BASF welcomes EU approval for zinc oxide

After BASF’s Tinosorb A2B, Z-Cote is the second nano UV filter to be approved for use in cosmetics in Europe

  • Zinc oxide in its nano form is included in the positive list of the EU Cosmetics Regulation (Annex VI)
  • After BASF’s Tinosorb A2B, Z-Cote is the second nano UV filter to be approved for use in cosmetics in Europe
  • The product line is recommended for daily skin care and also suitable for the sensitive skin of children and people with allergies

BASF welcomes the official entry of zinc oxide into Annex VI of the EU Cosmetics Regulation. Zinc oxide – in both its nano and non-nano form – is now approved for use as a UV filter in cosmetics in Europe. “UV radiation is responsible for various physiological effects in the skin. These include sunburn, premature appearance of wrinkles and – with frequent intensive exposure – an increased risk of skin cancer,” said Dirk Mampe, Head of Business Management for Personal Care Specialties in Europe. “Each approval of a UV filter offers new options and a wider choice for formulators of sun care products to provide vital protection for the skin against these harmful effects of UV radiation. After the EU approval of Tinosorb A2B as the first nano UV filter in 2014, we now welcome the official entry of zinc oxide in its nano form into Annex VI of the EU Cosmetics Regulation.”

BASF offers zinc oxide product line under its Z-Cote brand

BASF offers zinc oxide – with and without coating – under its Z-Cote brand. The product line can be used for all kinds of formulations from skin care and sun care to decorative cosmetics. Both Z-Cote grades cover nearly the whole UV spectrum from the short UVB to the long UVA-I (380nm) wavelengths. “Particulate UV filters such as Z-Cote absorb, reflect and scatter UV light, depending on the size of the particles: the smaller the size, the higher the absorption. Whereas the scattering improves protection – especially in the long UVA-I wavelengths,” said Mampe. Z-Cote is specifically recommended for daily skin care and also suitable for the sensitive skin of children and people with allergies.

Zinc oxide also approved for the use in cosmetics in the US

In the personal care industry, zinc oxide is known for decades for its beneficial properties as skin protectant and its antimicrobial activity. Zinc oxide is one of only two UV filters approved for UVA1 protection in sun care applications in the US. All Z-Cote filters show synergistic effects with organic UV filters and can be used to enhance the UVA and SPF performance of a sunscreen product.

Two more UV filters ready for EU approval

The whole BASF range of UV filters has been toxicologically assessed for their suitability in cosmetic preparations. Nevertheless, the use of nano UV filters to protect the skin is still subject to specific legislation in many countries. For Europe, the next microfine UV filter is ready for approval: In February 2016, titanium dioxide has received a positive vote by the EU Commission Working Group on Cosmetics. The official entry of the nano UV filter into Annex VI of the EU Cosmetics Regulation is expected for the second half of 2016. With Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutyl-phenol (MBBT) another nano UV filter is still on the voting list of the EU. MBBT is on the market under the BASF brand Tinosorb M since 2000, when it got the approval as UV ingredient. Since then, it has been used worldwide – except the USA – in sunscreens from pharmacy to store brands. However, a new approval as „nano“ was required due to the new EU Cosmetics Regulation. In 2015, the Scientific Committee for Consumer Safety (SCCS) published a positive scientific opinion on MBBT in nano form. The official entry into Annex VI is anticipated for 2017.

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