The Benefits of Mineral UV Sunscreen Dispersions in Cosmetics

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Consumers are becoming more and more aware of the dangers posed by too much sun exposure and the necessity of using protective products to guard against sun damage. As a result, there is a huge market for sunscreen creams and cosmetics with sun-protective properties. Products including moisturizers, lip balms, and foundations are increasingly being offered with sun protection formulations built-in. 

Statista reports that the global sunscreen market was worth $8.5 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $10.7 billion by 2024. 

If you want to stay ahead in this competitive market, it is vital to use the best ingredients and formulations in your products. In today’s post, we will explore the benefits of using mineral UV sunscreen dispersions in sunscreen products. 

Powder vs. Dispersion

There are two main ways to add a mineral UV filter, such as zinc oxide, to a sunscreen: using a powder or through dispersion. 

In brief, dispersing is the process of mixing solids or liquids into another liquid. A dry ingredient is added to a liquid and the two are completely blended under shear, evenly distributing the now-wetted particles throughout the liquid to create one uniform, combined ingredient that is then ready for use in your products. 

The Benefits of Sunscreen Dispersions

Our research has shown that when formulating cosmetics that include sunscreen protection, dispersions are a superior choice to powders in most instances. Here are a few of the reasons we recommend switching to dispersions if you are still using mineral UV filters in powder form. 

Predictable CW and SPF 

CW stands for “critical wavelength” and refers to the wavelength at which 10% of the sun’s rays can penetrate the sunscreen. According to FDA regulations, a critical wavelength of 370 nm or over is considered to provide excellent protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, the most dangerous UV rays from sun exposure. 

SPF stands for “sun protection factor,” and it measures how much UV radiation from the sun is required to burn protected as opposed to unprotected skin. The higher the SPF, the more protective the product is against harmful UV rays. 

CW and SPF factors can vary hugely between sunscreen products. It is vital to have these numbers correct before finalizing your product formula and bringing your product to market. However, using mineral powders can give unpredictable results and false SPF readings due to increased batch variations. Using a mineral UV sunscreen dispersion will give you more reliable, consistent, and replicable figures. 

Improved Stability

A stable product is one that maintains its functionality, appearance, and proper physical and chemical properties when it is appropriately stored. Stability is a vital component of quality cosmetic products. 

Using a good mineral UV sunscreen dispersion offers a higher level of product stability than powder-based formulations, giving you a higher-quality sunscreen with longer shelf life. This ensures happy customers who will purchase from you again and again.

Faster Formulation Times

When you are using powdered mineral ingredients, it can take a long time to work out the optimal formulation for the final product. You will need to choose the best wetting agents or dispersants, the best processing equipment to use, and the right balance to deliver a quality and consistent product performance. 

When you use mineral UV sunscreen dispersions, these equations have already been worked out for you, meaning that you can create a great finished product in far less time. 

Improved Product Appearance

When it comes to marketing and selling cosmetic products, appearance really does matter. When faced with products of similar qualities and price points, customers will usually gravitate toward the most aesthetically appealing choice. 

Using dispersions gives your final product a smoother and more uniform appearance. This shows customers that your product is of high quality and can directly translate to stronger sales when you bring the product to market. 

Safer to Use

When you formulate products using mineral UV powders, there is a risk to health presented by flyaway particles. Inhaling these particles can cause respiratory damage. The impact of this can be cumulative, particularly among workers who handle these ingredients regularly. 

Mineral UV sunscreen dispersions contain no dry ingredients from which dangerous particles can escape and be inhaled, making them far safer to use. 

Better Product Performance 

Mineral UV sunscreen dispersions eliminate or reduce many of the performance issues presented by powdered ingredients. Specifically, using dispersions results in less whitening of the product and eliminates particle agglomeration on skin application. In the fierce cosmetics market, superior product quality will give you an edge over your competitors. 

Speed to Market

When you are bringing a new product to market, speed can make all the difference to the success or failure of the product launch. Thanks to their predictability and the various benefits discussed above, mineral UV sunscreen dispersions help to cut down on the amount of time it takes to get your sunscreen on store shelves and into consumers’ hands. 

Are There Any Downsides to Sunscreen Dispersions?

As you have seen, there are significant benefits to using mineral UV sunscreen dispersions. But are there any downsides? The only negative formulation impact we have found from using sunscreen dispersions is that they offer less flexibility in the choice of carriers or emollients used in your sunscreen product.  

While this may be an issue in some cases, we believe that the benefits far outweigh this small downside in the vast majority of instances. 

What Is G-Block and How Does It Improve on Standard Sunscreen Dispersions? 

G-Block is a UV-grade zinc oxide (ZnO) and titanium dioxide sunscreen dispersion for use in cosmetic products formulated by our experts here at Applechem. We created G-Block in response to industry trends toward clean beauty products, natural sunscreens, and non-nano ZnO. 

We believe that G-Block represents a new step forward in sunscreen dispersions for the cosmetics industry. It offers superb stability, with no additional mixing required, and has an enhanced active loading of 50-80% (the current industry standard sits at around 30-50%). It also provides a reliable and consistent SPF and CW performance across batches. 

G-Block’s 100% clean ingredients are approved by organizations including COSMOS, Ecocert, and the Natural Product Association. 

Furthermore, G-Block is globally compliant for all broad-spectrum labeling requirements, including the EU’s COLIPA and Japan’s PF standards, making it an ideal choice for our clients anywhere in the world. 

We’ve also recently launched our new S-Block dispersion line, which combines the benefits of G-Block with improved sensory and silicone compatibility. This makes S-Block a great fit for clinical sunscreen brands looking to retain optimal performance with cleaner ingredients.  

Learn More

We believe in providing product samples generously as we understand that researching, testing, and evaluating ingredients are a vital part of your product development process. If you would like to learn more about G-Block or request a sample to try, simply contact us or visit our sample request page to get started. 

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