatives integral to giving products a long shelf life. The U.S. toiletries industry almost tripled its use of synthetic organic chemicals between 1997 and 2002, from purchases valued at $243 million to $721 million, an increase of 197 percent. This increase was due in part to innovative sun care product formulations that use synthetic organic ingredients for more varied delivery systems. While the most popular form of delivering sun care products is still creams and lotions, they now come in milks, gels, oils, ointments, foams, mists, sprays, sticks, mousses, aerosols, and pre-saturated wipes. Neutrogena, for example, has aerosol sprays that contain cryolidone, a synthetic organic, odorless menthol that cools when applied. One commonly used ingredient in self-tanners is a synthetic organic chemical known as dihydroxyacetone; it is a color-additive that darkens skin by reacting with amino acids on the skin's surface.

Surfactants are used to adjust the surface tension of creams, lotions, milks, gels, oils, ointments, foams, mists, sprays, sticks, mousses, aerosols, and pre-saturated wipes. They are wetting agents that help sun care products spread on the skin smoothly. Surfactants are especially important for the newly reformulated self-tanners that no longer streak or go on orange. Surfactants are integral to making toiletries. The U.S. toiletries industry decreased spending on surfactants by 26 percent in the five-year period between 1997 and 2002, from $330 million to $243 billion. The 2002 data on industry-wide spending for ingredients are presented in Figure 200.

The twenty-two ingredients in the 1978 Sunscreen Monograph are generally classed as either chemical absorbers or physical blockers. Chemicals (synthetic organics) absorb the hot short UVB rays. Physical blockers reflect or scatter both UVB and UVA rays. Five commonly used chemical absorbers listed in the 1978 Sunscreen Monograph are octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, ensulizole, and oxybenzone. Only two physical blockers are listed in the Monograph, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Two sunscreen ingredients recently added by the FDA to the Sunscreen Monograph are known as avobenzone and ecamsule. Because these nine pre-approved active ingredients are so important to sunscreens—and have contributed to the fundamental shift in reformulations that affected the entire industry—they are highlighted.

Octinoxate is a potent UVB absorber and is among the most frequently used sunscreen ingredient. Octisalate is used to augment UVB protection in a sunscreen. Octocrylene is often used in combination with other absorbers to achieve higher SPF ratings. Ensulizole is water soluble and is often used in products formulated to feel lighter and less oily, such as face moisturizers with sunscreen. Oxybenzone significantly augments UVB protection when used in a formulation and absorbs well through both the long and short UVA ranges and thus can be considered a broad-spectrum absorber.

The two physical blockers listed in the Sunscreen Monograph are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. They are both ideal sunscreen agents because they are chemically inert, safe, and absorb or reflect through the full UV spectrum. Until recently, the use of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide were limited by the aesthetic issue of whitening. Recent advances in nanotechnology decreased the particle size of these pigments to microsize or ultrafine grades, thereby making it less visible on the skin's surface. The result is better quality full-spectrum protection.

The two ingredients recently approved by the FDA and added to the Sunscreen Monograph are avobenzone and ecamsule. Together these two newly approved sunscreen ingredients expand the reach of the Sunscreen Monograph toward protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The first, avobenzone, is often referred to by its trade name, Parsol 1789. Avobenzone provides superior protection through a large portion of the long UVA range. Potentially a significant addition to sunscreen products for true broad-spectrum UV protection, concerns have been raised regarding its stability under light (photostability) and its potential to degrade other sunscreen ingredients in products in which it is used. Avobenzone was patented by Johnson & Johnson in its Aveeno and Neutrogena sunscreen products. In Neutrogena products, it is called Helioplex; Aveeno refers to it as Active Photobarrier Complex. It is alleged to allow J&J to offer SPF values from 30 to 55 and to last for four to five hours.

Ecamsule is also known by its trade name Mexoryl SX. The FDA approved it in July 2006 under an application by L'Oréal (which owns LaRoche-Posay). Mexoryl SX provides UVA protection at the short UVA range. Because it is water soluble it is also less water resistant (a negative). It is now on the market offered by LaRoche-Posay in a product called Anthelios SX. It is the only product that can truly claim broad spectrum protection because it uses a combination of three ingredients from the Sunscreen Monograph, including the two most recently-approved ingredients: octocrylene 10 percent solution for UVB rays; avobenzone 2 percent solution for long UVA rays (needs octocrylene to be photostable); and ecamsule 2 percent solution for short UVB rays (photostable on its own).


Sun care products are classically distributed in two distinct channels: the department store and the mass market channel. Within the industry these channels co-exist and are often referred to as prestige and masstige. Prestige sun care products are classified based on the location where they are sold, primarily the department store, and are typically higher-priced. Lower-price sun care products are called masstige because they are sold using a mass market distribution channel. That channel includes a throng of outlets including drug stores such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens; food stores; mass merchandisers including Kmart, Target, and Wal-Mart; warehouse clubs such as BJ's, Costco, and Sam's Club; and nontraditional retailers such as the Internet.


All people are potential users of sun care products. Even pets are now potential users of sun care, with some pet product manufacturers marketing a dog sunscreen spray. The major market is still, however, humans. Manufacturers tend to segregate this user-base in a number of ways, primarily by gender and by age.

Sun care products are made and marketed to appeal to female customers. Women are a large part of the sun care product audience both as direct consumers and as household decision makers regarding products used by others. According to the American Academy of Dermatology women are a better market for sun care than men. More than twice as many women (34%) than men (16%) apply sunscreen before going out. This, however, means that the majority of both women and men are nonusers of sunscreens, which suggests that this market has a great deal of growth potential.

Women are often the drivers behind sales of products designed for children. Sunscreens designed for babies are disproportionately purchased by women as are sun care products marketed for use on children. Sun care products designed for babies and children tend to have high SPF values. While the most popular form of delivering sun care products is still creams and lotions, they now come in milks, gels, oils, ointments, foams, mists, sprays, sticks, mousses, aerosols, and pre-saturated wipes. Some of these forms are made and marketed as especially easy to apply to babies and small children.


Regarding protection against sunburn, there is no substitute for relaxing on a porch swing on the shady side of the house and reading a book with the pet at one's feet. Borrowing the "Slip, Slap, Slop" slogan from an Australian cancer prevention campaign, the American Cancer Society recommends that anyone out in the sun slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat. A broad variety of items are available to protect humans and their pets against sunburn. The following items might be considered adjacent in that they are all products available for purchase that are designed to reduce or eliminate the need for sun care products.

Awnings: A large shade canopy to set up over a picnic or patio table forms an effective sun block. Awnings retail for around $20; at that price they rival the price of higher-end sun care products with high SPFs. Awnings also last for years and don't need to be replaced every season as sun care products generally do since both chemical and physical sunscreens can deteriorate over time.

Clothing: A hat to wear while participating in sports and a cover-up to wear on the beach both form effective sunscreens. A white T-shirt has an SPF rating of only 5, and less if it is wet. Darker colors and heavier fabrics have higher SPFs although they tend not to be comfortable on a hot sunny day. Companies such as Coolibar, Sun Precautions, and NoZone make colorful, lightweight hats and clothing with SPF ratings as high as 50. Coolibar has The Skin Cancer Foundation imprimatur, which allows the company to use the Foundation's Seal of Recommendation on labels.

Patches: Self-adhesive patches gradually change color to a bright orange when exposed to UV rays warning the user either to reapply sunscreen or go inside. SunSignals sells a pack of eighteen for $5. Huggies introduced UVB sun sensor patches targeted for children in April 2007. The patches are placed on a child's skin or clothing and change color when baby has had enough fun in the sun.

Monitors: Electronic UV monitors, which costs between $25 and $30 on average, are available. Companies such as La Crosse Technology make UV monitors that look like sports watches. Other styles worn around the neck are designed by Chaney Instrument and Oregon Scientific. They are programmable monitors designed to utilize information on the user's skin type and sunscreen SPF to calculate the strength of UV rays and use that information to count down the time the user can stay outside safely. Oregon Scientific's model is splash-proof and includes a digital thermometer.

Laundry Additives: Do-it-yourselfers can create clothing with the effect of sun protection. Rit Dye makes Sun Guard, a laundry additive that sells for approximately $2 per box that will give ordinary T-shirts an SPF of 30; the protection lasts through approximately 20 washings. Sun Guard has The Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Recommendation for UV structures.


R&D is important to manufacturers of sun care products. Sun exposure is dangerous, there is rising demand for the product, and, as exemplified by the FDA June 2006 approval of ecamsule, the list of approved ingredients is expanding. R&D tends to focus on providing broad spectrum protection, increasing efficacy by improving photostability and enhancing water resistance. As mentioned earlier sunscreens are now offered in a variety of application styles. Garnier Ambre Solaire (owned by L'Oréal) offers No Streaks Bronzer Body Wipes that deliver the product by way of an emulsion wholly contained within pre-saturated wipes. It includes one wipe for the legs and another for the rest of the body with the right amount of self-tanner product contained in each wipe.

Sunscreen formulations have traditionally been water-in-oil systems primarily because nearly all of the twenty-two ingredients listed in the 1978 Sunscreen Monograph are oil soluble. Reformulations have been made possible due to innovative emulsions derived from newly available synthetic organic chemicals—the ingredient category that grew by 197 percent between 1997 and 2002. The old-fashioned water-in-oil emulsions that could be heavy and greasy were replaced with formulations such as water-in-silicone, liquid crystal gel systems, or polymeric emulsions. Water-in-silicone products are especially popular.

Sun care products have been reformulated with water-in-silicone to create new delivery systems that give a soft touch and improved sensory and aesthetic properties. As a result, self-tanner formulations no longer streak or go on orange. They are now virtually foolproof and provide an all-over golden glow that is indistinguishable from the real thing. An example of water-in-silicone formulation is Neutrogena's newest sun care products: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 55 and Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sunblock SPF 30/45.

Sunscreen formulations also benefited by recent advances in nanotechnology that decreased the particle size of the physical blockers titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to microsize or ultrafine grades thereby making it less visible on the skin surface and removing the old-fashioned aesthetic issues of whitening and streaking upon application. The result is better quality full-spectrum protection. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are pigments that tend to reflect or scatter energy rather than absorb it. Because they are actual physical blockers that contribute to high SPF values, nano pigment particles can provide both UVA/UVB protection. The only two pigments listed in the Sunscreen Monograph, R&D has focused on them in the new century due to their broad-spectrum capabilities. They are also generally safer than the chemical blockers.


One trend already well underway is that sunscreen ingredients have crept into all major divisions of the toiletries and cosmetics industry. A fundamental shift in reformulating made pure sunscreen and sunblock products less necessary on a day-to-day basis.

Another trend on the horizon is the result of increased consumer knowledge regarding the damage done by UVA rays. Consumers now desire full spectrum UVA/UVB protection. Yet the UVA protection issue was not addressed in the existing Sunscreen Monograph. UVA rays comprise 90 percent of the rays that reach the skin. The number is so high for three reasons: UVA exists from sunup to sundown even on cloudy days, unlike UVB rays; UVA rays persist year-round even in winter, unlike UVB rays, and UVA rays penetrate through windows especially car windows, unlike UVB rays. This explains why age spots are most commonly found in the United States on the left side of the face—caused by sun through the window while driving. UVA rays also penetrate deeper and cause 80 percent of skin aging, unlike UVB rays. UVA rays are the culprit behind aging. UVA rays are thought to cause solar keratosis (a scaly or crusty bump on the skin surface), also called sun spots or precancers.

Regulation of the ingredients used in, testing methods used on, and labeling of UVA protection products is coming, if slowly. According to the February 2006 issue of Global Cosmetic Industry, the FDA plans to propose testing standards for UVA radiation. Scientific data suggest that UVA radiation does cause the long term skin damage that leads to skin cancer and premature skin aging. In the absence of FDA standards, a manufacturer can test its products by a number of methods and label products with its own less authoritative label claiming "broad spectrum sun protection" or "provides UVA/UVB protection." Once the FDA regulates products that claim to protect against UVA radiation, the market for sun care products is likely to experience a growth spurt. The pieces are in place to harmonize a national standard that resolves the UVA protection issue; the only question now is when the pieces will come together.

Another trend driven by regulatory action has to do with outstanding regulations foreseen in the 1999 Temporary Final Sunscreen Monograph. Outstanding issues as of 2007 were the establishment of a maximum of 30 for SPF coverage and the definition of terms such as water resistant, very water resistant, photo-aging protection and many others used commonly and somewhat liberally on sun care products.

Action on the Temporary Final Monograph has been postponed many times over the years and was stayed once again in 2006. In the meantime, manufacturers have all introduced products with SPF values as high as 45, 55, and higher. Currently, the 1978 Sunscreen Monograph governs active ingredients and labeling claims. Achieving agreement among manufacturers, dermatologists, and regulatory agencies on the Temporary Final Monograph may prove difficult. It is anticipated that manufacturers will fight for the high SPF values. Products with high SPF protection values tend to sell for a high price and provide manufacturers with high margins. They are watching progress with the establishment of revised regulations by the FDA, regulations that may alter the products they will be able to develop and market in the future.


Sun care manufacturers have already successfully targeted women. They continue to do so since women influence purchasing within their households and also purchase sun care products designed for babies and children. Other potential targets include men, young adults, and people who are fair skinned and/or people who are especially susceptible to getting skin cancer.

More than twice as many women (34%) than men (16%) apply sunscreen before going outside. This ratio may soon change. Sun care product manufacturers are beginning to target men. One targeted segment is adult men who may have thinning hair. According to The Skin Cancer Foundation, men develop skin cancer on the ears and scalp more often than women do. Men also tend to spend more hours in the sun than women but are less likely to use sunscreen. New products target this segment with scalp-specific sunblocks. One newly introduced product is Bald Guyz's SPF 30 sunblock gel. For men who have forgotten to apply sunblock, Bald Guyz's also offers an after sun aloe-and-green-tea moisture gel. Another company known as Sharps introduced a product called Mission: Control Bald Head Balm that is a creamy, nongreasy SPF 15 sunscreen. Also available from the new scalp-care brand Matte for Men is a SPF 25 Complete Head Care Lotion. HeadShade SPF 15 is a sunblock spritz by Head-Blade, a California-based company. HeadBlade's founder recently said, "There's a huge head care market that's been ignored for years."

Other sun care products target people who participate in outdoor sports. These products are designed not to wash off after swimming and to resist smearing when mixed with water and/or sweat. Sun care products marketed to men also focus on their non-greasy feel, making them ideal for use immediately before taking part in sports.

Young adults are another market segment targeted by sun care product manufacturers. Statistics show that there is room for growth in the use of such products by young adults. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts out an annual report titled Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance. The 2005 edition reported that only 9 percent of high school students wear a sunscreen most of the time or always when outside on a sunny day for more than an hour. Female students were more likely to wear sunscreen than their male counterparts. Of female students, 12 percent reported wearing sunscreen regularly while only 6 percent of male students reported doing so. One area in which manufacturers are working to penetrate this market segment is through combining self-tanning products with sun protection.

A final target for sun care manufacturers is the population with solar keratosis (skin bumps). The risk of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, has more than doubled in the last ten years. This segment probably values the imprimatur of approval from organizations such as The Skin Cancer Foundation. Because more public health programs educate consumers about consequences of excessive sun exposure, more people now belong to this segment. Skin cancer has become one of the leading cancers in the United States. The American Cancer Society indicates that there are approximately one million new diagnosed cases of skin cancer each year. There are approximately 8,000 deaths annually in the United States as a result of skin cancer and the rate of melanoma is rising 4 percent as of the latter years of the first decade of the twenty-first century. Products to help and protect against this rising threat likely have a bright future.


American Academy of Dermatology,

Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association,

The European Cosmetic Toiletry and Perfumery Association,

Research Institute for Fragrance Materials,

The Skin Cancer Foundation,

Synthetic Organic Chemicals Manufacturers Association,


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see also Creams & Lotions