Global sun care trends, trackers and testing

Daniel Whitby from Alba Science evaluates the directions in which the sun care sector is heading and asks: how can sun safety be guaranteed?

The global sun care market is estimated to be worth a potential US$11.1bn by 2020, driven by increasing awareness of the harmful effects of sun exposure.

While Europe remains the largest market, the highest growth is predicted to come from emerging markets such as Asia Pacific, Latin America and also Eastern Europe[1]. Sun protection has come a long way since the launch of Hamilton Laboratories’ commercial formulations in 1932 and Ambre Solaire sun tanning oil in 1935.

Initially developed to allow the user to acquire a bronzed body without burning, there was a slow realisation that sun exposure had a more sinister, long term downside, and could potentially lead to DNA damage and the development of certain types of skin cancer. By the 1960s the concept of sun protection factors (SPFs) had been developed and during the 1980s the importance of UVA protection came to the fore, and products were developed to provide broad spectrum protection.

Safe sun campaigns, such as ‘Slip, slop, slap’ in Australia and ‘Shunburn’ by the UK’s Teenage Cancer Trust, have managed to increase the public’s awareness of the long term harmful effects of sun exposure. Sun care manufacturers have also played their part in educating the general public, as well as developing products that provide long-lasting, photo-stable protection, and which are available in a wide range of application formats to appeal to the consumer.

The importance of protecting the skin from UV exposure in terms of preventing extrinsic ageing has also become firmly fixed in the consumer’s mind, a phenomenon known as photo-ageing. It is widely accepted that . . .

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